I had been on an approved leave of absence from the MIT course, but then received a notice of exclusion just before Christmas for not meeting the progress requirements! I initially ignored the notice as they'd sent me the same last year by mistake. However, when I tried to complete enrolling in subjects for this year I found out that it wasn't a mistake. By then I had missed the deadline for appealing against the exclusion (I thought being on approved leave was a pretty good reason for not progressing), and would first have had to apply for special permission to make a "late appeal". In the end I decided that it wasn't worth the effort to even seek leave to appeal against exclusion, as I didn't fancy my chances of passing all the subjects I'd have to have completed this year to meet progress conditions.
I also didn't bother completing the assessment items for the Diploma of Financial Planning I'd enrolled in the previous year. I might still complete the items if I get bored during the Christmas holidays, but the career prospects in financial planning have dimmed a lot with the GFC and with the Australian regulator looking closely at commission-based remuneration in the planning industry. I really don't think enough people value financial planning enough to pay significant up-front fee-for-service.
Anyhow, I recently found out about an Internet-based MoA (Master of Astronomy) course run by James Cook University in Townsville. I've applied for admission, as I've always been keen on Astronomy as a hobby (I bought a 10" Meade SC telescope about 20 years ago) and have a suitable undergraduate degree and a Grad Dip in Industrial Math and Computing. I won't find out if I've been offered a place until the New Year, but I've already ordered a copy of the text for the first two subjects from Amazon.com (it cost around A$120 delivered from Amazon, compared to about A$150 for the same book from a local Sydney university book store!).
The MoA course *should* take three years to complete part-time, and cost about A$15,000. If all goes well I'd then like to progress to the DoA or PhD course (although I'll be in my mid-50s by the time I finish a doctorate). This study will be purely for fun, as I intend to stay in my current non-academic job until I retire, athough it would be cool to publish a few research papers "on the side". Sometimes I miss my old job as a research scientist.
Does anyone else think I must be mad to enrol in another part-time uni course? DW thinks I should just sit back and relax and not bother with any more 'study'. Perhaps this is my version of a "mid-life crisis" ;)
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