Friday, August 27th, 2004 • 2 Comments on Educated Decision
I’m working on the grad school stuff. Again. Part of the hold up is my own fault. Part of it is because the admissions office has managed to lose just about everything except my initial application and—surprise!—my application fee, which of course was cashed within days of me sending in my application. Go figure. Of course, that was… what?… a year ago?
My indecision resulted from not knowing what degree to pursue. I am not returning to school so I can become a doctor or an engineer or a landscape designer, I’m going back to school because… I want to. Yeah, I know… I should seek therapy.
My original intention was to get my Masters in Humanities. What’s that, you ask? (Because I know you’re asking.) Well, it’s a do-it-yourself kind of degree where I can choose my course of study and then take classes from a variety of disciplines. I could take classes in Medieval History or Film and Media or Women’s Studies, as long as they relate to my course of study. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Then I started second guessing myself. I did that thing I sometimes do—I decided I needed to be practical. Yeah, me. Practical. Go ahead, laugh.
So, being practical, I decided I should get my Masters in English with an emphasis on teaching. So I could, you know, use this degree for something more than a topic of conversation at my next pizza party. I mean, I already have a B.A. in English, might as well get my M.A., right? That’s what I figured. And then I could be a high school teacher. Or maybe a community college teacher. Practical, right? Right.
Once I changed my mind, I started looking at all the English classes I’d have to take (plus some education classes, as well). I have taken a
of English classes, so the M.A. in English would really be building on what I have already studied. In other words… not too much of a challenge. The education classes, while new, didn’t appeal to me in the least. I don’t want to teach high school and if I ever want to teach at a university, I will need a PhD. Which seems like a long, long way away and not something I want to think about now.
I dragged my feet getting my credentials submitted once I made the choice to pursue a Masters in English. That was my first clue it was a mistake. The other hint that I had picked the wrong major was that I went from being excited about going back to school to losing all interest. I love Shakespeare and British Lit, but I really don’t want to take
my classes in the English Department.
So, here I am, a year later, changing my mind once again. Or correcting a mistake, depending on how you look at it. I have officially changed my course of study back to Humanities and I have re-requested all my college transcripts (I know that sounds whiny, but I attended
colleges in three states in twelve years—that is a lot of transcripts to have to request. Twice.). The verdict is still out on whether I’ll need to replace my letters of recommendation—which will be a bigger headache than the transcripts.
I may never be able to do anything with my Masters in Humanities. I may be making a mistake by pursuing what I’ll enjoy rather than what is practical. I may be back here in a year, bitching about how much work all these new and different classes are. Who knows? I just know this is the right decision for me, right now. I’m following my heart rather than my head, which is what I should have done in the first place.
As to what my course of study will be, the irony is I still intend to take plenty of English classes. I imagine that by the time I’m finished (whenever that is), I will have taken a fair amount of writing, history and women’s studies classes, as well. When I think about all the possibilities and options and challenges, I get excited about going back to school.
Of course, it’s a moot point if I don’t get accepted. Now
would suck. It would be funny, but it would still suck.