It’s a Done Deal

Alright then, the decision is made. After a great deal of contemplation, thought, kvetching, and many a night’s sleep lost to turning and tossing, and staring at the darkened ceiling in mute despair, I have made up my mind at last. 

The question, as you may recall, was whether or not to pursue a Masters degree, now that the Bachelor’s is done. 

The answer is ‘not’. At this time.

I’m at a place on my continuum where I just don’t have the strength to commit to the rigours of a Masters degree. Its demands are many and varied – strenuous and harsh. It requires a dedication to academia which I simply cannot muster just now. Let’s not forget that I’m the Old Fart here – I’m not yet in my final resting place, but I also don’t have all the youthful energy or the quick recovery of the whippersnappers of the world.

So what’s next? And what’s next for this blog, which was itself started as a record of my didactic exploits? Well, another graduation, to be sure, for even though I am not formally enrolled in an academic institution, I’m still learning something new every day. I’m dedicating myself to the University of life now. I’m re-energizing to head off in new internal directions, even as my family and I contemplate an external move to another part of this great nation.

Learning is the most important thing we can do to enrich our lives, and in my opinion, a day in which nothing is learned is a day wasted. So I dedicate this blog anew to those who love to learn, and who do so deliberately and with passion, with a determination that cannot be swayed. The learners of the world represent courage, humility, and determination, all at the same time.

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DP: Movement

And so it continues. My assignments for this semester are now 42% done, and I’m about 55% through the class schedule. 

I have to admit I never did make a point of going in to school to work extra days because I remembered (oh yah!) that I have a perfectly usable and quiet office space here at home, plus I didn’t want to spend extra money on bus tickets  – me being an unemployed bum and all. Staying home for my studies has also saved me the bother of budgeting for campus munchies which, though unquestionably hearty and healthy and not made with any MSGs or sugar whatsoever, are nevertheless money out of my pocket when I indulge.

Right now I’m working on my part of two group projects, and preparing for an exam, all due Monday. It has started to occur to me, now, that I’m actually working on the final projects of my educational career. Because of this, last week when I was readying a short report for submission I decided to go all out, presentationwise. It suddenly occurred to me that once I’m back in the working world (whatever that ends up looking like) I may not get the same opportunities to fiddle with the Word software, so I added a cover page, prepped a contents list, and inserted a subtle watermark – all because I could and because I wanted to, and because it made at least a part of the assignment feel like fun.

I’ve received confirmation that my graduation plans are on track, provided of course that I successfully complete these last two courses. I’m assuming they’ll be fine because I have a habit of just getting things done. 

I’ve also received and completed a survey from the university about my experience there – I barred no holds, believe you me. They know all the niggling little complaints that it is my duty and obligation as an over-confident senior student to divulge.

This afternoon I’m going to send out a resume – what the hey – I’ve got nothing to lose by submitting it. I’m certainly qualified. Anyway, stay tuned for whatever happens next.

 

Giggles

 

And we’re back

A particularly furry little animal

This is week two of the new semester – my final semester – the final steps on the road to the educational grail. 

I’ve waited a couple of weeks before making an entry this time because I wanted to become familiar with my schedule first – you know, rooms, times and so on. It’s a very complicated schedule. First are my Monday classes, from noon to 245pm, and 4pm to 645pm. Then I go home.

I almost feel guilty with this schedule – underscore ‘almost‘. I’m finishing up a second degree but my schedule makes it feel like night school. I mean, I don’t have to get up early, I get a solid hour for lunch in between classes, and I get a six-day weekend every week.

This pseudo-guilt is quickly overcome, however, by memories of my first two semesters in this place when I had to go to campus early, six days a week for eight months. Oh, I know, compared to a five-day week in a full time job it sounds easy, but while work passes quickly because it’s constant, the school process is very irregular, and in my opinion harder because of it. The semester starts with a certain calmness, but then deadlines hit, reading, research, writing, presenting, citing, and all the while the quality must be high enough to make the professor happy. This is a herky-jerky process of compilation and rendition which can be quite taxing at times. The deadlines come in waves. The pressure can be likened to that of a thumb screw – it hurts, but you get used to it, it hurts more, then you get used to it again. 

Anyway, this one-day-a-week thing is easy in one respect, but it calls for more discipline than I’ve ever had to show before. I’ll get it done, I’ll pull my weight – with a lifetime of team play in the workplace behind me I know how to get and keep people moving. But the temptation to coast is definitely there because the pressure won’t ramp up quite as often as in the past and every week I’ll get the chance to decompress. Honestly? I am already guarding against relaxing too much.

Did you see that? I’m trying hard not to be relaxed

Oh, what an odd and furry little animal is post-secondary education.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Ah, books!

It’s the middle of August and after a long summer of drudgery, of sleeping in, of chores and odd jobs and photographic odysseys to the countryside, I find my mind stretching schoolward once again. 

The courses I picked back in July – so that’s all done and good. Now, dear professors, I’d like to get my books. 

Going into my sixth semester, there are a couple of things I wonder about. Perhaps you can help:

Why, if I can (nay, must) book my courses in late June or early July, can I not pick up my books at the same time? Why are book lists never out until one week before term starts? I have to believe that I am not the only keener who would do summer pre-reading were the list available. Is it a matter of professorial organization that the lists are not complete? I could see that if it were a first time putting the course together, but since so many of these courses are offered time and again, I find this a little puzzling.

Also, why does the book store insist on allowing a mere two-weeks return policy on books – and then only if unopened? This, to me, discriminates against those who are enthusiastic enough to dedicate some R & R time to future studies. I mean, picture the poor student who books a course, then gradually reviews the text book, only to learn that the material isn’t exactly what he thought, and then finds out that because he opened the book and took 15 days to do it  he’s – what’s the phrase? – out of luck. He can drop the course I believe up to three weeks into the semester, so why does he get stuck with the books? To me, this just doesn’t make a lot of sense. 

The Book Repository


Anyway, I’m watching for the book lists for my courses, and in my mind I’m starting to get fired up for the new school year. I have an advantageous schedule this year – in the fall all my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in the winter semester they’re all on Mondays. This will be very good for designating study time, and will reduce the amount of bus travel significantly.

I have to admit, I’m looking forward to getting this final year going. 
 

Checkpoint

Just checking in between Mac Hall and the Education building. Things are hectic, stressed, frantic -didactically speaking. They’ve got me talking, like, education lingo or something, and sometimes I just don’t know which way is up, but that’s okay coz my sentence structures and grammar are, like, way improving and my lexicon is expanding and I, like, hardly ever use run-on sentences anymore. This school business is tough. Being pulled every which way, trying to please everyone and do all the reading, and write well, and still somehow have a life of some kind is a really tall order. No one needs to wonder whether a degree is hard work. These kids – like, if they come out of this at the end with the desired piece of paper, they have at the very least shown an ability to organize themselves – especially if they’re doing a full course load, like what I am. And that’s a waaaaaay good thing.

(Yes, kids really do talk like this.)

Anyway, class now.

JUpdate