Friday, 22 May 2009

Education - 'tis a wonderful thing!

Well, that's just about that!

After nine months sweat and toil, it's almost over! S104: Exploring Science, is all but over with only the 25 question computer marked assignment left to do. Astonishingly, I achieved a whopping 97% in my final tutor marked assignment, which means that if I manage to get 85% on my End of Course Assessment, I will be awarded a 'distinction'!!!

When I started out on this journey nine months ago, the goals were merely to see if I was up to study again after donkeys years of nothing, learn a bit and see if I can pass an Open University course - nothing more than that really. With all that has gone on domestically since the turn of the year, it's frankly astonishing that I have even a sniff of a distinction. There have been times when I even considered, albeit briefly, to throw the towel in. With so much going on around me, to then sit down and try to grapple with Quantum Physics, was a 'big ask' as Mark Lawrenson would say!

But this course has given me so much that I never even considered beforehand. I now find myself routinely reading the BBC Science web pages, NASA's Mars mission pages and countless others to feed my almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge. But to have this thirst at the ripe old age of 49 is kind of interesting. I can never remember ever having had such an enthusiasm for learning all those years ago in school. Not even in college either! I'm left thinking that maybe one needs to 'live life' a bit, experience the repetitive dullness of employment, before one realises what is truly exciting and stimulating in life. In that sense, education is rather lost on the young. School and indeed further education seems geared to getting 'a job' at the end of it, without thinking beyond that.


There, I've said it! Tar 'n feather me if you like, but that's what I feel. I can assure you, when I get my Geology degree, I won't be seeking employment with another consulting engineers, to resume that climb up the ladder again (not that I ever got above the second rung previously!). Nope, of more interest to me is research. As I've already said, if I can make some contribution, however small to the multitude of questions, asking how Grand Canyon came to be the way it is, I will die a happy man! If I can write a geology book like Wayne Ranney's, that make this wonderful subject understandable to the interested layman I will be very proud indeed!

That's got to be preferable to meaningless staff appraisals, 'taking ownership of your deliverables' and endless corporate 'tosh' surely?

Each to their own, I guess.

Until next time!



  1. Alyn:

    You have got the right attitude my boy! Yessiree, as we say out here in the Grand Canyon country. Learning is for personal enrichment that may lead to other working endevors and not the other way around. I studied geology because I loved it and never thought once about what I was going to do with it. YOu seem to have found the same secret. Carry on - you are a success!

  2. Thanks for your message Wayne. We seem to share the same philosphy! At this stage I have no idea where my geology studies will take me, but it will be fun finding out. Meanwhile, I'm awaiting the delivery of a certain geology book on the Colorado Plateau! Cheers! Alyn.


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