Friday, October 26, 2007

Lifelong learning

When I was Uni in 1984 studying Chemical Engineering (?!?!), all the Engineering undergraduate students were required to take what were known as "General Studies" subjects, in a noble but I suspect generally futile attempt to broaden our minds beyond constructing (or destructing) things and drinking the cheapest beer at the Uni bar.

I mainly took subjects based on either what my current girlfriend was doing or what the chick prospects were. Bizarrely, while I was failing "Chemisty 1B", I was getting High Distinctions in the "Modern Novel", and I certainly enjoyed the change in tempo. I figure my mind was fairly broad already from my music and enjoyment of reading.

I distinctly remember the first lesson in one of the subjects. We went 'round the twelve or so students, each introducing themselves and explaining what they were doing there ("Gday. I'm Mic. This was the best of a bad bunch of General Studies subjects, and I'm trying to get onto Jacquie.")

There was this older student in the class, who looked just a little out of place with the 18- and 19-year-olds. He lived not far from the Uni, and was taking a variety of single subjects rather than trying to complete a course, "one's that interest me". He had retired a long time ago, and I have the memory that he said he was an ex-laywer or barrister, but can't be sure of this. He said he was in his late seventies, and "you're never to old to learn." The class, myself included, actually applauded him after he'd finished.

I still reckon that was pretty cool.

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