Friday, 29 May 2015

Adventures in Independent Scholarship

'I'm basically going to be in debt for the rest of my life.' I hear this frequently from people who decide to pursue graduate studies, even undergraduate programs. Education has become a commodity and degrees are currency. It seems that true learning is taking a back seat to promises of well-paid jobs and the opportunity to put an alumni bumper sticker on your car.
One of my recent pastimes at work has been to look up MFA and MA programs in art and art history. Every time I do so I hope that I will find one that won't put me in the poorhouse and every time I fail. For a while it seemed that I had missed the boat and had my chance at education. A post grad program in education that it took me years to pay off and which, if I am honest, was a mistake. My desire to study art (theory and practical) was a pipe dream.

Until I realized I could go it alone and develop my own track of study. I don't need the framed degree I just want to enter a world I have envied for a long time. There's no secret, just the will to embark. That is what I have chosen to do. With so many free resources available, the opportunities for learning are infinite whilst spending little to no money. And so I choose independent scholarship, learning for the love of it.

I have decided that to study successfully there some things required:
1. Goals
2. Access to good quality resources on the subject matter of art
4. Opportunities to practice what I am learning
3. Opportunities for discussion and feedback from mentors and peers

This blog is part of the learning process, where I can write and reflect and also, hopefully provide insight and inspiration to others who have the desire to study something and yet feel formal education is not for them.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Journey Into Parenthood

In February I gave birth to my daughter, so the last few months have been spent, everyday, developing some way of living together as a new family. At the beginning she was a stranger - though I couldn't see it at the time.

In retrospect I realize that much of the anxiety of early parenthood results from pulling apart (gently) the fabric of life to let a new human being snuggle in.'Be prepared to fall in love' was accurate advice, but it was said blissfully, without any acknowledgement that being in love can be about anxiety as much as euphoria. The two emotions are high and jagged bedfellows.

She is three months old now and seems to change everyday. Her personality is taking shape.  My daughter was born as small piece of unformed marble: baby features rounded and vaguely defined. Each day she chips away at her own self, looking more of a unique person and displaying to us the things that make her, her. Preferences and sounds that express those preferences - recognition, delight, despair...

We are learning how to live with her, forging through an unknown landscape that becomes a little more familiar each day.