I took my last final today – think I bombed it. Regardless, I am done. So long as I didn’t fail the class (which I didn’t) I have finished my second degree – officially. Five semesters (2 1/2 years) and I’ve now got three degrees – Associate Degree in Business Machines (from Blackhawk Technical Institute), Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science (both from UW-Whitewater).
My faculty in my department have all been very supportive and helpful. The student workers who have covered the office have been wonderful. My family has been supportive, encouraging and helpful. It has been an interesting journey to this degree and to those who have helped – Thank you. I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without you.
My two business degrees got me through a career in business and public service. My public service career will continue (until I get my best sellers out there). My Bachelor of Science is misleading because there was as little science in what I did as I could get away with. My degree is actually English Professional Writing and Book Editing. I’m very proud of all my degrees but this one is near and dear to my heart. The business degrees are just that – business to make sure I can support myself. The English degree is to move me along my writing career.
Writing is what keeps me sane (or as sane as I get). It takes all the images and words in my head and makes it into stories, poems, and other various things. Whether others end up reading them or not is a different issue but I’m hoping more will be reading them.
Now that I’ve finished I have plans. I didn’t get the grant I applied for but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to write. It just means I have to find alternative ways to support my writing. Moving forward, I need to clean my office. I have to put away all the school stuff. Then I have to organize the entire office. My office has to accommodate all the genealogy stuff, writing stuff, and personal business stuff. I need to get things organized so all of that will fit and play nice together.
After I get organized, I will work on self publishing, submissions, completing a manuscript that has been floating for three years. It is a matter of moving forward to getting published – hopefully paid for my work at the same time.
This has been on my mind for a while now. I’ve actually filled out a lot of paperwork and am moving forward with going back to school. I have sent in my financial aid forms and my application. I don’t know if I will get enough to go or get accepted to the college. I don’t know if I really want to be the old lady in the classes. I’ll be looking at a second and possibly a third bachelor’s degree in English Writing and English Book Publishing and Editing.
Here’s what I do know. I want to learn more. I want to fine tune my writing and editing skills. I’d like to be a better writer. Will it help me to get published? I haven’t a clue. I’ll have to take at least two classes (6 credits) to be considered part time. When I look at the schedule of classes though, I want to take eight or ten of them. This of course would be WAY more than a full load.
Here I am 47 years old and considering going back to school. This almost seems foolish. I’m not getting a degree that will further my ability to make money in my day job. It might help with my writing business but there is no certainty about it.
There are tax advantages to going to school. I’ll get a tax credit for being a part time student. If I wanted to I could defer my student loans (not going to happen I don’t think).
I think between the two degrees there are about 14 – 18 classes I would have to take. If I take two classes a semester, it will take 7-9 semesters which is about four years. If I get student loans I could put money aside and take summer classes which would decrease the amount of time I would be in school.
Then there is the social factor. I’m not all that interested in the socializing or even the group work of going to school. I think this is the part that worries me the most. It is hard for me to think about being in classes with a lot of other people. I have to try to remember names and get along with everyone. I’m not sure at this stage in my life I want to play nice with others.
I have a lot to think about before I make my decision. There is still information I need. I have to finish off my application process. I have to see about financial aid. There is a lot to do and what if after all this work I don’t get accepted or get the money needed? Will I be disappointed? Am I crazy?
Recently I was wandering through a college catalog looking for information for my daughter. Now I’ve wandered through college catalogs a lot. I almost always look at what classes are offered in English and Writing. I look, I dream, I move on.
However, I’m working at the University now. I looked at the classes for a degree or two. These sounded interesting. There is a big part of me that says, “What are you thinking? You are too old, fat, settled, poor… and a whole lot more to go back to school.”
Then there is that other voice – you know the one – the one that says I double dare you. Well of course you can’t pass up a double dare. So being an intelligent researcher – I start looking at the requirements. Now this is my alma mater so I did my first degree there. I looked around and there really are a number of classes I would like to take but one class is nearly $1000. But they have a creative writing, poetry, fiction, screen writer classes that all sound very interesting.
All of this looking and thinking brought up a lot of questions. I don’t like not knowing stuff. It frustrates me. I talked to people and have all this information floating around in my head. My first degree would allow me to go back and get a second major without having to do anything more than take the classes I want. However, no financial aid would be available to me.
If I decide to get a BA or BS then I could get financial aid. However, I would either have to take a lab science class (yuck) or a year of languages (double yuck). I’m not good at any of them. Zoology I got a B and German I got a D. My mind is saying nope – shouldn’t do this.
Yet the email with all the information sits in my inbox and I can’t delete it. Do I want to be the oldest student in the classes? Do I want to deal with a bunch of teenagers in these classes? Do I want to hassle with tiny little desks? Do I want to add another degree to my resume? Would it still leave me time to write? Will it help me to get published? This definitely bears thinking about. I guess that is the stage I’m at – thinking about it.