“Beauty school drop out; No graduation day for you. Beauty school drop out. Missed your midterms and flunked shampoo!”
— from Grease, which is arguably the best movie ever made. And I have Angie & Jamie to back me up on that. I’ve included the Youtube link to this song in case you need to see it again.
Ok, no, I was never going to beauty school, but I’m starting to have second thoughts about grad school–and I need YOU people to help me decide what to do.
That’s right–I am relying on good friends and a few complete strangers to help me make a life decision. I also need to know what to have for dinner tonight, but that’s a decision I struggle with every day, so let’s focus on this major one instead.
It’s not that I don’t want to take a class. I love everything about going to school.
I’m one of those nerds who can hardly wait to get the syllabus so I can pencil all the exam dates into my day planner. I’m also the person who reads all the assigned chapters and can’t wait to participate in class discussions.
But the other day John sent me a text: “$7.00 in fines at the library.”
Yeah, I have a bad habit of incurring library fines. It’s been going on for years. I have no idea why I can’t return library books on time. I think it’s sort of a joke, but it honestly drives John crazy because usually he is the one returning the books and paying the fines. I don’t know that I have ever returned a book on time.
I’m just sure there is some unwritten librarian rule about giving this degree to someone who has chronic late fees at the library. Do I admit this in class to all the other wanna-be librarians or will they put me in the middle of a circle and throw books at me? Worse, what if they Shhhh me? Good luck people.
But my second thoughts about grad school are less about not being typical “librarian” material and more about the usual back to school freak out that always occurs this time of year.
As I started to fill in the kids’ calendar for the upcoming school year I was feeling pretty good. I labeled the dates for soccer, ballet, girl scouts, boy scouts, sunday school, etc. I labeled which dates the babysitter is here and which dates a grandparent is in charge, which dates I’m out of town, and which dates no one is in charge so the kids will have to play “Lord of the Rings” that day.
At work I labeled all my deadlines on my “work” calendar. Then I got out a third calendar and I labeled deadlines for my freelance projects.
This is doable, I was thinking. And then I remembered my class. Suddenly filling in a syllabus didn’t sound like so much fun. Will I really enjoy writing papers after writing at work all day? Will it be hard to turn in my work without including an invoice? And will taking a class mean that I neglect my own writing–like this blog, or the book that I swear I will finish, someday?
It comes down to this (a sort-of pros/cons list):
A) Taking classes toward a master’s degree would be fun. I enjoy taking classes and I’m interested in the topics of the courses offered. Oh, and it’s free, because I work at UK. I would get to say that I am almost as educated as John; and let’s face it, that has been my life-long dream.
B) On the other hand, having a master’s degree won’t advance my career, at least not in the direction that I’m aiming. Using my free time to continue writing for Kentucky Homes and Gardens magazine, or to work on my own book, will advance my career in the way I envision. (Which, if you must know, what I envision is a writing career that brings Oprah out of retirement just so she can interview me on her show.)
Okay. There you have it. Submit your decisions for my future by 5 p.m. eastern standard time. There is no prize for the winning entry, however if it all works out I will take you with me when I meet Oprah and/or I will waive all your future library fines.