Random Ramblings from the Watsons

Thursday, 9 February 2012


You know the term "you are only as old as you feel?"

Well, I feel a great deal older than I did before this past week kicked off.

Let me set the scene for you.  For the last 8 years, I have been a mum.  I have often used the term "only a mum"...because somewhere over those years of bearing four children, and doing everything that went with raising them (I can't say raising the fella, can I?  That would be rude...but you get the drift....) I quite forgot how to be anything else.

This year, I decided that it was time to change all that.  I saw my third child off to school last week, and Georgia is well looked after in daycare and kinder, so I took a big deep breath, and traipsed off to the local TAFE, to enrol in a Certificate 3 in Community Services.

I would like to think of myself as a bit of a youngster.  I certainly don't feel any different than I did when I last studied, and I won't say how long ago that was, but just quietly, it is soon to number in the decades...(and that is more than one decade...., is there anyway to make the type smaller for that bit...holy shit...)

Or do I?

When I went to the information session, and completed my enrolment, there were no students on campus.  There were lots of "mature" people like me at the information sessions..and that was very good.  The faculty staff were "mature", too - tick!  I had convinced myself that the years would slip away and my world would be awash with new social opportunities with adults.

Well, that did happen...and it didn't.

Life experience lends itself well to the field of community work.  I know I have something to offer, I just need to learn, and grow, and get out there amongst it.  I have been leaning towards wanting to be a Youth Worker for some years now, but what I didn't realise is that I had totally forgotten what it is like to be young.

This week, I have started getting to know the other members of my class.  There are at least half around my age and older, but there are also many that are young enough to be my own children.

Community Services is a very broad area, which is why a lot of people are doing this course, - as a foundation to build upon.  A lot of them want to be Youth Workers.  Over the last few days, I have learned that the youths of today have a lot to offer the young.

I have gravitated towards the older members of the class..especially the mums...what is with that?  You don't have to answer that, it's only natural, I'm sure.  However today, we were put into random groups to "brainstorm", and I ended up with many of the youngest members of the class in with me.

We started discussing the topic at hand, and I was briefly left wondering how they would fare in this course (which I am already finding quite challenging), and life in general.  One girl said, "like, you know what I mean?" about 30 times in the space of 2 minutes, and I'm afraid a lot of the time I didn't know what she meant.

As we got further in though, and I started to decipher the new language they were speaking, I learned a great deal.  Early days in the info sessions, the co-ordinator was at pains to weed out everyone who might just be there to satisfy Centrelink training requirements, or anyone who thought this course was a "soft option", and just about helping people.

In my group there were kids that had been in care, removed from their own homes, with stories to tell too terrible to mention.  Kids that had slept in parks and cars, and streets, and eaten out of garbage cans.   And they weren't there with some airy fairy notion of being able to help their fellow young people, but there because they were sure they could.  And they had to.

I am sure that somewhere along the line I will have something to teach them about life, but for now I am more open to what they have to teach ME.

But they're still, like....whippersnappers....know what I mean?


  1. Congratulations on starting your course-its a huge step to go from 'just' a mum (nothing 'just' about that btw) to becoming a student as well. Going back to study as a mature age student has been one of the best things I've ever done. It's so rewarding! I have to say I completely hear you on the young students. Many are lovely, but some seem to come from a different planet! I definitely gravitate to the other oldies too ;)

    Lovely blog-looks great. Will look forward to reading more in the future :)

  2. Amazing Julia! Think of all you'll be able to teach each other by the end of the course.

    Can I say, I'm SO glad that you were able to go ahead. After the child care worries the other day I was so sad at the thought that you might have to wait longer.

    (Oh please tell me that was you I'm thinking of. And yes, there IS a way to make font smaller in sections. And you're going to give yourself away if you keep saying "Whippersnappers..:D ).

  3. Hooray on starting a blog, I love your writings! Great job on doing something for you too! Enjoy x

  4. Good on you for getting out there. That is the direction I anticipate my career taking eventually too :-)