Out on a Limb: What I learned from living through a pandemic

Awesome, I thought, when the pandemic hit, I’ll learn some new skills.

The pandemic continues to roll on and all those courses I signed up for at the beginning remain incomplete.

When the work at home order hit (and was rescinded) and the social distancing recommendation became our new normal, all these courses became available, some of them free. Awesome, I thought, I’ll learn some new skills.

Well, I started them. I haven’t finished any but when you don’t have to earn a certificate or complete course material in order to earn a grade (or justify your registration fee), there’s no real motivation to actually complete the course.

You see, learning is a form of entertainment or recreation, in and of itself. I learned that long ago, of course, much of my undergraduate degree was shaped by what interested me and less by what was required (although, of course, that ultimately wins out in the end).

RELATED: Learning outside the classroom suits VIU’s carpentry program just fine

RELATED: What people are reading, watching and learning from local libraries during COVID-19

So, consequently, I took a Russian course to fill out the area of study that languages satisfied. Loved it. Barely know how to speak it but I enjoyed it.

This approach to learning almost derailed my Communications and Political Science degree when I took an archaeology class. Man was I hooked. If I wasn’t already in third year when I began taking some archaeology, I would have changed my major in a second. Then maybe I would have been an over-educated underpaid archaeologist now instead of an underpaid, over-educated journalist.

But such is life and I just wanted to get my degree completed.

As it was, I’ve always been willing to pick up education whenever I could.

The pandemic spurred that on even more.

I’ve signed up for a Masterclass all-access and so that allows me to sample any of their courses. So I jump around from writing (of course) to Mexican cooking and even a magic course (from the legendary Penn and Teller, no less). It’s great fun, I don’t care if I finish because I’m enjoying learning for the pure joy of learning.

As my career is closer to the end that it is to the beginning (or even the middle) I like to pick up knowledge for knowledge’s sake (plus I can dabble in an admiration for the art of teaching – a good teacher is as much a maestro as anybody).

How long the pandemic will continue is anybody’s guess at this point but my education will continue indefinitely.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


Just Posted

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen. The family says they are relieved the trial process has come to close Monday morning with Tenessa Nikirk found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sentencing begins for distracted driver in collision that left 11-year-old Island girl in coma

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit at a Saanich crosswalk in 2017

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has expressed concerns about the excessive freighters parked in the Salish Sea for quite some time. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

Premier-elect John Horgan, during a visit in Sidney, broadly promised improvements to transit among other issues in the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, even after voters re-elected BC Green Adam Olsen as Member of the Legislative Assembly. (Black Press Media file photo)
Premier-elect John Horgan promises to work with all MLAs and for all ridings

‘There are a whole bunch of views in the community and they need to be heard and I intend to listen.’

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Can you spot all 12 Days of Christmas displays at the Butchart Gardens? Jen Blyth photo.
The magic of Christmas returns to the Butchart Gardens

Some events cancelled due to COVID-10 but 12 Days of Christmas will brighten the season

B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Victoria police are looking for high-risk offender Douglas McPherson. (Courtesy of VicPD)
High-risk parolee with history of bank robbery believed to be in Victoria

Police ask for public’s help locating 64-year-old parolee

A modular unit is lifted into place on the supportive housing complex at 580 Dogwood Street on Oct. 22. Photo by Cleo Corbett/City of Campbell River
Campbell River’s newest supportive housing facility rises on Dogwood Street

Pre-fab modular construction means the building can go on the foundation in under five days

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who rammed a police car to escape an arrest attempt. (File photo)
Drug trafficking suspect rams police vehicle in Nanaimo and escapes arrest

Suspect still at large after fleeing from police in Harewood on Friday afternoon

Const. Graham Walker of the Saanich Traffic Safety Unit recreates an incident involving a driver who police say attempted to film the scene of a crash while driving up Highway 17. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police track down driver caught filming accident scene on Pat Bay Highway

Driver issued $368 ticket, points on their licence

Most Read