I am one of these people they generally refer to as a "mature student". It is too bad that this term doesn\'t mean what suggests, that I study in a more mature way than people who have not been out of school as long as I have. It simply means that I have not been in a formal classroom for quite a while -- in my case for more than twenty years. There are advantages and disadvantages to having this gap in one\'s education. One advantage is that it does give me some perspective to see that education has undergone some changes since those long ago years when I was in school. Two of these changes in curriculum and a change in teachers.

The attitude to class meterial is a lot more flexible now than when I was in school. I remember thtat in high school history cource which I took there was only one textbook and that was to be memorized. Anything outside the book was "off topic", and we had to get back to learning "the facts" because that was what the exam was going to be about. In the history class which I am taking now we don\'t even have aaa book. The teacher brings in material from many souces -- magazines, newspaper, journals and government publications. The final exam is no longer the most important thing. It is the papers we write and our participation in class which is impoertant. Curriculum has certainly changed a great deal over twenty years.

Another change which I have noted is the change in teachers. Teachers today seem much more approachable than twenty years ago. Today\'s teachers dress in a more casual and relaxed way. They don\'tt drop dead in their tracks if you call them by their first name. Most important, they seem to have actually admitted that they didn\'t know the answer to a question which a student asked. They often say, however, that they know where thay cand find the answer. This willingness to be a learner alonng with the students is new to me. Teachers today are frequently partners in the learning process. The teacher of twenty years ago was more interested in maintaining his authority.

Maybe I ame overgeneralizing about the changes which have occurred in the Canadian education system; nevertheless, I am convinced that both the content of courses and the teachers themselves have changed immensely. The system still isn\'t perfect, but as an adult student I am convinced that it is basically better.