Back to School at 40-Something- Doing Over Time


This was a good week. As busy as usual, but with only one night ending at 4:30 in the morning. The thing that made it particularly good was the academic / creative breakthrough I’m experiencing. It’s the kind of occurrence that one might subconsciously anticipate, but it’s really only now after nine months of daily push, that I feel I’m seeing things come together.

I’m referring to the idea of learning and doing. One would assume after nine months I’d be operating full throttle and I am, to the best of my current abilities. However this week, there was a conscious progression, or perhaps more accurately, a reconnection to the parts of my academic / creative self that generates new synapses or possibly reignites the old ones. Regardless, the end result is extremely uplifting and welcome!

It is an experience that’s a little difficult to pin down, but one that I associate with the theory of, “doing over time”. It’s like moving along a flat surface, along a plateau of experience, of knowledge, of life, if you will, and then – a light bulb moment – for no obviously apparent reason you are catapulted to the next level. These plateaus go on for an indeterminate amount of time. Sometimes you feel there’s nothing on the horizon and it’s only after you’ve made the leap that you realize it has occurred. It’s not a gradual, easy or predictable progression, but when this type of shift happens you literally feel a 1000 watt bulb light up. You’re actually in a different place. What a great feeling – especially considering that when it happened to me, I was working on this term’s theatre design project. Ideas just melded together in an architecturally comprehensive, programmatic way. To the point, one of the advisors commented favourably on my progress and that was truly a greatly appreciated boost. I now move ahead a little lighter in mind, thankful for the breakthrough.

If any of you have had a similar ‘lightbulb moment’, I’d love you to post a comment and share your experience.

As things move in one direction for some, they move in another for others. I was saddened to hear that one of my fellow “mature” classmates Rochelle, left the programme this week. It wasn’t totally unexpected, there have been signs of her discontent, but that doesn’t make it any easier. We’ve become a tight, interdependent family and the departure of one person changes the dynamics – one less person to learn from, to grow with and to share this incredible journey.

Here’s a farewell photo of our departing classmate:

Rochelle, 32
Las Vegas, USA
Generous, thoughtful and great fun! We wish her well.




By Réjean Beaudin