Many of us will remember the film Educating Rita. The film drew on the relationship between an academic and a hairdresser. In the film, twenty-seven-year-old Liverpudlian hairdresser Rita (Dame Julie Walters) decides to complete her basic education before having children, although her husband Denny (Malcolm Douglas) has his heart set on starting a family as soon as possible.
Rita joins an Open University literature course where her tutor is Dr Frank Bryant, wonderfully portrayed by Sir Michael Caine, who is an upper-class professor who sees life through the bottom of a whisky glass.
During the film, both Frank and Rita start to develop new ways of life. Rita grows academically and by the end of the film Frank decides to leave for Australia on sabbatical in the hope of building a new and better life for himself.
I realise that in the film, education was not the be all and end all and that Rita and Frank still had their ups and downs. I don’t think that any one thing will offer a panacea to all life’s problems, but an education is a good place to start.
Rita was trying to balance work, family and her dreams of gaining her education, as well as having to pay for the privilege. Since the lock down many companies, universities and other institutes have been offering free courses. These range from the Open University to Joe Wickes free daily exercise classes.
The opportunities to log on and learn new skills or to polish up old ones seem endless.
Instead of looking at our lock down as a negative, why not embrace the time at home and try one of the free courses available?