Dear Readers, what a couple of years it’s been! From losing my Mum in December 2018 and my Dad in March this year, via a pandemic, a new job and an increasing love for my local area it has been a turbulent time, with some ups and a whole lot of downs. But somehow I’ve come to the point where I feel as if I’m ready for something new, something testing that will exercise my scorched brain cells and bring together a lot of the things that I’m interested in. And so, Dear Readers, in a few weeks’ time I will be commencing my degree at the Open University.
For those who don’t know, the Open University specialises in distance learning. People who never had the chance to take a degree, or who want to broaden their knowledge, can study for an honours degree at home, using a variety of printed and online materials, tutorials, field courses and seminars. I have to get 360 credits to get my degree, and most people who are doing the work part time take six years to get there.
Like many people, when I was sixteen I was interested in both arts and sciences, and was doing well in both. Ideally, i would have taken English, Sociology and Biology at A Level, but the timetabling just didn’t work, so reluctantly I dropped sciences. Fifty years later (how can that possibly be?) I feel like taking up where I left off. I know a lot of bits and pieces, but there is no framework to bring them altogether, and I’m hoping that I can choose modules that will help me to do that. I am going for an Open degree, which means I can decide what to study as I go along – if I develop an interest in geology or astronomy, or even art history, I can take a module to assuage my curiosity, though I shall be leaning heavily towards biology, ecology and the environment.
My first course is on environmental science, and the course books are arrayed above. How I love the smell of a fresh text book! My highlighters are ready and my notebooks are primed. As soon as the course actually starts on 8th September I will be working out my timetable. I haven’t been this excited in a long time.
What does this mean for the blog? Well, I’m hoping to carry on blogging daily, if only to bombard you with what I’m learning :-). But I’m sure you’ll understand if I have the odd day when my posts are a bit terse. If it turns out to be impossible, I shall let you know. But in my experience, the busier I am the more productive I am, so I am confident that I’ll get job, blog, course and life in general to fit together.
And somehow I feel like Dad, who was insatiably curious about everything right up until his death, would have approved. It’s thanks in part to the little bit of money that was left to me when he died that I’m able to do this. For a man who left school when he was fourteen he was a font of facts about everything from the capitals of Asia Minor to the kings of England, and he, too, would have loved to put all that knowledge together. I feel as if, in a way, I’m doing this for him and for me.
And finally, I realise that I’ve never shared the wallpaper in my tiny back room with you all. I chose this back in 2010, way before Bugwoman existed, but I think she was already brewing even then. What do you think?