As I type I have 166 days to go (less than 100 attending days) before I reach 30 years’ service and can draw my occupational pension. This inevitably leads to two very common questions: Will I go? (You bet your Sweet Bippy I will – take the money & run is the mantra of anything to do with pensions in the 21st century) and What will I do?
Depending on who asks, and what mood I’m in, there are two answers to the second question – not necessarily mutually exclusive, and even somewhat complimentary. Answer ‘A’ is “Sod off around the world and piss my commutation up a wall“. Answer ‘B’ is “Learn something new“.
Plans (well, ideas) are afoot for Version ‘A’ and I eagerly anticipate one or more of the walls to be watered being in Capital Territories or South Australia, depending on where Carl is in residence at the time.
Plan B has its genesis in a short period a year or so back when Kay was off sick and briefly on income support as her shit bag employers wouldn’t pay her. The upside to this worrying period was that she qualified for a very generous subsidy on Open University fees – an opportunity she grasped and enrolled as a student, albeit her welcome return to work meant she only completed one module. I thought then, as I leafed through the OU Prospectus, I Could Do That. Then I looked at the cost!
Now, with time soon to be on my hands, and a bit of cash to be invested in my future, I Can Do That.
Subject to change; I have no aspiration to work toward a particular qualification. I simply relish the idea of learning again, and learning for its own sake, really. Ultimately, if things work out, maybe I’ll accrue enough credits for it to amount to something, but for now I’m content to pick & chose some courses based entirely on the premise that they interest me.
So, this is the outline plan: Start with an ‘Openings’ course T189 Digital photography: creating and sharing better images, a ten week course starting in October. This happens to tie-in well with something that is happening at work, as well as following one of my longish-standing hobbies. Then starting in March (i.e. just after I “retire”), there is a 20 week course, Y182: Starting with maths. You could be forgiven for thinking that this is both masochistic and (given what I currently do) maybe unnecessary. Read the introduction though, and I think you’ll agree it doesn’t have to be either. More to the point, it is one of two “strongly advised” preliminary courses for the biggie. TU100: My digital life is almost written for me. It ticks so many boxes of the things which interest me and intrigue me. It’s a full year, 60 credit Level One course (which, truth be told, probably epitomises what the Old School would regard as part of a modern bullshit degree), but that’s what I plan to spend 2013/2014 doing.
As the title of this post suggests, I have started out on this road and enrolled for T189. I have my OU Student Number and all I need to know now is where I apply for my student discount. On a semi-serious note, the rather bloated fee for this course includes a freebie copy of Adobe Lightroom, which retails at over £100!
I’m far from sure where this will take me, nor what will be next. It’s a plan for the future, albeit very much a work-in-progress, and only the relatively near future at that. It’s a start though.