In the fall of 1994 I walked through Fanshawe's doors for the first time. My girlfriend at the time was studying photography and wanted me to go with her while she bought her text books, familiarised herself with the college's layout, the location of her classes, etc etc.

My initial comment when I walked through the doors was: "Ah, so this is higher learning, is it?". I may have even delivered it in a dry, John Cleese accent. I was not impressed. It looked no better than the high school I had left a few years previously.

That poor impression aside, the following fall found me enrolled at the college myself. I was making a living as a singer/song writer at the time but, as they say, it's always good to have something to fall back on and long gone are the days of our fathers' and grandfathers', where you could get a decent, well paying career

without that "piece of paper".

And the business world, rightly or wrongly, is obsessed with that piece of paper. Intelligence and experience are weighted far below that degree and it's absurd in my opinion. I've met some very intelligent, competent people without degrees and I've met some very deficient, incompetent people with them. Mind you, the reverse is also true but six of one, half a dozen the other as the saying goes.

My experience as a student at Fanshawe was disappointing to say the least. I was accepted to two programs: The one I'd applied for and a one year prerequisite that I didn't need, already being accepted to the other. The catch was that my program was over-booked and I couldn't get in until the January term.

Though I didn't need the one year prerequisite, I decided to attend the

fall term. It had been a few years since school and I thought it would be a good idea to get back into the "routine". Since I was switching to my program in January, I only attended my psychology and sociology courses. Come December, the college informed those of us waiting that the program was still over-booked and it would be September before we could get in.

So much for college. Back to work I went. Had to pay that now useless student loan.

Fast forward 12 years...

I'd just returned from a month in Budapest and decided to give school another try. This time however, I'd be approaching it from the perspective of an adult working full-time and going to school part-time. In my case, that translated as: older, hopefully wiser and with greater expectations of the college and it's faculty.

I decided to take Human Resources Management. For one thing, it's emminently practical. Almost every organisation, regardless of industry, has an HR department or at least someone working in that capacity.

Another reason is ethics. In my working life I've been with companies large and small. I've seen good things and bad things. And I've also seen some very unethical, unjust acts. Surface cynicism aside, I have a strong sense of morality and believe in helping people. Ideally, HR is the department where you can make that kind of difference.

It was back to Fanshawe College. There is a university here in London but I can afford neither the time nor the money.

Now, for the sake of our friends and readers overseas, let me explain a few things: