Art & Design

   

School of Life

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The School Of Life course calendar reads like a self-help section: “How to Realise Your Potential”, “How To Be Confident” and “How Necessary Is A Relationship?” While scrolling through the summer term titles and the words “SOLD OUT” next to them, I quickly started to second guess myself.

Maybe I did need help to be a better conversationalist. Didn’t that girl yawn yesterday when I was telling a “funny” story? Sure, I still manage to spend ample time on the couch, but doesn’t work stress me out from time to time? It couldn’t hurt to take a class to get more balanced. I ended the night in frenzied panic, adding nearly every class to my roster.

My experience was undoubtedly shared by many other Melburnians. TSOL has reached full capacity for nearly half of its classes, even before it has opened its doors. With topics both practical and omnipresent, it’s apparent that people want more than the self-help aisle. They want to go to school for it.

TSOL was founded in London by Alain de Botton with the intention of offering “good ideas for everyday life.” Since its opening five years ago, over 50,000 students have attended classes mainly focused on work and love. According to TSOL professor John Armstrong, its success is attributed to “people wanting to learn about that which is relevant to their lives.” With the aid of local do-gooders Small Giants, January 26 will mark TSOL’s first international school right here in Melbourne.

Classes go like this: 30 students, thought-provoking topics and beverages provided. Classes are taught in various methods — through lecture, group activity and conversation. The school doesn’t guise itself as a miracle worker. Rather, its aim is to subtly improve the lives of its students. “How to Worry Less About Money” for instance, taught by Armstrong, does not instantaneously make one rich. Instead, it offers a unique approach, honing in on the way one feels about money and why those feelings occur. The setting is inviting, welcoming students to discuss “important, personal things.”

For those seeking extra credit (from TSOL and also from life), optional homework assignments are available.

The School of Life is happening at 22 Peel Street Collingwood from January 26.
For more information visit theschooloflife.com/world/australia.


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