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You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it - Charles Buxton

>> 17 October 2007

I have recently taken up my studies again. I quit school at the age of 17. I wanted to see the world, travel, earn my own money and independance and not spend years at school when I didn't really know what I wanted to become. My parents did not push me to go to university. Getting a decent job was already a big achievement for them. I got a decent job and I have worked my way up the corporate ladder ever since.

As I mentioned, being independant at a young age was an advantage to me at that time. I was living on my own in Paris when most of my friends were still living with their parents. I had money (albeit litte) and was free to do all the silly things and mistakes one has to do to grow up. I learned by doing, on the job, in real life. I had to deal with finding someone on the weekend to replace my apartment door wrecked by burglars. I had to handle a berserk neighbour knocking on my door every so often threatening to harm me. I had to get rid of a stalker. I had to learn how to fill in my first tax declaration in a foreign country. I am not sure university teaches you this kind of things.

Now that I am (still :-) thirty-something and my life is blissfully settled, I discover regret at never having studied something. For the knowledge I missed, for the experience of having to sit through 4 years of hard work, for the diploma and the doors it opens.

It is not easy to change your career. Most women come to such a point in their lives when they have children and their entire life is turned upside down and with it the priorites they had set themselves. I don't necessarily need to have a fast-moving career anymore. This does not mean that I am not ambitious anymore. I just want to find a job that satisfies me, that allows me to do what I like to do and that is flexible with the life I lead and the needs I have.
Let me tell you that such a job probably doesn't exist. Job flexibility is so hard to find. I figured I could find a job in education. That would at least put me on the same schedule as the children. But as I do not have the necessary qualification for it (being a mother alone does not count for anything) I wanted to do the necessary courses to attend that goal. Well, it seems that in order to be allowed in those courses you first need to have finished your secondary school diploma - which is what I lack since I left school at the age of 17. So now I find myself distance learning to catch up with my baccalaureate.

There are a few major problems I have encountered so far:

  1. getting your brain back into studying mode is a challenge

  2. knowledge gained on subjects such as maths, physics, geography, biology is so far gone that you have to start from scratch

  3. finding the time to study

I want to elaborate on the last point as it gives me the most headaches.

How is one supposed to find time??? after:

  • full time job,

  • feeding hungry kid,

  • putting kid in bath and bed,

  • making and having dinner for partner and self,

  • cleaning up kitchen and other mess

  • catch up on mail, pay invoices

  • catch up with partner's day

After above list is checked off, it's 9 or 10 pm most of the time. Then I have to switch on the pc (which takes about 5 minutes because of too many crap softwares...), read my distance learning mail, find one of the online modules that I have chosen to learn over the next 8 weeks, read online what it is again I need to do or print it because online reading gives your head a buzz after a while. After one or two hours of reading about meteorological previsions and what makes up a climate or doing maths exercices and equations I drag my tired old feet to bed.

Obviously I am horribly off schedule. I have chosen 3 subjects for the first 8 week period (Maths, Geography and English). The only one I am not so worried about it English as I use it every day. But Maths and Geography are decades (I am not kidding) away. I find myself getting frustrated because I just can't seem to get a simple

into my head.

And yesterday I gave up with:

Can you blame me??? :-)

I suppose that planning is the solution to this of course. But even with minute planning, the schedule of my day still looks the same and I end up having no time to do all the things that need to be done.

Does anyone have a magic trick or just good advice for me?


Lapa 20 October 2007 at 01:51  

There are three kinds of women:

the pretty ones

the ugly ones

and the blondes...

new literary blog about the great portuguese writer CRISTÓVÃO DE AGUIAR

La delirante 22 October 2007 at 21:41  

Hi!! What a great post!! I am thinking about these things myself these days. I also was very independent from a very young age and I didn't really pursue my postgraduate studies...in reality my university studies were not really something special... I just studied because my mother insisted but I was too young and didn't have a clear idea on what I wanted...I would have preferred to have figured it out little by little and with some work experience before studying. I started university when I was just 17 so you can imagine... :)

Have a great week and good luck with your studies!!! Keep us posted about the developments :)

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