My journey of Continuous Education – Sem 1

OMG, how time flies! Didn’t realise that I haven’t been writing for more than a month now. My apologies to my readers for my long silence. As much as I wanted to, or rather, tempted to keep coming back to pen a few lines, I have to stay away for a while till I complete my assignments. There are just too much to handle ever since my classes commenced. Juggling with work, children activities, family affairs and with the new addition, my studies. As for writing, I have got so much to share that I’m struggling with what to start off with. Guess I’ll settle for sharing my first semester experience with you.

Some of you might have known that I’ve just started studying again, pursuing my Master of Science (Finance) since May. It is much tougher this time around. One of the reasons is, this is more academic than practical. So, expect loads of reading. This inquisitive mind of mine is quite excited about the potential of learning new stuffs and facing the challenges of digesting all of them at the same time. Faced with so many jargons and financial terms, of which in the past I took for granted. Now, there is not other way to go about it. No more excuses….I must take my husband’s advice and force myself to read the business section, like it or not, to familiarise myself with the financial world. Seriously!

Besides that, another jolt to my senses was the format of assignments. The last time I did my assignments and dissertation in APA Format was way back in 1997! Imagine what the gap of 15 years does to me….I must admit age is a factor here too. I forget easily. I have zero total recall of what APA Format is because I’ve not used it since then, not even when I did my professional courses. During my professional courses, creativity was widely accepted. You’d laugh your hats off to know that I had to google for it and watched it being demonstrated on YouTube! Anyway, I am most grateful to information technology of today, where information is just a tap away.

In those days, one and a half decade ago, I had no knowledge of Google and I was happy to just own a personal computer (a desktop) to complete all my assignments and at the same time communicate with my tutor at Leicester. Imagine the dial-up to internet connection which the younger generation might not have heard of (think of the movie “MIB III – Back In Time”, right before he uses his neuralyzer, the younger Agent K has to first do a dial-up with that weird sound). Researches then, were done at public libraries or via internet at the eLibrary of the Centre of Labour Studies. Today, information is just a tap away.

I had a near-miss blunder yesterday when we were asked to submit our project papers. Little did I know that I must also save all the references/journals/articles which I made reference to while doing the project, to be submitted together with my project papers! Thanks to my classmates who came to my rescue… allowing me to use one’s laptop (iPad has limited usage here – sigh) to retrieve and save some (but not all) of the articles in a thumb drive for submission. To my dear classmates, I’m most grateful for your help and kind words. I’ve learnt from my ignorance.

I am like a kid going back to formal school after a long period of absence. Even though I had gone through my professional qualifications in between, they are somehow different in many ways. It’s like, everything now starts from ground zero. I only carry with me my brain, work experience and the hunger to learn. I must admit that it is tougher than I thought. This is only my first semester. I believe as I move from one semester to another, I would do better each time.

I learn from my mistakes and from my ignorance. I also learn from others. I shouldn’t complain for there are others who have so much more to handle. There are classmates who have to commute from one state to another, on overnight train or bus, and slept on rough beds; and there are those who have to drive or ride from dawn, for miles to arrive on time for their classes and return on the same day. That must be most tiring even before the classes begin. They have their works and families to juggle at the same time too. I believe, so much more to sacrifice than what I have on my plate. Compared to them, I feel so small.

Having said that, for those of us who have started the journey to continuous higher education, for personal and/or career growth, let’s not be crippled by challenges along the way or beaten by any failure. Let us move on and on till we get to where we want to be, no matter how long it takes us. Of course, the sooner the better. Cheers to all.

~ Alice N.