July 20, 2009

There are always possibilities...

Two years ago this month, I began writing a little column for the Booster. The Newfoundland-themed column series originated as "Navigating the Issues." I renamed it to its present incarnation after a year or so. The new name has a double meaning. I deal with ink regularly in my day job in the Sheetfed press room, and "inkslinger" is a synonym for writer.

I'll start by adding some thoughts to what was explored in May's column. Soon after watching the Booster newspaper press throttle down for the final time several months back, I decided to grab my potentially dire situation by the horns and do something I meant to do since graduating from journalism college in 2004:

Hit the books. Returning to school has always intrigued me, but then opportunities came about and I was propelled up North for a few months, and later landed in Lloydminster, where my Western adventure truly began.

Instead of merely reminiscing about my Animal House days, I've decided to give myself a second chance and make it reality.

Yes folks, the Newfoundland Inkslinger is a wild and woolly college student once again. I'm starting a degree in management with Athabasca University's School of Business. As I write this, I just received confirmation of registration with my first course: Intro to Financial Accounting, and I've just gotten myself set up in the online business school. In a time of recession, it's good to know how the economic system works. To get into the nuts and bolts of the recession situation. Ironically, numbers are not my forte, so I could be off to a rough start.

Lloydminster, for as long as I decide to stick around here, will be my "campus". For those of you unaware of it, Athabasca University is a dominantly distance education institution headquartered in Athabasca with campuses in Edmonton and Calgary. I've heard positive things about the university, although doing a degree in management by my lonesome seems unusual. I'll require discipline for sure.

This will take roughly three years, doing one or two courses at a time. I'm hoping I can accomplish it without a new student loan as I just paid back my original loan last summer. By roughly 2012, completing this should open new doors. As with everything I do, I'm approaching the new venture with cautious optimism.

I'll feel things out with my first course, but due to the intense individualized study of this degree program, I may not be able to give this column the same priority. My mindset will be re-focussing as I learn new business and money concepts. The university recommends 11-15 hours per week per course, not including extra time for assignments and exams. The distance-based education supposedly is ideal for people working full-time or people with little mouths to feed who may not have time to go to school full-time.

Thanks for reading this series regularly over the past couple of years. I may drop my cent or two in the paper every so often.

See you out there.