Lifelong learning


Yeah, I would have to stop for each note, plant my face in the page to see it, play the note, and then scan to figure out where the next was. To compound the frustration, the better you get, the smaller they print the music.
Maybe some sort of projector would work? I figure I’ll get special glasses or use one of my magnifier head sets that I used for jewelry making. Might look stupid, but might let me read the music.

The things we do!


This is exactly it.

I really like where I am in my career right now, but I suspect in ten years I will want to go further.

So in that respect, a Ph.D. would be necessary.

But on the other hand, I’m in the type of position where I could make a career out of it, if I wanted to.

I did my M.A. part-time while working, and I agree, it wasn’t great. I would not do that again. If I do a Ph.D., I’m taking at least a year or two off, and maybe working part-time after that while I do my dissertation.


If you have decent vision, I bet some sort of bioptic would work, especially an autofocus one. I tried one of those once (a 6x one) but that was nowhere near enough magnification for me. I’d say the JORDY was probably my favourite setup as I could zoom in to 30x (not withstanding the issue about being so zoomed in I could only see three notes at a time and couldn’t tell where they were sitting), but the version of that device I have doesn’t have good abilities at mid-distances. Still, it would probably be good enough to get through the beginner materials and then I could switch over to braille once I got good enough to play the more advanced stuff.


Will work help pay for continuing education? If so, consider taking the course work one class at a time, letting them pay for it. Then take the time off to do your research and write your dissertation. That way you could keep momentum going, but not feel rushed. Sort of a compromise. Keep going, just not at full speed.


Unfortunately, no. I work for the public sector, so there is almost no funding for continuing education type endeavours. (Having said that, I did get funding for part of my MA, because there was and still is a shortage of specialists in my area of expertise.)


I have taken some online courses on edX.org that I have enjoyed. The courses that I chose were mostly health related, but they have a good selection and it doesn’t cost anything.


If you ever want to chat about getting a PhD, happy to discuss my experiences. I have no regrets re: getting mine (started when I was 28), but it’s a really long road (for me, 6 years total, full-time, which is typical in my field, though the range for most is probably 5-8). I think it’s only worth it financially if your program is fully funded with a decent stipend (which at least in the US, many are, via teaching/research assistantships and other such things—I know funding in Canada works differently though, via federal fellowships etc), but even then, depends on your goals etc. Also, in my program and many others, you aren’t really allowed to do them part-time, though some people illicitly moonlight on the side. These days I do somewhat discourage people from getting a PhD where the only real use for it is academia, since that’s such a mess of a job market, but for ones with more practical applications, it can be different.

As someone working in academic medicine, I’m constantly learning in my field, which is part of what I love about my job. I miss having more hobbies and creative outlets and learning in those ways though, which dropped off the wayside for me largely starting with grad school. I’ve been saying for years now I’m going to prioritize them again, but shrug. It’s challenging.


The area I’m looking at is educational technology, or something related to education. And, while I’m interested in teaching at a university, that’s not really my end goal… I’m more interested in doing something that directly impacts people or programs, such as directing some sort of centre or research project. I think a big part of my hesitation is that up until now, I’ve had a vision of where I wanted my future to go and have had the concrete steps I needed to complete to get there. And, well, I’m at the point where my vision ended (literally in the exact position I decided I would like ten years ago). And I’m quite happy here for the time being and am grateful to have a job I love and get excited about and has such variety. So I’m not quite sure where to go from here or what would keep me fulfilled long-term, and even though I have ideas, I don’t have anything that pulls at me as strongly as my previous goals did.


Yay! Yay! Yay! That is excellent to read!!!

And I agree. I think 2018 has been a rough year for many I know IRL and here on FUD. I can’t identify why. But I’m ready to wave goodbye on this year and hello to the next one.

Me too! Thanks for sharing! Learning can come in many forms. :slight_smile:

Regarding Piano: Jen, a friend of mine was over last week. He is amazing at the piano without music. He laughed at my beginning theory book and encouraged me to sit down and play a piano song I liked on speakers and try to find the keys myself by sound. Now, I haven’t tried it and I don’t know how that would work for anyone else, but it might be fun! (2017 was my year for learning piano and it didn’t come together. 2018 fell apart. 2019? I am inspired by you guys!)


I am surprised not to see everyone on this thread, this is so interesting!

I just starting learning to play the cajon:

I have always wanted to learn to play the didgeridoo, and some day I will :slight_smile: Other crafts on my list:

  • ancient greek black-on-red and red-on-black ceramic

  • blacksmithing on craft forges

  • antique stainglass repair

  • traditional pigment mixing (with natural pigments)

  • woodworking with manual tools (as opposed to power tools)

The list is really a lot longer… In fact, I don’t think I have ever met a craft I did not want to learn :slight_smile:


You guys have to go to Guedelon Castle! It’s amazing. They’re building it in modern times using historical methods. You’d love it!!


@Jen Great thread! Love reading what others list as things they want to learn and do. I personally believe lifelong learning will always be a part of my life.

My action plan (originally wrote “my wish list” but changed it to a more committed goal):

  1. become a guide dog trainer (this has always been my game plan for when I retire)
  2. build an at home pottery studio with a wheel/ kiln and fun, eclectic glazes and use it ALL as much as possible
  3. write and publish a book (poetry or fiction)
  4. add to the list with gusto
  5. attend a live taping of PBS show “Bluegrass Underground”

ETA: I really want to learn to play a musical instrument but my family and friends would happily pay me large sums of cash to abandon this idea. I’ll keep on going to see live music whenever and wherever possible. (See #5 just added to list above).


Cool! I was a guide dog user for several years in my early 20s. And guide dogs are very close to the field I work in. :slight_smile: What are the requirements to become a guide dog trainer? It seems like an extremely active job for a retirement plan!!!


That’s cool! Can I ask what changed? (Maybe I shouldn’t ask. Totally none of my business actually.)

And I think @Millz idea of being a trainer is exciting too! What a fun thing to do! I visited the facility near Santa Rosa, CA (I think) as a kid and it was amazing!


OMG! That castle is so fantastic! Wish I had plans to visit France and spoke The language. The only odd part was seeing the measuring stick. They would have used a story stick, making the markings as they went. Thanks so much.


There’s a nifty five-part BBC series about Guédelon, called “Secrets of the Castle,” which you can get on YouTube.


I forgot stained glass making😁

Not quite as good as the French castle, this is my favorite episode of Restoration Man. In my fantasy life, I would love to restore an old home like they did.


No worries. :slight_smile: A combination of things. I’m a really good cane user (the person who came out to interview me actually asked if I was sure I wanted a dog—and that’s keeping in mind that people have to be skilled cane users to be accepted into training). I’m no longer on an insulin regimen that causes blurry vision 24/7 from rollercoaster blood sugars (that was NPH, and I didn’t discover rollercoaster blood sugars cause blurriness until I changed to Lantus, 15 years after I was diagnosed). And my dog, though an amazing guide and dog in all other respects, was super, super distracted by other dogs (they actually offered me a dog switch in class, which I should have taken but declined). All of those things combined so that I ended up retiring my dog early, which is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make (but was the right decision for me in the end).


Did it happen to be in San Rafael?

If so, that’s the school and campus I went to. :slight_smile:


What?!? Amazing! I love FUD! (By that I meant “Thanks, @Beacher!)

And @Kailee56, I’m glad it was exciting to you!!

And @Jen, thank you for the insightful comments about your companion. I’m sorry that it made for a difficult decision, but it sounds like many good things helped make it (excellent cane skills, better vision). I have met former guide dogs who have retired and they seem to have good lives. I do love dogs. :grin: Half the time I’m the crazy lady asking if I can pet your dog, and then ignoring you for a while if the answer was yes.

You’re right! San Rafael! That was it! I looked it up. It felt like paradise to me as a kid. The lawn was lovely and the dogs looked so happy. Hehe. Things we remember. That’s so cool you’ve been there!!! I always wonder as I travel how many of the people I am passing at that moment in time, have I passed before. Like, is that woman at the airport someone who I’ve walked past before? The world feels small sometimes. Maybe we passed each other at the guide dog school! Although probably not because it was about 30 years ago for me.