Tomorrow it starts

Tomorrow my study papers will arrive. (I checked the post today already, but they weren't here yet.)

I have signed up to do a diploma in Quantity Surveying through Open Polytech. Full time it takes 2 years to complete, however between children - and life in general - it will probably take me 3 or 4 years instead.

I am... excited; and since gaining access to polytech's online resources I am also a little apprehensive.

In the forum, for example, there is a fellow student asking, "when Winstone give a 0.4m Braceline wall a BU120/m or BU150/m, do you then divide these values by the lenght of the element?" I look at this sentence and sort of go... yeah in my head.

You see, I don't really know what a Winstone is, or a braceline, or what BU values stand for, let alone dividing or multiplying anything by anything.

I don't know if you have ever come across Melina's blog called The Wilder Coast, but she is also doing her second degree now - in nursing - whilst, from what I can tell, having never worked in nursing before. Some of her study experiences are almost painful to read and I have a feeling that, to at least some extent, mine will be similar. She writes:

"The room goes quiet. The only sound is the furious scratching of pencils from all of the students except one. Me. It's been thirteen years since my last chemistry or math class, and the page full of equations in front of me may as well be in Russian. I have absolutely no clue where to start, and the teacher has left the room. 
I stare. Across the table from me, someone flips to the next page.
"Um," I say, leaning over to the little guy. "Where did you get that number?"
He opens his book to a page of conversions factors and points.
"But that's a positive number...?" I falter.
"If you put the number on the bottom, you just make it negative before you cross multiply."
"Oh." I say. Then, "Why?"
He tries explaining for a minute, but he doesn't do a great job. He looks a little confused too, although not about the material.
A few more minutes go by. The teacher is still gone. I sketch an octopus on the side of the paper. Eight legs.
Finally, I whisper to the boy, "So, where are you going to college?""


It's been over ten years since my last maths class. From what I can remember, I have never picked up a calculator since graduating from high school in 2004, and can only scarcely remember the idea behind sines and cosines (and let alone tangents and cotangents). I have never studied or worked in architecture, or engineering. I will have to get my head around building regulations and the way structures work, and whilst my fellow coursemates - in all likelihood - are people who are already somewhat involved in the building industry, all I've got - and let's be honest here - is my husband.

And a lot of gusto.

I think I may set up a separate blog page for my study-related musings, for there is probably going to be a fairly good amount of frustration and emotion-laden bickering on the way, as well as proud A-Ha! moments.

If all goes well, it will provide me with a steady professional challenge, and will allow our family to restructure - me, full-time work, him, part-time - and though I am fairly certain there will be times when I will look at my study materials and think, "Why did I want to do this?" for now I am simply grateful to be living at a time and place where studying like that is possible, and without many obstacles on the way, and I will breathe in, and breathe out, and simply get on with it.

For now though, I will first go and vacuum the place. A classmate I haven't seen in close to ten years is coming for a visit tomorrow. She'll be staying with our family for a few days this week and oh how excited I am to be seeing her face again.

Tomorrow.

6 comments:

  1. It sounds like a neat new adventure you're embarking on. Do keep all of your 'study' musings here, though? :)

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  2. This sounds really exciting and brave! For some reason I'm rather confident you'll do great though. Maybe you should stock up with some general math/physics books so you'd have easy references ready at hand? Can't wait to follow your adventures, either on this blog or somewhere else, if that's what you decide :)

    Misti

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  3. tervita krissut ja tehke koos pilti ka ja saatke mulle! nii tore!!

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  4. Liska6.10.14

    Kirjuta IT-kolledzhisse, et kas oleks kuidagi variant saada ligi nende mati tasanduskursuse materjalidele (ülesannetele) ja loenguvideotele. Need on i-me-li-sed, särtsakad, huvitavad, naljakad, ägedad loengud - kõik tuleb lupsadi meelde, ka kohutavalt kaua aega hiljem :)

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  5. Anonymous8.10.14

    Ja üks väga tore koht, kus ajaviiteks matemaatikat tegemas käia on selline koht http://khanacademy.com/. Seal on ka kõik õppevideod olemas ja puust ja punaselt ja innustavalt.

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  6. Aitäh kõigi soovituste eest!

    ReplyDelete