Daily Archives: July 18, 2009

Learn while you Earn

Once a month, just after the full moon, I get a strange yearning to start cruising university web sites in search of a Journalism degree that I can do either online, or by correspondence.  It’s driving me insane 🙂

The thing is, I’m already battling my way through a correspondence course on Counselling, which I may not finish at this stage, because for some reason my computer/s have never been able to access the rich goodies in the courses’ online library.  My real library doesn’t stock the necessary books, and the local uni library probably does, but I’m not a student so I can’t borrow from there.

But, having started the course, I battle away at it, and 4 years later I’m still struggling to get information.  My enthusiasm has waned to drop off point… 

After looking at my motives for signing up; basically to help me and my workmates with career advice, I realise that the information I wanted to learn I could have easily picked up by talking to the relative professionals in the business, which is exactly what I did not long after starting the course.  And now, after studying several modules, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I’m not a Counsellors a%^*hole.   I’m keen to move on to another course, but won’t, because a big part of me wants to finish this one… I started it, now I should bite the bullet and see it through, come hell or high water. 

I’d love to study Journalism, and after researching several likely courses over the past 4 – 5 months, I then logged onto as many student forums I could find, and got a real education.  Most of the students seem to be idealists who are trying to better themselves whilst working full time.  They have paid (in many cases) a small fortune to sign up, and are dismayed to find that the level of support is extremely poor: lack of feedback, long delays for text books, no communication, gradings changes without notice, out of date information, spelling mistakes in the course materials,  etc. 

I’m starting to think that a lot of these places are set up to milk cash out of those desperate folk who can’t afford to attend full time uni, but are keen to learn as adults. 

This is why I’ve always been a keen supporter of the TAFE system.  Affordable, flexible, relevant and excellent assistance from the teachers.  At the turn of last century, many unions set up night schools to help workers better themselves, and improve their chances of applying for better positions, or change careers.  From this movement was born the Tafe system.  Unfortunately, the range of courses on offer these days is not very good.  Unless you are doing something trade or business related. 

Discussions with my wife, usually once a month… just after the full moon, usually snap me out of my fog.   My wife is a pragmatist, a practical thinker, and she generally listens to my thoughts then asks the ‘Right Questions’, eg:  

What do you want from this course?  How long will it take?  How much does it cost?  Wouldn’t you enjoy the freedom of writing your novels in your time, when you want to, as opposed to trying to write assignments you’re barely interested in?   

She’s right.  In Stephen Covey terms, it’s the BIG question, First things First, Start with the End in Mind.  What is it that I really want?  The answer of course, is To Work from Home as a Writer. 

Will getting a uni degree, or completing a correspondence course assist me in this?  Probably not.  Knuckling down and writing my backside off on a variety of topics, polishing my editing skills, and reading relevant literature (available for free at my local library, or easily accessed online) will help me achieve my goal. 

My search is revealing some interesting information, and I’ve stumbled across some excellent sites which have been a major help.  There’s still more info that I need, but the thing that’s making me happiest, is the knowledge that I’m on the right track, even if I am a long way from my goal… 

Now all I have to do is remember all this stuff during next months’ full moon 🙂

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