In praise of lifelong learning
About 10 years ago, I went back to school – a year-long course of night classes in photography at City of London College in Islington.
I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember but started thinking of it more seriously around the time I started at Radio 1. Finding myself at amazing events and at the gigs of some of my favourite bands, I got into the thick of it, photographing everything.
My patchy hobby quickly became my passion, then something I wanted to focus on and take further.
Going back to school was an eye-opening and enriching experience. I relished being back in a classroom and finally paid attention to a teacher.
As a youngster, there were a few subjects I enjoyed, augmented by the one inspiring and understanding teacher who stood out (hope life is treating you well, Mrs Duffy).
Even when I was about to leave school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I got accepted to PE college to be a PE teacher, but when the acceptance letter arrived, I realised I definitely didn’t want to do that.
BRAIN AND SOUL FOOD
I ended up doing communication studies at Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh, which covered a lot of the areas I was genuinely interested in: Film studies, journalism, TV and radio production, and digital production, where I built a website interface for an Oasis album. It wasn’t just working in a chosen field that worked, but having options within it. Not being tied down to one path so early on was definitely the main attraction for me.
Even now I still don’t really know what I want to do. I might join another course, this time on scriptwriting or film studies. Later learning to acquire a new skill is totally different from being forced to attend school as a teenager. Making the decision yourself to go back and explore a new passion is really quite wonderful.
Edith’s free weekly podcast ‘Soundtracking’ can be downloaded from Edith Bowman