CBC Radio, Oct. 14, 2018

[image: Brian Pollick (left) and his wife, Heather Lindstedt, holding an early Latin manuscript they helped the University of Victoria acquire with their financial assistance. After years in the justice field, Pollick is now a PhD student in art history. (Submitted by Brian Pollick)]

Learning for the sake of learning​

… not all older students see PhDs as a pathway to a career.

“[People my age] are doing it out of love of learning… There was never any question for me that I was somehow embarking on a new career,” said Brian Pollick, who is completing a PhD in 14th century Italian art history at the University of Victoria.

Before he retired, the 72-year-old worked in the justice field, including as the executive director of the John Howard Society of Alberta.

Pollick says his inspiration for doing a PhD came “like an epiphany” during a post-retirement trip to Italy with his wife, when they saw an exhibit featuring the works of Pompeo Batoni, a mid-18th century painter.

“Somehow, I just knew within moments of being in that exhibition that what I wanted to do was art history.”

‘I’ve always wanted to be in the class’

Pollick sees many advantages to pursuing a PhD at his stage in life with no career ambitions in mind.

For younger students who are hoping to find academic work with their degrees, the PhD comes with a great deal of intensity and anxiety, he says.

“What’s not there [for me] is the sense that I’ve got to do this because the rest of my life depends on it. And that’s a huge difference, in that it takes away so much of the pressure.”

[ … Read more at CBC Radio ]