I start this tangent in a busy café at Melbourne Airport as I wait for my flight back to the Gold Coast. Some how, Mary and Grace were looking over me once again and missed the peak hour traffic from the eastern village of Berwick. Though a wet weather delay ended up additionally multiplying my transit time, hence, hanging out in departures with luck and this tangent now coming my way.
Yesterday was a significant milestone in my life. I attended my Masters Graduation at Deakin University in Geelong with my family and mentor in attendance to support me. Dressed in the academic regalia, as my name was called out it hit me then and there, yes, I have completed something incredible – a Masters of International and Community Development.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I didn’t realise I was studying a Masters. Though, like most things in my busy life, I took on the educational challenge simply by integrating the meaningful and required reading and writing into my life where I could. Two-plus a bit years and over 70,000 words later for the 12 subjects I undertook, the master of a challenge has seemed to have flown by into the past (now looking back). Weeknights and weekends spent on the couch and peering out the window over the ocean at times, it was all worth it. I now know more about ‘community development’, and have entered a rewarding field that aims to enhance the lifestyles of communities and their environment.
You can’t have one without the other.
As ‘Education, challenges and hope’ is the title of this tangent, I’ve learnt throughout my Masters how all three incorporate the meaning of life. Without education, you can’t overcome challenges to reach hope and where there is a lack of hope, challenges can overwhelmingly blind educational experiences. For instance, take the concurrent challenges in raising awareness about the coastal zone and the dissemination of ‘the’ awareness in the field of ‘coastal community development’. Where there are educational opportunities for ‘community’, the dissemination of learning experiences will concomitantly challenge the desired outcomes. More so, as hope integrates the essence of why individuals like myself continually uphold the responsibilities of the role in coastal community development, learning from challenges is definably and imperatively important. I have a duty to foster hope in my coastal community to build educational experiences to overcome challenges together.
Anyway… off the subject – above all, I now have the ability to listen and learn to prepare for the next challenge. My world has just opened up.