GET A NEW LIFE ADULT
Wyndham J Webb
Do it, do it, do
it! It most probably could be very good for you. It is something you
can take in bite-size morsels or full-on banquets. You can learn how
to arrange those flowers that turn up from your guilty adult child a
few day after your birthday, or a full-blown degree. And you can often
do it in the comfort of your own home.
Whether you want to catch up with the education you missed earlier in
your life or want an evening class in a non-vocational subject just
to get you out of the house, the boundaries and possibilities of adult
education just grow and grow. It can be an enabling and therapeutic
learning curve if you want it to be so. It can be the means of social
contact for some, an enlightening process for others. It can help to
expand the possibilities of furthering your career, it can just be for
the fun of it. It is there for you if you want to go out and find it.
"I really dont have the time." is, Im sure, a
common excuse for not motivating towards the possibility of furthering
an education. It does not need to be a deeply academic subject. The
range of subjects that can be learnt are so vast as to provide something
for everybody. In fact a friend of mine recently told me that her Open
University studies in Computing Sciences now make her too busy! An understandable
comment from a single mum whose two children must take up the best part
of her day. But shes doing it and will reap a reward both in outcome
and income! So it is possible for anyone to do it if they have the commitment.
Time is a factor to be used constructively.
It neednt be costly either. Many courses are heavily subsidised
for those on low incomes. Many elementary courses are offered for free.
Financial constraints are not unusual, colleges are usually more than
willing to help. The services are there, the enthusiasm to learn must
be with the person.
Age is not a barrier either. Education is not only just available to
the young. Adult education has grown and grown for many years now. There
are many tales told of elderly people gaining degrees. It may not have
be beneficial for their careers, but the immense sense of satisfaction
and achievement they felt must have been indescribable. I remember hearing
about how a woman in her seventies attended an art A level course and
was made very welcome by the rest of the students and her age did not
seem to be an issue at all. You become a mature student when your physical
age is over 21. I personally believe although I have been a mature student
physically, my mental age is a different story! In fact, all my education,
except compulsory schooling of course, has been taken in adult life.
I am glad Ive learned what Ive learned. Ive done what
I wanted to when I wanted to and I will continue to learn, both through
life experiences and education. I feel that quite many people feel that
they have unfinished business when it comes to education and most look
forward to the chances of continuing their learning and broadening their
scope. It is now very common for a broad mixture of age ranges in adult
education, and indeed in degree courses. The barriers where people once
thought that they were too old to learn anymore have long been removed,
the chances are there for the taking.
Adult education offers both the chance to work alone, Open University
courses, Distance Learning programmes; or the sociable contact of courses
run at colleges. That provide meeting places for people with like minds
and interests; a source of companionship for the lonely, a stimulus
for the inquisitive. It can be many things to many people. It can help
them understand more, it can help them get out more. It can keep the
brain in good trim, and the body, if a form of sport is the chosen course.
You could learn to bake a cake or understand quantum physics. Where
you take your learning to is your choice alone, there is no compulsion,
just a willingness to learn is required. Everybody seems to know at
least one person who is doing some form of adult education. Why dont
they join them?
The biggest and most popular field of adult education at present must
be IT. From basic CLAIT skills to programming there is a plethora of
courses available.. Im sure there must still be some people out
with Luddite tendencies towards computers but they are pretty well becoming
an everyday fact-of-life for the majority of people. Free courses abound
in the teaching of the basics of word processing. E-mailing and Internet
access are very much every day occurrences for most people when it comes
to communication. People have now accepted the mobile phone as an almost
necessary form of easy communication and computers are becoming an increasingly
popular learning tool in many peoples homes. Both young and old are
becoming increasingly interested in gaining an understanding of the
possibilities of instant communication and information that is available
virtually at the touch of a button. They now want the courses that help
them to understand the operation of machines they once thought were
used by boffins in laboratory-like environments. Some need IT education
because computers play a large part in many job situations nowadays.
Where once it may have been motor mechanics it now is computerised engine
So, all you need to do is to get yourself down to your local adult education
centre or local library and pick up those leaflets that contain the
wonderful world of education. Make your choice, fill out the application
form, pay your fees and look forward with anticipation to starting the
course. Do it now, you know its good for you!
© Wyndham J Webb 2001