William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

82. An Autodidactic Future?

I’ve been juggling around a lot of ideas relating to what I’m going to do when I return to the Maritimes. I want to go back to school and improve my French (to become employable and fashionable) and my math and science (so my brain doesn’t rot). Those are givens. Plus if I’m a full-time student at any point in a school year, I can apply for an explore bursary again and likely head back to Sainte-Anne.

As to any sort of structured program, I’m not so sure. I think I could teach myself photography, and since everyone and their dog has a DSLR and a photo blog nowadays, it wouldn’t be easy to stand out in the field anyway. Quick, how many famous photographers can you name? See? I had been thinking about entering a formal program, but upon further reflection I think it’s not totally necessary.

For a latter-day extreme example of self-taught success, I cite a seventh-grade dropout who went on to engineer the electrical systems on the space shuttle. Upon further reflection, though, I’m not sure the message should be “School is categorically a waste of time.” It might be more like, “There are limits to what school can do for you; you have to think beyond it and perhaps function and develop in spite of it.” It doesn’t make a very sexy sound byte, though.

So after thinking and thinking and thinking again, I may end up going with my very first impulse, which was to work on my basic skills. When I get back, I’ll be able to acquire things like a proper camera and maybe a small keyboard. I’ll have the time and resources to create… stuff.

I don’t know what I’ll do in terms of workaday stuff. That kind of thing may take care of itself. I think, though, that I need to think very carefully before signing onto things in the future. If I knew what I knew now, I wouldn’t have taken this job – trust me, knowing that you’re doing twice the work and getting half the remuneration that you would have gotten with the JET Programme gets to you after a while. (The re-contracting here is pretty sexy, though.) But I’m glad things have gone the way they have – this way, I’ve gotten to try real teaching, and I’ve also been able to form relationships that I would be much the lesser person for not having.

The report cards are done. Now there’s just the holiday homework, some <ahem> slightly overdue (and I think slightly superfluous, but anyway) reports for Mk., and a lesson plan for the kindies when they come visit us at the end of August – just those things to prepare; that’s really about it. Oh, and a report for R., too, I almost forgot. It’s easy to forget about Saint Mary’s here.

I hope I don’t waste my freedom when I do finally re-achieve it…
Tags: career, decisions, education, freedom, future, japan, school, teaching, work
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