Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Learn how to Skype or write a sitcom? Why not!

Learning, we are told, should be a lifetime experience. It should not end when we finally kick off the chalk dust from school or throw the graduation cap into the air. We should, instead, aim to be learning new skills for the rest of our lives.

Crucially, those skills do not always have to be career-enhancing, they can also be life-enhancing and that is why we need educational establishments that have got the nerve and imagination to give us opportunities to learn those things we may not even imagine can be taught.

And that is why I would recommend you all to take up a bit of light reading this weekend and get a copy of the Love 2 Learn prospectus which has just been released by the City of Bath College.

In this fascinating book you can find full details of the very serious courses that can help to grow (or change) your career including accounting, building, electrical engineering, plumbing, teaching et al. But, beyond that, there are hundreds of other courses which will fire your imagination and give you an opportunity to indulge an interest or a passion alongside like-minded individuals.

For, in a commendably bold move, our innovative college has invited many local enthusiasts to teach courses in subjects that go beyond the traditional academic scope. Fancy learning how to get started on Facebook? There’s a course for that. Want to learn about helping your baby to sleep or understand- ing the terrible two’s? Yes there are courses for that. Or how about learning what it’s like to be a member of an air cabin crew, how to drum, how to Skype, how to lip-read, how to cook the perfect mousse, how to taste whiskey (and no that’s not as obvious as it seems!) or even (and I have to confess this really appeals to me) how to write a TV sitcom.

Yes, courses in all of these and more are now available at the college and before people start screaming (and sadly one or two already did on our website when we told them about this story), this isn’t costing us the taxpayers a penny. For all the leisure courses you have to pay to be on them – and they will only happen if enough people subscribe. Simple.

Personally, I think this whole concept is laudable because we all want to learn new things and meet like-minded souls and colleges should be there to provide a service to the whole community. And this is certainly what Bath is attempting to do via this exciting and dazzlingly varied new programme.

Not convinced? OK, I urge you all to pick up a copy of the book and I would almost defy you not to find something that would interest you. There are courses that last just for a few hours right through to vocational ones that last several years but there really does seem to be something for everyone – including, and perhaps most importantly of all, those people who may well have thought that school and/or college had nothing more to offer them and couldn’t really teach them anything new.

Right, I’m off to fill in my application form. I look forward to joining my fellow would-be sitcom writers on March 10, 2012.

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