One...two..three..four.. as I kick my right leg high above my head, following Billy Blanks instructions on the Taebo workout dvd, I reflect on these past weeks of the WOW programme, and what they have contributed to my personal development.
The significance for me, of all the knowledge gained over these past weeks, and my inter-action with our speakers and the members of the team, are yet to be fully absorbed. I do know for certain, that this has been a very important step in my journey towards self-actualisation.
In the past one and a half years, my life has undergone several changes. The decision to study further was a major life-changing one. This change brought with it many challenges which have engendered significant personal development. My 'inner critic', whom I was forced to acknowledge and face during Roy Blumenthal's session on 'unleashing your creativity', does not allow me any respite. It constantly pressurises me to do more, learn more, be more.
I have realised that people generally do not quite understand what cultural heritage means. That is fine because I didn't have a clue either until I enrolled in a masters programme in heritage studies. It is such an amazing field of study, so diverse. It cuts across many sectors, i.e., governance, environment, policy, legislature, tourism, world heritage sites, arts & culture industries, development, history, archaeology, anthropology, international policies & legislature (United Nations), international relations, social responsibility to name a few. It basically deals with tangible and intangible cultural assets. For example in South Africa that would be the struggle history, heritage institutions such as Constitution Hill, Apartheid Museum, Hector Pietersen Museum, Origins Centre (Wits) and so on. Also World Heritage sites such as Cradle of Humankind, Greater St. Lucia Wetlands, Robben Island, e.t.c. To read more about World Heritage sites, particularly the ones in South Africa, log onto http://whc.unesco.org and click on world heritage, then on Africa.
The WOW programme has in a sense summarised the knowledge and skills training I have gained from my postgraduate studies. As I mentioned in my profile, I wanted a course that combined practice and theory. I had worked for a while before deciding to return to school. I think it is important to work after your undergraduate degree, it helps to focus and direct you when you do decide to do a postgraduate degree. Most importantly, the experience gained from work does serve one well in the university. Others may disagree with that view but it worked for me. I made sure I worked part-time (mostly within the university) while I studied, so as not to loose the skills I had acquired previously. It took me a year to adjust fully to the academic life. Enrolling in this programme has again sort of prepared me for exiting from the university environment (which is in a way removed from real life) into the hustle and bustle of everyday living.