Armed with a stationery list and following another potential mature-aged student, I contemplated how I ended up schlepping around Officeworks in the mid-January frenzy.

As a rule I avoid Officeworks like the plague for the 3 week mayhem that accompanies kids’ return to school, but here I was, comparing mechanical pencil prices in the thick of it.

cert iii

Last year I found myself thinking  about doing some study to assist my career transition from resume writer/transcriptionist/virtual assistant into retirement, which seems a long way off at this stage. I looked around and despite not liking the name of this course (Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology – I don’t see myself as a designer), I quite liked the modules within it – just the challenge I was looking for. And I might actually learn how to do pattern making, after having tried twice in the ’80s to do it by correspondence and completely failing to finish :-/

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Eventually after hunting through the various web pages on the Launceston TAFE website, I thought, I can’t figure out exactly how much this costs, but I think it’s out of my budget. Maybe next year. So while I had abandoned thoughts that this would happen in 2019, there was an info day on at TAFE, and I thought, well I’ll just go and find out more about it, and yeah, maybe next year.

Wondering if there would be a plethora of giggly school leavers in the mix, I found there was one young girl, a middle-aged woman and myself at the info session. The lovely teacher gave us the video and spiel, and hey it sounded good. And the paperwork had the price on it, but is that really the price for the whole course? Eventually we got around to the price and what I thought must be a per term price, was the price for the entire course. OMG! I could actually afford this, and there are only 3 contact days, so I could slot paid work in around this schedule, to keep the wolves from the door.

We were then offered an “interview” on the spot to see if we were suitable to do the course. This consisted of writing a couple of paragraphs of descriptive text, ticking boxes to see if we could open an email and attach a file, and basic maths exercises – draw a square 4cm x 4cm. Then a chat with the teacher and I was in. Somehow I had accidentally on purpose signed up for a 10 month Cert III course. I wasn’t expecting that, but I was excited 🙂

A Different School Experience

First up was enrollment day. I was running a little behind when I left home, and the thought flashed across my mind that it would be bad form to be a few minutes late on my first day, and was thinking of excuses to offer on the way, just in case. Of course, I followed all the other attendees in at about 2 minutes to the hour and we were thanked for being so early. Clearly years of being ground down by recalcitrant and ungrateful students has taken its toll on these lovely teachers.

As the name suggests, it included lots of form filling, locker keys being issued, and duty of care on display for the small group of 10. Although it was only an hour, I found myself mentally clicking my fingers and fighting back using my clipped nanny voice: “Spit spot”, to get it all moving apace. But really they covered everything they needed to and ensured everyone knew what they needed to know: stationery, sewing kit, when to pay for what, when to show up, what to wear. Sigh. Parts of this course may be a slow ride, but hey, in some parts of the course I will probably need that. Bring it on.