PC #129 – I got my sign…

I posted a couple of days ago that I was in a dilemma over a business decision I had to make. And Jennifer suggested that I ask for a sign.

Well, I think I got it. I happened to be scrolling through some old photographs and I came upon a shot I took of my youngest sister, on her first day of school. There’s 15 years between us, and I was 21 when she had her first day at school.

The decision I had to make concerned a project I’ve had in development for several years with the tertiary institution where I’m an Adjunct Professor. It’s an online course to teach students how to make movies.

I’ve been frustrated though in how long everything has taken. I had no idea academic institutions were so dysfunctional when it came to making decisions. In the world of independent filmmaking, you’ve got to make decisions fast, otherwise you miss out on opportunities.

The agreement took four months to get signed. And I was on the verge of bailing out of the whole thing, because I wondered whether I could work within an organisation that was so moribund with “due process.”

But then I saw the photo, and it reminded me how important education is. And how I have to give back. I have a lot of experience, and within this online course I can pass that on to future filmmakers. And so I decided to go with it.

Would I have done so, had I not seen that photo?

I’m not sure…

I won’t post the photo until I’ve got the permission of my sister to do so. I actually captured a moment where she was swinging her school bag, but she was wearing a short school dress and her knickers were showing… I reprinted this just recently and gave it to her for her birthday. She told me I should be locked up… : )



14 thoughts on “PC #129 – I got my sign…

  1. Glad to hear that your request for a sign was answered. Amazingly simple in hindsight. But then we all know hindsight is 20/20. Smile. I think the online course is wonderful, and the students are very lucky to have you. Education is perhaps the second most important thing in life. Julie


    • Thank you for saying that Julie.

      I too believe in the crucial importance of education.

      What got me started on this is that I began to realise how much graduate students didn’t know about the practicalities of making a movie.

      For instance, the acquisition of rights. And even simple things like how to structure a finance plan. (which is not so simple sometimes!)

      These things were lacking in the curricula, which I felt needed to be addressed. That’s why I took this concept to the university.

      But they’ve TAKEN SO LONG erghhh!



  2. Bill, I don’t think there is anything more honourable, or that has a greater impact,than education. To be involved with it is to be a sower of dreams, and a facilitator of possibility. I’m glad you decided to go for it.
    And glad that you chose to wait on your sisters photo. There’s a picture of me, four years old, being pushed on a swing by my older brother. Its after church, so I’m in a little smocked dress, a straw hat tied under my chin that had a plaster cherry on the brim, and white patent leather shoes. Well, its not rocket science -wind, forward motion, short dress =knickers on view. I’m grateful its never left the album!


    • Well sister –

      you continue to amaze. And shock.


      If you ever care to make that photo public, I will give you a guest blog for it

      You’re right about education being so very important. It’s just the working environment which I find difficult. Luckily I’m only an Adjunct Prof, because working there full time would drive me nuts.

      The online course is a huge job – and I mean really huge, and so it’s daunting.



  3. Bill, I couldn’t agree more about education being so important. After 40 years in the teaching profession, I feel honoured each day to be involved in the formation of young hearts and minds to take their place in the world. Sister Simon described it so beautifully.
    As an online student also, I recognise the enormous effort in online learning and the work our wonderful professors do. Hierarchical structures do my head in also.
    Blessings from Astorga.


    • Hi Anne –

      so lovely to hear from you!

      How’s the walk going? Isn’t Astorga beautiful?

      You’re so right about education – and yes, Sister Clare did express it so eloquently.

      I’m pleased I’ve decided to go ahead with this – even though it’s a huge huge project and very daunting.

      The thing about teaching though, you yourself learn so much!

      So pleased that you’re checking in as you go – are you having fun?



  4. I also teach for an online college, University of Phoenix. I took the summer off, but accepted a contract for this fall (your spring, to my Aussie friends!). My first day I was grumbling…wishing I had not taken on something “more” during this time. But then the notes from my students started coming in. For those of you who haven’t thought about it before, it is interesting to note that online students are a bit different than traditional students. I have military personnel, military family members, mothers of three or four young children who may have had their first child when they were in high school so they couldn’t attend “normal” college. I have had numerous disabled students, and parents of disabled children. Then there are the high power executives and professional athletes who travel the world…people who might not ever get a chance for a college education if it were not for technology. Finally, there is the topic matter….nutrition. I take my knowledge for granted sometimes, but then I teach a new class and realize how hungry people are for common sense health information. SOoooooooooooooo this was my long winded way of affirming what you are doing. You have already taught before, so you know how rewarding it can be if you can ignore the cumbersome infrastructure….


    • Hi Julie,

      My daughter is actually just about to finish a degree from one of Australia’s top universities, which she’s done online. So yes, you’re right, online course do give a variety of people an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

      In her case she’s studying Counter-Terrorism. With her facility for languages – she speaks 4 fluently – she could become a spy!

      The good thing about this joint venture I have is that the course will be available for academic and non-academic students – in other words, some people will do the course wanting a post graduate degree, others will just want the information.

      I will be servicing the non-academic side, the university will be servicing the post grad students. So from that perspective it’s a good arrangement.



        • Hi Jukie,

          First I have to build the course!

          I’ve been working on it now for about four years, and when I became an Adjunct I asked the university if they wanted to joint venture with me. That took a long time to get an approval.

          And then it’s taken a while to nut out a deal. It will take about a year or maybe more to construct the course, and get it online. It’s a huge undertaking. But when it’s done it will be available to the public.

          So I’ll let you know when it’s finished!!




  5. Hello Bill, your course sounds great. Will it be available as an individual course, and to overseas students, or is it being offered as part of a degree? The reason I ask is that my daughter, currently a primary school teacher, is thinking of returning to study, and her passion is – making movies!


    • Hi Elizabeth,

      It will be a course that’s available on two levels – as an academic course for post graduate students. And as a non academic course for those who don’t wish to get a post grad degree, but are just interested in the content.

      There will be two different fee levels – the academic level will be much more expensive, and it will be administered by the University. I will be administering the non academic level.

      It will be an all encompassing course!



      • It sounds great. I’m sure you’ll keep us posted, won’t you? And when it’s all set to go, I’ll let her know.


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