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Skype or Snail Mail?

October 3, 2012
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Thoughts From The Corner

Have you ever wondered, ‘does long distance learning work?’ and ‘is it for me?’

In the good old days of yore there were correspondence classes. Subjects such as GCSE English and ‘A’ level Sociology were available by letter. This does sound archaic as we today rather sneeringly refer to it as ‘snail mail’. What, with email and Skype, why would you risk putting your essay in the post – who knows, it might even go astray!

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Yet, I can’t help but think of Aesop’s fable, ‘The hare and the Tortoise’ and even the old adage’, ‘All roads lead to Rome’. Today’s world seems to be totally consumed in and with ‘speed’. It could be argued that speed has always pre-occupied man. I use the word advisedly because the Greeks, as the founding fathers’ (there’s that male-thing again) of the Olympics, had a pre-occupation with speed. So yes, man and speed do seem to correlate – as do tea and milk. . . well, you wouldn’t want tea without milk, would you?

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I am sure there are many people out there who are not certain about this modern invention that they call the ‘computer’. They were brought up with pen and paper; a fine tradition dating back thousands of years. Indeed, this blog post had its humble origins with pen and paper. Nothing wrong with that, except that without the computer, this post would have remained in my journal and probably not seen the light of day.

Those preferring pen and paper, I would guess, are the older generation. They may think that education and computers are things best left alone. On the contrary, I would argue that you are never too old for either. We, at ‘Experienced Tutors‘ have had the pleasure of tutoring students in their 80’s, both by computer and by letter.

Speed does not come in to it.Shakespeare’s works  have been around for hundreds of years, so why not send an English essay on ‘Hamlet’ by post?  ‘Hamlet’ still ends the same as it always did. No amount of techno-wizardry will ever change that. ‘A’ level Sociology has always looked at what makes Society ‘tick’. It will still be looking at that ‘tick’ whether you email your essay or send it by ‘snail mail’.

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