January 10, 2011

Back to School


This will be my new school  - at least for a couple of hours a week. I've been accepted for Academic Bridging at the University of Toronto and I'll be starting tomorrow.

Academic Bridging is a course for those away from formal education for a while, in my case 28 years, to test their ability to do university-level work.

When I was in high school, Ontario had a thing called Grade 13. Grade 13 was required to enroll in University and I didn't take Grade 13.

Despite being practically "gifted" my whole elementary school life, attention was not paid to my educational path. I was the "spare" not the "heir" and was generally thought of as not as smart as my decade-older brother.

When my marks were faltering in Grade 12 - why did anyone in authority think I should drop Art and Geography to take Chemistry and a spare!? - I signed up for Fashion Merchandising at a college an hour away.  I did use what I learned there to a degree; I managed a clothing shop on Yonge Street for a whopping $4.25 an hour and I went on to manage the gift shop at the Royal Ontario Museum. Managing a staff of 13 was too stressful for me at 24 and I went on to clerical jobs, one at a Museum association and another at the CBC Radio union. Then I met G-Pup and had a baby and stayed at home with  Noah for 8 years. Since then I've had very interesting jobs; writing for a travel encyclopedia and working with a friend on historical research.

But I feel like an anachronism. I'm a stay-at-home-mum with little education, but my son is 16!!  So I bit the bullet and signed up for the Bridging program. I'll be taking 6 months of Canadian History on Tuesdays and Thursdays with lots of essay writing in between.  If I pass that, I eventually I hope to take some Art History classes and maybe by the time I'm 60, I'll have a degree!

21 comments:

Polly Jones said...

That is fantastic! I know you will blow them away withe your essay writing. Best wishes, Polly

Kate Hanley said...

Cool. I love it when I hear about people going back to school. My mom went back to get her MLS and work in a library after I (as the youngest) was old enough to be home alone. Good luck!

Alistair said...

Congratulations C-Pup,

That takes guts. I bet you'll love it and take to it like a c-pup with water.

Cheers.

secret, fragile skies said...

Congratulations!! You will be a wonderful addition to your classes - you have so much to offer. I just completed my BA after an eternity (and four sons). Starting an MA program next week! Once you begin, you will soar. It's taking that first step... Best :)

Kat Mortensen said...

Good for you, Hazel! It's never too late and I'm sure you'll really enjoy it. Maturity makes the studying a joy, not a chore.

I know that building. I did two years on the downtown campus. Do they still have The Buttery at Vic, I wonder?

You will feel a real kinship with the architecture and the history of the place itself, I'm sure. I envy you.

Kat

Susan said...

Great news.

The Clever Pup said...

Thanks everyone. I did a dry run today. It takes 40 minutes door to door on the streetcar. University College looks like Hogwarts! Kat, I'll check out the Butterbeer at Vic...oops, yes the Buttery still exists.

Ingrid Mida said...

Hazel,
That is indeed a brave thing you are doing! Congrats! I bet you will love it. I have two degrees, meant to go for my Phd, but life got in the way. I've been told it is never too late....

M said...

Fantastic! Once you start taking art history classes, I especially hope that you blog about what you are learning/thinking about. :)

Diane said...

I love University College and have taken some night courses there.

Degrees in and of themselves are highly over-rated, but learning is always fun.

Enjoy!

Jacqueline said...

Time means nothing...Education for Education's sake...Good for you Pup...Woohooo!

Nancy said...

That is wonderful and very positive. I have been working on a BA in Studio Art since I was 20 and almost there. I do it one class a semester with many breaks of both economic and personal nature. I used to think I was too old but I have found that younger people love having older people in class with them. Look up Nina Ochs. She's my hero!

Bravo! Bravo! I wish I had had a class like what you are going to take.

Nancy said...

well, Her name is Nola Ochs. Sorry. I'm getting old. lol

Jules said...

Good for you, Clever Pup! I'm in a similar predicament, and would LOVE to do a degree. This post is very encouraging...pat yourself on the back and enjoy your new path...

The Clever Pup said...

Thanks everyone. I had my introductory class yesterday. I'm the second to oldest in my class. The bulk of the class seems to be about 25 years old. I've bought my books and done my reading and I feel quite confident about the whole thing.

Kat Mortensen said...

When I was in my first year of uni (back in 1980) we had a lady in our English Lit survey class who was about 80! I still remember, her name was Mrs. Peebles. How great is that?

Anonymous said...

I'm a devoted reader but never have left a comment before. I was a beautician after year of training,became a massage therapist in my 30's,another year of training,got my bachelors in art history in my 40's (took me 8 years part time)while I worked, and my masters in my 50's now I'm a librarian in my 60's. All these were interesting paths and rewarding. So my message it's never too late!Maudia Lanzotti

parisapartment said...

Great news! Enjoy every minute. You'll get that degree, it doesn't matter when!

roz said...

Hazel, how exciting for you!
I had a similar route as a stay-at-home mom for 11yrs, then college for 2 years, then part-time university (Western) for the next 20yrs (leaving - when I moved away- with a degree in nutrition).
So much to learn and explore!
Enjoy!

roz said...

-but I hope it won't take time away from your blogging! ;D

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

You certainly ARE a clever writer and clever all around, I imagine! Your writing is very, very good. You are witty and smart.

Bravo on your new journey!