Musings and Snoozes

Being an ostrich only works for a while 

on April 19, 2017

I confess, I’ve been hiding a little. Being an ostrich as one of my best friends would say. Sometimes it’s nice to stick your head in the sand and wait until it all goes away. Only it doesn’t, obviously (go away I mean). We actually have to do something to make it go away. I’m working on learning that one. But here I am, out the other side, having done the thing, and so I finally feel I can come back to writing. 

Which is ironic, since it was writing that led me to ostrich in the first place. More specifically essay writing and studying. 

I’m not big on regrets, so this is not one of them. But I do like to be a little Pollyanna about it and figure out what I’ve learned and what I’ll do differently in the future. Like for example, possibly not deciding that as the least disciplined person I know, signing up for a Masters while working full time (in what is currently 2 job roles, or at least one and half), while also trying to manage various chronic illnesses, is a good idea. It’s not. But, I can now tell you everything I know I don’t want out of learning, and a little bit of what I do want.

So firstly, whoever said “I like learning, but I don’t like studying” was so so right. I adore learning. I am always learning. I work in Learning & Development for goodness sake, but I do not like studying. Which I feel I should clarify a bit, as I’m not sure that anyone likes studying as such, but it’s not the effort of studying I’m against, it’s the way studying takes place I guess. Sixteen year old me famously moaned that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lord of the Flies for English Lit. What I didn’t enjoy was analysing the 17 different meanings to be found in the first sentence of chapter 6. Which is not to say I didn’t learn a lot. I did. But studying and repeating it back parrot fashion was not my thing. Turns out it still isn’t.  

When I think about learning and how I learn, one thing stands out – I learn from people. Which is an awesome thing when you consider that both in my working environment and my personal life, I have so many opportunities to learn from some amazing people. So I would much rather be this way, but it’s less useful when you’re studying from a distance. As helpful and as lovely as my tutor is, I don’t know her, I don’t even really know her specialties and what her focus is, and coupled with the whole thing relying on my pro-activeness and self discipline, it makes it extremely hard. 

But not impossible. I feel I should add this. I’m an adaptable creature and I honestly believe that if I were as inspired as I’d hoped to be by the content of what I’m studying, I could make it work. But the two together? Well I think I may have to admit defeat, for now at least. I hadn’t realised just how much of my time has been spent either worrying about it or trying to pretend it didn’t exist, to the point that it’s coloured everything and I have to acknowledge I’m unhappy. 

And actually that’s ok – it’s a relief to have figured it out. From a practical view, providing I pass the year (which I am on track to do), I still get a qualification, and a 5 more years to decide if I want to pursue anything else with the OU. And who knows what can happen in 5 years! And from a personal point of view, I’m a little bit surer about what I want from life (as well as what I don’t want), where I want to be, and how I’m going to get there by making it work for me. 

Of course if I could also learn how not to ostrich, that’d be great, but I don’t think they offer a Masters in that. 

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