By Therese Eley, Marketing Services
What is it that prompts someone to take a Continuing Studies course? Well it’s different for everyone of course, but for retired physician Dr. Heidi Martins it was to expand her perspective on the world.
"When you’re a physician, one seems to spend a lot of time reading continuing education about that and I just felt like I hadn’t really had a broad education. I didn’t have an undergraduate degree in anything else, just sciences, so I just wanted to broaden my horizon," she explains.
"I enjoy exposing myself to areas that I know nothing about, but that I find interesting, such as Russian History or Archaeology of the Bible or Turkish Architecture," she says.
"I had a colleague who decided to pursue a degree in humanities, just for interest sake, but I just wanted to be travelling and doing things and I didn’t want to be tied down to any semesters or structure that would interfere with that. The flexibility of the Continuing Studies courses appealed to me for that reason."
She was surprised to find that a lot of the people she encountered in the classes she took were just like her, coming from different backgrounds, of course, but there because they were genuinely interested in the topic and wanting to learn more.
"It just keeps me connected. Even in my field (health), there are so many advances and I love keeping up with them. It keeps me feeling connected. Knowledge, these days, is exploding and it’s hard to keep up. When you’re working, you’re focussed on doing your job and keeping abreast of what’s happening in your field, that [when I stopped working] I felt shocked at what else is out there that I’m totally ignorant about."
"I’ve really been privileged all my life to earn a big enough salary to do a lot of fun stuff, but my retirement has been a bit of a shock," she says, explaining that arthritis has limited her ability to enjoy the active retirement she had envisioned for herself.
"I sometimes find it sad that there isn’t more community life. I miss that sense of community. My work was so intense that I really felt I didn’t have time to belong to any groups to sustain me. Now I kind of miss contributing to society in a meaningful way. I’m trying to find a little niche for myself and taking courses at Continuing Studies is part of that."
"I’m delighted by the range of courses offered at Continuing Studies at UVic. It really makes life more fun."