Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My Cure for Insomnia?

If you would have told me even a few short years ago that I would be going back to school yet again to further my education, I would have told you that you were nuts! If you would have said that in my mid-fifties I would start studying power engineering, I would have recommended that you visit a psychiatrist. And yet here I am, about half way through an accelerated online power engineering program. How on Earth did that happen?

Recently my role at work changed, and in order to keep up with the change, I was strongly encouraged to enrol in this educational program. I joked a little saying that I was "volun-told" that this is what I was going to do. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that one is never too old to learn something new. In my case, you could even say that it's hereditary, in that my own mother went back to university to pursue another degree AFTER she was already retired. No rocking chair for her!

While it's all interesting and related to my current job, I have also joked that parts of the text books have helped me cure my insomnia; some parts are simply very dry and boring reading. Still, it's all good. And besides, with my employer picking up the tuition tab, how can I go wrong? Free education can hardly be considered a bad thing, so pressing on is the order of the day.

What kinds of things are involved in becoming a "Fifth Class Power Engineer?" Well I'm glad that you asked. I won't bore you with all the finer details, but the first book is made up of multiple chapters divided into six units. They are: (1) Boiler Details, (2) Boiler Fittings & Controls, (3) Boiler Operation & Maintenance, (4) Fuel & Combustion, (5) Piping & Valves, (6) Thermoil Systems.

Book Two is made up of such units as: (1) Heating Systems & Human Comfort, (2) Plumbing & Auxiliaries, (3) Lighting, (4) Refrigeration, (5) Refrigeration & AC System Controls, (6) Pumps & Air Compressors, (7) Distributed Generation.

Book Three delves even deeper into the legalities, maths and science with such units as: (1) Provincial Acts, Regulations & Adopted Codes, (2) Basic Math, (3) Applied Science, (4) Safety, (5) Electricity, (6) Welding, (7) Water Treatment.

The final text is simply an academic supplement divided into three parts: (1) Steam Tables, (2) Refrigeration Tables, (3) Handbook of Formulae & Constants. So now you understand how some of this course has become my cure for insomnia!

Well there you have it. I read somewhere once that keeping one's mind active with reading and learning new things, especially as one starts to get older, helps to prevent Alzheimers. I, for one, believe it, Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Is there a downside of all this? Only a selfish one, in that instead of fully enjoying my summer this year, I have to stay focussed on the school work. Oh well, as someone has so eloquently said, "This too shall pass."

So, if you're wondering what happened to Will, and why you haven't seen much of him lately, now you know. If you're the praying type, I sure could use some; this has certainly been a bit of a challenge. If all goes according to plan, I will be writing my final exam in late October 2015. Wish me luck!

Finally, if you're having trouble sleeping, send me a note; I'll be happy to loan you a few books. In no time at all, your insomnia will be miraculously cured, just as mine was. How cool is that? (Yes, I'm being facetious).

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