Sunday, July 28, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

I broke down & signed up for another course at Open University. I've been working on this damned Bachelor's Degree since 1973 when I applied to Douglas College to do Criminology. It was a new Program then & they were really pushing women into it. Since I couldn't be a Welder, I let them push me. I really wanted to be a Welder & work on the pipelines that were to carry oil out of the North. I even had a job to go to outside Fort St John but they wouldn't let me into school. I was told no one would hire me. I countered with a letter with a job offer. But it became a bathroom issue in the end if you can believe it .  .  .  so with no money to go to court, I went to college. It was a muddy hole with Atco trailers strung together with covered wooden paths. It was either too cold or too hot inside but we had a ball. The cafeteria was populated with vending machines that often gave you half chicken soup & half coffee. One coffee/hot cocoa machine regularly failed to shut off after one cup & everyone would rush to get a freebee. Most of us had to bring food because we had no extra money. I ate a lot of turkey or pork neck soup with cabbage, carrots & barley that first year. I had no tv, no phone, no car & shared a bathroom down the hall with two other roomers. But I had a full kitchen. I was blissfully happy.

Stupid me, instead of going FULL time after the third semester, I went part time & worked. You see, I didn't want all that student DEBT. If I worked part time & took two classes a semester, I could pay my own way. I got hooked. I took English, Biology, Geology, Physical Geography, History, Psychology, Sociology, Criminology & a few more ologies before I was done. I ended up with 128 credits in Douglas College which was then only a two year college. I needed 60 credits to get my Associate of Arts. It's so easy to stay when you can register first, have a rare parking pass & live 10 minutes away!!

Eventually I went to the Open University because I HAD to, I continued to study what appealed to me - in 3rd & 4th year classes though. I took Earth Sciences at UBC - the very thought of going there terrified me but they turned out to be easier than the Open U! I took Physical Geography, more Psychology &  Ecology with the Open U.

A couple of classes short of the Degree I just couldn't find the time to take them. And then I had no money to go although I worked all the time. Meanwhile the Open U moved to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops & I lost some non-transferable courses in the move! Not a tragedy until I found out how much those courses now cost to replace!!!
I did a lot of thinking about it. I could wait until I'm 65 when all the courses are just about free & hope none of the other courses become redundant. I'd still have to pay student fees & buy the books. Or take one every year & be a graduate student in my Retirement. I fully intend to spend my days going to school, spinning, knitting & volunteering at the Food Bank.

Last week, I signed on for another course. People & Plants caught my eye. It's an Ecological course about the interaction of Plants & Populations & how the search for plants as spices, dyes & medicines have impacted people & the plants. I was quite intrigued until I saw the cost of the course & the text!!! Even downloading it to my KOBO as a rental for a year was $100! In the end I found a used one for $70 online. That makes me happy because I write notes in my books, I tab them & highlight them too. This course is 30 weeks long so I should be happy all winter! And one more little tax deduction to help as well.

So, here we go, off on another tangent but still slightly related to yarn, socks, spinning & dyeing. I'll have to see how my 62 year old brain functions in a cyber space course!!

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