Back To School. In My Pajamas.

In an effort to get a little closer to the dream described in this post, I’m going back to school.  Well, I’m not actually going anywhere.  The course is online.  But I will be reading, studying, using highlighters, making notes, writing essays, drinking coffee and possibly pulling my hair out like any other student.  The difference is, I can do it all in my pajamas.

I will carry this through to certification, but it remains to be seen whether or not I’ll do the whole thing online.  I know I’ll have to get dressed at some point, unless I want to be one of those therapists that specialise in cuddle parties.  Which I don’t.

But for now, I’ll be doing an Introduction to Counselling course with the Open University.  In my house.

Now.  This is third time I  will be going for a degree/that damn piece of paper.

The first time, I had too much fun and the second time was no fun at all.  Well, maybe once or twice.

Safe to say, I wasn’t ready and my experiences back then will eventually make me a better counsellor when I get to be one.

Moving on.

Since I plan to succeed this time, I need a plan.

I got my course materials last week and since then I’ve been thinking about a few things.

I need a study space.  We live above a bus stop on a loud street.  Maybe because I’m older now, I can’t concentrate with noise happening.  I’ll be moving Hemingway into the office.  I may not have to leave the house, but it will be good for me to leave the livingroom.  It’s still noisy in the office, but less so than in the livingroom.

I need supplies.   Like highlighters and fresh notebooks and cheerful little post-its.  And Doritos.

I was recently on the phone with a friend from Uni number 1.  She is also going back to studying and she  asked me this, ‘Shit, do we need pencil cases?’  Maybe.  Maybe we do.

It really helps to have a super-supportive Senior Software geek fiancé.  Sarge has offered to get me noise-cancelling headphones, start me off with a new distraction-free user account on Hemingway and keep me in Zombie Coffee.  He is the best.

I need to stop being so hard on myself.  My Dad told me so last week.  So what if I’ve done this before?  The point is, I’m going to do it differently this time.  Dad is also the best.

No more feeding red goats.  This happened this morning:

Sarge:  What are you doing?

Me:  I’m reading.

Sarge:  Facebook just told me you fed a red goat.

Me:  I can multitask.

But seriously, no more robbing warehouses in Chicago, baking four pizzas in the brick oven, feeding red goats or any other Facebook game ‘action’.  Or at least less of it (see item three on this list).

There.  I’ve put it on paper/screen.  If I do/don’t do these things, I will be a success.  Now, I need to find a pencil case.

Are you/have you gone back to studying after a long break?  What helped you through?

Like this one.

35 thoughts on “Back To School. In My Pajamas.

  1. Ha ha ha, I love the pencil case comment. I can imagine when I eventually get to the uni stage (2 more years…) I’ll be the one who turns up with a pencil case. And a homework diary. And a bunch of coloured exercises books. And I will write in fountain pen or Berol handwriting pen because I DEFY YOU BIROS.
    (Though I have already given up on the whole ‘write in blue or black’ thing. I write in green. And purple. Still fountain pen, but green. Because green is cool.)
    Good luck with the course. Let us know how it goes!

  2. Nice post…Good for you for going back to school.
    I went back to college when I was 54, received a journalism degree at 58. Worked in newspapers for four years…a forty-year career in four years. HA. When I went back, the key was to just keep up…do the homework.
    I created a color-coded Excel spreadsheet outlining my four-year program. At the end of each quarter I entered the grades and kept track of my grade-point average. I was a little anal.
    Keep us posted..

  3. I went back to school “later” as well. A counseling degree, no less! But at home I guess you have to add a bit of self-discipline to the mix. I am so easily distracted, I don’t know if I’d be a good at-home learner. But pajamas and unlimited coffee? Sounds perfect to me!

  4. I’ve done uni twice now, once ‘in person’ and recently finished my distance-learning attempt. Making it as much fun as possible – so yeah, stationery supplies and colour-coded spreadsheets! – will help. If you need a coffee and a chat at any point, gimme a shout! 🙂

  5. Good luck. My roommate is trying to get me to take classes for which work will pay. But I have limited options that way. Business, Accounting, Paralegal, and probably computer tech type stuff. Nothing I really want to do. If I go that route, I will probably be business management. But I’m not thrilled w/ the idea and it’s hard to sacrifice a part of life to study and do homework and attend classes when it is something in which you really have little interest.

  6. Good on you, Lorna, for going back to school as a mature student. I did that from 1990-92 to get training as a professional writer. It was the best thing I ever did, as I’ve been making my living as a freelance writer since 1993 and LOVE it!

    I think you’re right, though. As we get older, it does seem more difficult to concentrate. I, too, need quiet when I’m working as background noise really distracts my thought flow. Good luck with it!

  7. “The first time, I had too much fun and the second time was no fun at all.” We are kindred spirits indeed.

    I teach creative writing through an online/distance learning school. I often log on while wearing my slippers and with crumbs on my chin. Luckily the chat rooms are not visual.

    Have you ever taken online courses? I found there were some adjustments but the benefits (see aforementioned slippers) are well worth it.

    Good luck!

  8. I was so disappointed to discover that it was not a real, live red goat which you fed. An old school friend who lives in the UK breeds goats for a living (yeah, who knew?), if you are really interested. 🙂
    A cushion is what helped me.when I went to night school 3 years ago. My 45-year-old backside (which has since aged) could not withstand the torture of those hard wooden chairs.
    As a translator, I never really stopped studying. The trick, though is to make absolutely sure that you write up/type up your lecture notes within those golden 24 hours after the lecture. You retain more in your memory that way – and your memory improves with all the note-taking. And be a complete pain in the rear and hand in all your assignments way ahead of the due date. It makes washing up the dishes less stressful. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the tips. I’ll actually use them this time.

      I actually like washing dishes. The next place we live, I want to be able to park under the sink!

      1. I do not like washing dishes, but do them anyway, because I like clear sink tops and counter tops. Our kitchen/lounge is open plan. João grunts and winces each time I make a slightly louder noise – if, for example I clatter the knives and forks against the sink. That’s when I ask, rather unfairly, whether she would like to do the dishes. It is unfair, because, as you say, there is no parking space. In an ideal home, one would have a two-tier arrangement, and two sets of taps – one for the wheelchair user(s) and one for everyone else. Ditto basins in the bathroom, shower taps. In our old home, you could see that new visitors thought our lounge was sparsely furnished. The room soon filled up with two or more wheelchairs… Space! Time and space … and loads of money!

  9. Stopping in from Saturday Sharefest and I am so glad that I have! I loved this post!! I’m currently in school for counseling and some days I wish I would have taken a break at some point during my education. I went from high school to college to grad school and I think I’m slowly burning out. I’m glad I’m almost done with it all. I really admire you for going back to school, something I know I could probably never do, hence why I didn’t/couldn’t stop and take a break at any point.

    You’ll do fine with your schooling, just keep with it! Good luck!!

    Oh, and P.S. I actually did go to at least a few of my classes in pjs at one point. 😉

  10. I had contemplated at distance learning in my younger days but I never had the chance to do that.Now, with the computer and internet, distance learning, I guess, must be quite fun and challenging as well. I wish you all the best for you in your studies. Good choice, great opportunity.

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