Decision Time

On the subject of the pusrsuit of the Masters, it’s decision time. I have done my research, learned what I can about what’s involved, what it will take, and the kind of commitment I must be prepared to offer to get it done. The only question remaining, is whether I have that kind of strength. 

Let’s not forget: there were 22 years between my first and second degrees. ‘It took me that long to recover’, he said with a sly wink. Seriously though, it took a huge life change and a hope for acceptance in a new career to get me to take the second degree. But this time the life change is not there, and my explorations of the working world have shown me the real  potential for career change – and it’s not particularly encouraging. The motives for doing a degree cannot be the net results. If I do a Masters, it has to be for its own sake, which – to my way of thinking – requires that I have a passion for academia in its own right. If I do a Masters now, it has to have the benefit of all I can give it, and I’m just not sure that I’m there.

The deadline to apply is January 15th, but the process requires a decision much earlier than that. My references are assured, as long as I can get a thesis idea in place, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, either. I thought I had something to move on with, but I’ve learned that what I think is a possibility is just not clear enough, or focussed enough to get through the application process. So, the grades are there, the references are available, the intelligence exists (so I insist on reassuring myself), but I’m not sure that I have the strength to do it now

I’ve set November 5th (Guy Fawkes’ Day) as the day I choose to either knuckle down, or back away. It feels symbolic, somehow: fireworks or nothing. 

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Update

The journey continues. This week I finished two assignments, leaving 11 to go, and I’m currently working on the proposal and annotated bibliography for the final project of the last communications course I will ever take. Exciting stuff. 

Meantime, the house must be cleaned, dinner must be made, the dog must be walked, and the frigid temperatures must be endured. But hey, it’s February: we’re closer to March, now, than December, and that’s a really nice thought. 

Library time!

  

14 minutes

Daily Prompt: Turning Point

Checklist for the start of a new semester
  • Stuff
I’ve got my pens and pencils, my books, erasers, bag and such. I picked up a new phone (got to have one of those for a new school year) and my camera is fully charged. What could I possibly be missing? Oh wait – I’ve got to put the Aspirin back in the backpack, and I must remember to throw in some coffee money.
  • Attitude
I’ve been away from the books and the studies for so long now I almost feel as though I’ve forgotten what to do. Tomorrow will be another in a long line of firsts, though – and I’m sure I’ll pick right up from where I left off. Discipline is a sub-category of the Attitude main – without discipline none of this gets done.  
  • Creativity
At some point I’m going to need this so I’ll just go ahead and tuck it into my backpack right now. Creativity is a vital part of a solid education – without it the process, and so the result, of an education is academic at best. Creativity allows the research process to unfold more easily – search terms, terms of reference, all become more straightforward when approached with a creative mindset. Don’t ask me how this works, but it does.
  • Concentration
A healthy dose of concentration never hurt anyone, but it gets more difficult with age. I’m told that fish oil helps aid concentration and intelligence – but what on earth am I going to do?
  • Patience
Let’s face it – some patience is required when an old fart goes back to school. Is it me being patient with the young’uns, though, or are they being patient with me? I suppose it’s a kind of symbiosis, which – if properly managed – can be mutually beneficial. I bring maturity (hahahahaha) and calm (read, apathy or indolence), and the youth bring energy and enthusiasm and a willingness to accept delegation, no matter how reasonable.
  • Determination
This is it. This is the final push – for me, the final five courses which will hopefully propel me to greater things. Let’s face it – after this there’s nothing but the job search and the working world, and paycheques. And if that’s not an incentive to stay determined then I don’t know what is. 
 
In the spirit of the aforementioned creativity, here is a gothic view some of the old university buildings. Take a good look. These dark and dingy halls are the birthing place of a world of new discoveries. 
 
Here’s to education. 

Gothika

Doldrums

I sitting here on the couch, this cold Sunday morning, and I’m feeling a lot of guilt.

First, I slept in. I’m usually up by 730am, 8 at the latest, but this cold Sunday morning I stayed in bed ’til 9. I’m absolutely mortified by this, of course. It’s extremely unproductive behaviour, and I’m sorry.

When I did finally get up I did not exactly kick into high gear, either. I made breakfast (bacon and eggs), watched the last of a silly old Sean Connery movie, looked outside (through freshly-cleaned windows!) at the almost palpable overcast, and now I’m here, sitting on the couch, writing a blog.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I enjoy writing my blogs, and I consider it time well-spent – but I do actually have homework to do, and now that it’s almost 11 I’m actually starting to wonder if I’m going to be able to wrap my head around that kind of concentration at all today. I just don’t feel energized. I think I’d rather clean house than sit down at my desk in the basement and try to get into the mental gymnastics of Barthes, Saussure, and Eco. There, I just sighed.

I think I’ll call this a personal day and leave the books in the school bag. I think I’ll spend some time communing with the insides of my eyelids. I think I’ll leave the newly-snowy outdoors to the newly-snowy outdoors. I think I’ll play with the pooch today and leave all that other stuff for anther time.

Oh, I still feel guilty, but at least I’m determined.

James

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The Pooch