FURTHER EDUCATION 02
David didn't mess about in the engine house that day. He asked me about my previous education and life experience and what I wanted to do in the future. I told him that I had this dream about doing a degree in history. He then said that I was an ideal candidate for a new initiative he was starting called 'Open College'. I asked him what it was and he told me the story.
David's office was cleaned by a lady called Joyce Tierney and one of David's characteristics was that he treated staff as colleagues. In the course of talking to Joyce over a long period he learned two things about her, that she was bright and intelligent and that she wrote poetry. He tried to persuade her to do 'A' Levels to further her learning but Joyce told him that was no good for someone who was a mother and had an extensive life experience as it was tailored for the young. This got David to thinking and over the next few weeks he consulted with his staff and also with Sir Charles Carter at Lancaster University. Sir Charles was all for the new initiative and promised David that any students he sent for interview at Lancaster after getting the necessary qualifications in Open College would get a fair wind and if they did well, an offer of a place on a degree course. David told me that what was needed to get the course off the ground was mature students who had no 'A' Levels to enter and be successful and he thought I could do it. This all made sense to me and I agreed.
So that's how I found myself spending two evenings a week at what I called Night School and Boy, did it open my eyes! I found myself sitting at a desk just like my schooldays but the comparison ended there. We were treated like adults and the first thing they did, to get us into the habit of learning again was do a module called Study Techniques which did just what it said on the tin, it showed us the mechanics of learning. I remember that the first thing we did was learn to forensically analyse text and speech and all I can say about that is that, when asked later, I said that it meant you would never listen to a politician again without laughing!
I shan't detail all my two years or the wonderful people I worked with (Except for Florence who was 81 and told me if she could do it so could I!) but the consequence was that I got the qualification, did the interview at Lancaster and found myself doing an honours degree course in history. I finished up with a 2.1 degree. So you see, whilst I applaud the new initiative at the college I'd like it to be known that thanks to my friend David Moore and his staff I got my life's ambition.
Stanley doing his final Open College examination.