Thursday, 11 February 2010

Starting again at 40

I have signed up to do a BSc (Hons) degree with the Open University. The first course I am doing is a basic science course in order to get some practice in as, since doing a Foundation course in Science during 1995/96 and starting then abandoning, through lack of funds, a BSc Geology degree the following academic year (96/97), I have done nothing academic whatsoever.
The reason for this decision to do something academic after so many years? Well, I was 40 back at the end of January and the realisation that, a stint in the Royal Navy until 1992 and the aforementioned foundation degree aside, I have actually done bugger all with my life and achieved nothing. So, instead of being depressed about it, I decided to do something about it and contacted the OU who sent me a prospectus. I phoned them and registered to do the basic science course as a preliminary to doing a more in-depth course, as a first step to getting a degree. I have initially linked it to a Geosciences degree (I can make it more astronomy-oriented by doing courses which have Planetary Science content) but there is scope to change it to an Astronomy and Physics-related degree if I decide my maths is good enough and if I decide that's what I want to do. I have more interest in Astronomy and Physics than I do in Geology but these are very maths-heavy so I might stick with the rocks.
Hopefully, I can get the degree done in five years, or even four if I put some effort in, so I will stand some chance of getting a decent, if short, career before I get to my sixties. However, as I am doing this for interest and a sense of achievement, a career will be a bonus although, to be honest, I really don't want to spend the whole of the next 20-25 (or even more) years temping and working in shit retail jobs!
I have begun a blog about this, rather lamely titled 'Science, me and starting again at 40'.


On a sadder note, I see on the Texas Star Party website that John Robert Prude, the patriarch of the famous Prude Ranch, the home of the TSP and my favourite place in the world, passed away on Tuesday. Quote from the TSP website:

"TSP and its attendees which to express condolences to the Prude family, for the passing of John Robert Prude on Tuesday February 9, 2010. John died at his home ("the Big House"), where he kindly gave permission for TSP 1982 to be hosted on the ranch. Over the past 27 years, we have enjoyed a lot of astronomy-inspired history because of the Prude's consideration and efforts. Vaya con dios, John! You will be missed!"

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