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…