Yearning for learning

7th April 2000 at 01:00
Q I am a 35 year old ethnic minority unemployed female drug and alcohol abuser, recently released from prison, with a history of mental health problems and a two-month-old child. My partner left me last week. Eviction from my flat has obliged me to rethink my priorities and I now wish to return to learning but fear no one will be interested in me with my background. Am I worrying unnecessarily?

A You are right to be worried, but not for the reason you suggest. If you go to the nearest college (look for the address in Yellow Pages under Personal Services, your greatest danger is that you will be seized upon by every faculty and urged to enrol for one of their uniquely wonderful courses. You could be torn limb from limb. It might be safer to build your own website and advertise your availability as a distance-learning student to every college in the land. The bidding for your signature will be spectacular. By the way, welcome to 'College Manager'. Our marketing department would like to know where you found your copy. Is it being displayed in doctors' surgeries, or handed out with the 'Big Issue'?

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