willowisp: (Happy or grateful)
I finished my Gemological Institute of America (GIA) course which I posted about here. It was interesting and in a few ways uncomfortable.

The interesting parts were everything I learned (or, in many cases, confirmed) about things like inclusions and stone-cutting and such. The uncomfortable part is that it was primarily aimed at people who want to sell colored gemstones; so, for instance, one whole chapter was on building a sales pitch. A lot of the advice of stuff to do were things which make me grind my teeth when done to me, like saying the person's name (too) often. This class is, however, a prerequisite for the course I really want to take, colored gemstone identification.

The final tally was 15/15 for the 8 quizzes, and 48/50 on the final exam. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, they don't let you look at the final to see where you went wrong. Also unfortunately, though you have three shots at taking the final, you can only repeat it if you get fewer than 38 questions correct. Thus, I can't try again for 100%.

The next step is going to take some doing. The next course in the series is, as noted about, gemstone identification. That is far more technical, and involves using various methods to see if that pretty blue shiny rock is, say, sapphire or tanzanite or glass, and if it is sapphire, whether it was natural, treated, or lab-created. It is also a two-year course and involves some lab aspects which would require airfare and hotels and such. It's also just a bit more expensive than the 3-month course I just took (understatement alert) for tuition. One of the good things about online courses is that I can start them whenever, so I have some time to figure things out.
willowisp: (Default)
Even before going back to Oswego, I looked at an online degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which is a gemstone regulatory agency. I had noticed, in the Rio Grande classes I took, that GIA certificates were highly valued, and as far as I can tell, that holds true. At any rate, I talked myself out of it at the time, and every time thereafter.

Fast forward to my returning to Oswego, to everyone's surprise, including my own. Since graduating, I've been somewhat adrift. I've been judging forensics, but that happens at most on Saturdays; there are Friday tournaments, but I have a prior commitment on Fridays. I took a couple of jewelry-related classes from Rio Grande, and went so far as to ask GIA for a distance-learning catalog. I sort of considered taking the classes when I got the first catalog, but I ended up not for whatever reason.

Last week something snapped, and on Monday I did something I had promised myself I wouldn't until the economy got better. I'm not willing to discuss what right now, but in waiting for it to resolve, I decided to look into GIA again. That I had just received the 2011 catalog in the mail wasn't the catalyst, but it didn't hurt.

Today, with Andy's blessing, I signed up for one of the 100-level distance learning courses. I had a choice between colored stones and diamonds, and I opted for colored stones. There is a 30-day full-tuition refund guarantee if I end up not liking it, and it is a required course in the sequence for a graduate gemologist. If it goes well I will also enroll in the 100-level diamond course, possibly consecutively but possibly concurrently.

I've done online distance-education before in preparation for returning to Oswego, so I know I can do it. The course is designed to take at most three months but, unlike my online theatre class, I can do it more quickly if I want to. Likewise with the 100-level diamond course. I don't know if I'll update about the course(s), but I figured I should mention them now in case I do start journalizing about them.

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November 2016

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