Thursday, September 29, 2011

Parlez-vous Francais?

Younger Son has started his new job in Devon. It's not an ideal job but it's work and he gets paid so it's fine. Trouble is the job is full-time and he's only just heard from the university that he needs to do 2 taught modules during the first year of his PhD. He could have coped with doing his own research in the evenings and at weekends but he won't be able to attend regular university lectures. As a result he's decided to postpone starting his PhD until next year in the hope that he can get funding that will enable him to give up his job. He's being very sensible even though he's disappointed.

I was telling someone this and their response made me think about education and its value.

Husband and I both went to university as did all three of our children. We took it for granted that they would want to. On the whole the people we mix with have done some sort of further education and the question that gets asked is not, 'is your child applying to university?' which goes without saying, but rather, 'is your child applying for Oxbridge?'

We still like to think that a degree helps you get a better job in your chosen subject although that's a bit of a fallacy these days with just getting a job being a struggle, but a university - or other - education is more than that.

Education and learning for the sake of it is equally valid I believe. Not just for those who will go on to make a tremendous difference in the world through their invention or their art, but just because. It's the reason old age pensioners learn how to send emails or get degrees in their 80s; it's why adult evening classes in French, art history and flower-arranging are so well-attended.

So when someone says to me, 'It'll do him good to join the real world,' I bite my tongue and pray that Younger Son clings onto his dream and brings it to fruition.


jams o donnell said...

Our formal education is a vital part of our education but I firmly believe that our education continues until the day we die.

Leslie: said...

Life is an education in itself and I'm sure YS will do all he can to fulfill his dreams.

Dr. Stu said...


More Shit,
Piled Higher and Deeper.

Yes, I have all of these, but I'm not sure how much they helped. Others who went into business straight from (grammar) school certainly became financially successful and had (more?) adventurous lives. But looking back these 67 years, I realise the question should be "Who had the happiest lives?".

To sum up : "Don't dream it, be it!"

nick said...

Educational requirements get scarier and scarier. It seems that a PhD is getting to be the basic qualification to land a well-paid, professional job. So I'm lucky to be in a fairly decent job with my lack of any degree at all.

As for the idea "It'll do him good to join the real world", if you don't have the right academic credentials, that could very easily mean a string of under-paid, menial jobs in worthless organisations.

Trubes said...

It is a shame that YS has had to abandon his plans at present but with the support of his loved ones I'm sure he'll get there.
I don't believe in 'Education for educations sake'...There is a place for everbody in this life and we must fill whatever niche is available at that time.
However, it does make me cross when the rich and priviledged can buy their way into education.
I strongly believe in the Grammar School System and then, for those not totally suited to Academia, Technical Colleges and Apprentice Courses freely available.
It is one of the biggest regrets in my life that I was unable to go to Grammar School, I had a 'Recall' from the 11+ only to be told there were no places available, as the Grammar schools were totally over subscribed. I was heartbroken and blamed my parents for not fighting hard enough for my well earned place.
Subsequently, I started work in a bank after passing a quite difficult entrance examination. This was in the days of 'proper' banking.
The new intake were all enrolled at the Liverpool School of Commerce, which was part of The Liverpool University....Oh boy! was I proud to be able to wear my University scarf with pride. I did go on to pass all my exams and graduated, in time The good thing about this sort of education is that Lloyds bank had to pay for our education and we were salaried whist working part-time in the bank.
in my latter years i returned to Liverpool UNiversity to study Frech and reached grade five, sadly poor health disallowed me from going any further...Who knows, maybe I will be able to carry on with my course and graduate.
You see, we all have to put things 'on hold', when the occasion arises...
Your lovely son is young yet Liz and I don't doubt, he will return to his studies when the time is right....I wish him joy in his new work and lots of luck, in the future.


Rose said...

Well said, Liz! I hope Younger Son hangs on to his dream and can continue his education soon. Youngest Daughter is still looking for a job; it's a tough time out in the "real world" these days.