Papers strewn on a cluttered table. Laptop nearly running out of charge. Pocket Wi-Fi’s battery shows red indicating it needs to be charged. A nocturnal being sits in the wee hours staring at a Stanford University Webprotege page with a half typed class hierarchy of Blue Mountains Wild Flowers Ontology and a steaming mug of tea in hand wishing in vain that hackers and cyber criminals or Malware would stop making unnecessary insertions and deletions without her consent.
Wondering what I am going on about? Back to University. This part of my life is called Pursuit of alternate career. Once again, I am plagued by assessments, assignments and activities. It’s not a cake walk studying an online course at Curtin University Bentley Campus, Perth keeping a full-time job. Ever tried juggling both? As it is a conscious and informed decision, unlike previous instances, I am not complaining. The experience has rekindled my passion for learning; there is a definite purpose and a relevance in pursuing education when middle-aged. The novelty of the experiences such as using online learning platform called Blackboard, accessing iLectures, working with new and unheard software, posting on discussion boards, downloading and uploading documents using unfamiliar applications etc. are sometimes exciting and sometimes overwhelming.
Achieving feats that I never thought possible before, I find myself in Deanna’s situation (Melissa McCarthy in LIFE OF THE PARTY) pursuing university education, minus the spicy bits in the film, with a 17 year old son at home who is also pursuing further education after high school.
On stressful days, determined to meet the deadlines, I continue to hammer on the laptop’s keyboard with a bottle of wine (stress reliever) in hand fighting all sorts of obstacles and fatigue simultaneously. There are times when I must suppress my tendency to resort to Primal Scream Therapies for fear of waking the neighbourhood in the witching hours. Not that they are unaccustomed to my screams and shrieks when cruising through frustrations and anger. As I believe in a fight to the finish, I do not rest until I finish my goals. I have chucked a few all-nighters adamantly to stay on top of things. Perseverance is the key to success.