Sunday, 23 October 2011

52 Weeks: Worst School Subject

I have a confession. I was a nerd and loved school and each subject.  

For me the worst subject due to the stress it caused  had to be doing Maths 1 and Maths 2 (the advanced Maths subjects) by correspondence!

I did from year 9 to year 12 by correspondence back in the day when it meant actually putting pen to paper. I had a dream of becoming a public health pathologist which meant studying the straight science stream: maths 1 and 2, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and History for fun.

My school was 850 miles (1370 kilometres) from where I was living. I received my lecture materials and assignments by mail and I had my textbook for supplementary learning. 

Each week I would work on a chapter, do the assignment and then post it to the school. In those days (and maybe even today?) the joke was if you wanted to lose a body send it Australia Post. This meant that from the time I posted the assignment to when I received the corrected assignment back was a minimum of three weeks. 

The teachers at the Distance Education School were great but Maths is one of those subjects where having someone present to go through the workings makes all the difference. Waiting three weeks for an explanation on what I was doing wrong meant I ended up so lost that it became non-recoverable and I failed those exams.

English and History was a breeze and interestingly doing Physics and Chemistry wasn't so bad by correspondence. Biology was fun although my Mother hasn't really forgiven me for the video of the frog dissection or for dissecting an ox heart on the kitchen bench.

The advent of the Internet has made correspondence courses so much better. You still need the  discipline to study at regular intervals but the access to teachers and resources is wonderful.

I recently did an online course with an English university where I could see and hear the lecturer explaining the process and giving us direct feedback on our work. We had people from fifteen countries doing the course.

Back to High School and I ended up repeating Maths 1 and Maths 2 at night school. I did well enough  to get me into a Medical Laboratory Scientist course at University.

While I didn't become a Public Health pathologist I did become a Public Health Microbiologist and this has been my career for 25 years.
  
Genealogy has been my obsession since 1986 which is also now 25 years!