People – “So Caz, what did you get up to today?”
Me – “Oh you know, got up, went to work, went to uni, got filmed for a PRIME TIME DOCUMENTARY!!... No biggie.”
On Wednesday the 7th March I got an email from a fella who introduced himself as working for a TV production company based in London who are making a documentary about the culture of Lifelong Learning and having seen my blog (this one) they would like me to take part. Now let’s face it, it’s not every day you get an email like that and I re-read it a dozen times looking for the bit that said “all you need to do is send us your bank details so we can send you an advance” or something like that but no such line existed. I replied, stating in no uncertain terms my scepticism but after a few emails back and forth I admitted it was genuine and agreed, all the while gushing and bubbling with excitement at the prospect.
Before any of you get too excited at the thought of seeing (laughing at) me on Channel 4 let me just tell you it’s not a documentary for UK audiences – it’s for MBC which is a South Korean network so the chances of anyone in the UK seeing this documentary are slim to none (except me because I get a copy of it). Me. Subtitled. I almost wince at the thought. I hope the interpreter can understand my Geordie accent.
The film crew followed me around for an afternoon and did some filming at my workplace first to show that I work full time during the day, then they came down to Durham uni with me and did a bit of filming in my lecture and seminar (thanks to all the students who agreed to be filmed) and interviewed my Professor (again, thanks, although I hope they cut out a certain comment *chuckle*), then they came to my house to film me studying for my OU courses and interview Gordon (them: “So Gordon, have Carrie’s studies inspired you to do any yourself or take an interest in further education?”, Gordon: “No, I’m not really interested, I’ve already been to university”, me: *sigh*).
The experience was quite interesting and apparently the documentary is being aired in two weeks time so I’m really excited to see it. From asking a few questions to the director I gathered that the documentary had been commissioned because the culture surrounding further education in South Korea is completely different to that in the UK. Over here and especially with the OU a lot of people study for pleasure or furthering of knowledge, whereas in South Korea further education is considered something you do to further your career or help you earn more money – not just for the fun of it.
One of the questions I was asked in one of the interview sections was “so why did you choose to study Philosophy in your first degree” and the honest answer, which I gave, was “well, why not? It seemed interesting.” He seemed quite impressed (or baffled) that I’ve studied social science, philosophy, natural science, ICT and am about to move on to criminology and psychology. But why not, if it interests me I want to know more about it and studying is a great way to make sure you fully understand what you’re reading about.
Granted I’m now using my study to try and further my career but that’s not why I started it and it won’t be how I end it either. In fact, another of the questions they asked was “what would be your ideal plan for the future?” and I said “to get paid to learn”. Probably a good job I’m studying research methods then.