In October 2015 I started studying for a Level 3 Certificate in Foundation Journalism. This was an NCTJ (National College for the Training of Journalists) qualification and it involved a 1 day session each month at an accredited centre in Oxford.
The course turned out to be very different to what I expected. It’s a very new course (it was the first year it was available but it had been piloted the year before) and I think perhaps that played a role in that. But I enjoyed the discussions we had and it made me write some pieces I never would have done. My piece Death in the Facebook Age is one and remains one of the best things I think I wrote last year.
On the whole I’m glad I did the course. I’m still in touch with several of the people I met through it via Facebook and have met up with a couple of them since it ended. We have plans to meet up again this week and perhaps we’ll be able to arrange to meet up with others from the course in the future. It’s something I’ve been thinking about.
Previously I’ve only ever done courses that were wholy academic (like my degree) or things like writing or craft workshops to learn something for fun. Doing a more vocational course like this was a new experience and I keep changing my mind about whether I’d want to do a vocational course again. I definitely missed the more structured aspects of academic learning.
I knew in early December that I’d passed the course and the week before last I finally received my certificate in the post. Soha had paid for me to do the course (and for my taxis to get there) as a thank you for my work on Tenants Times. And they asked me to take my certificate in when I had it.
So I did and they took a photo of my with it which was shared on their plasma screens in their offices and also on their social media. I shared the posts on my FB and twitter too.
And the next day I saw that my Mum had liked the post and realised I’d never mentioned to any of my family that I’d got my certificate at last. A few days ago she came round and I showed it to her and said “I never told you I’d got this did I?” and she said “you didn’t tell me you’d passed the course.” Which means I didn’t tell any of my family.
So that looks like a pass for the course and a fail on keeping everyone else informed!