Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Reluctant Pursuit of Knowledge

I was halfway listening to the local news as I helped 8yo search for his goggles for swim practice, and I heard a minute of a story about a 101-year old woman who has finally earned her bachelor's degree.  Isn't that sweet, I thought.  Because at my current pace, I shouldn't be a day over 80 when I finally graduate. 

I'm registering now for mid-winter session; or rather, I'm fixing to get ready to register.  I have to figure out what I'm going to take, and how I'm going to summom the motivation to study and write papers again when I can barely throw together my usual half-baked more or less weekly bilge for this blog. 

If you've been reading my blog since I started it in 2007, you know that I started blogging when I decided to go back to school after a 20 year absence.  That's as good a topic for a blog as any, right?  And life as an adult student has yielded some excellent material.  I'm just tired of school, and after a semester's absence, I'm the least motivated and the most discouraged I've been since I started this. 

No, I'm not going to quit (either blogging or school, though both cross my mind every so often).  I'm making progress, it's just very slow progress.  I started with 71 credits, 59 of which transferred, so I needed 61 more.  61 credits at 3 credits per class comes out to 20 classes (I'm not rounding; I took a 1-credit required research course right at the beginning which left me with the easily-divisible-by-3 60).  Right at the beginning, I tried taking multiple classes at once, and found that working full-time, raising two children, and maintaining a house and a social life allows for no more than one at a time.

I was an indifferent student during my first attempt at college.  Now, I'm an excellent student.  As much as I complain about school (and the blog complaining is only a small part of my complaining efforts.  Among my friends and family, I can really extend myself on the subject of the misery of life as an adult student.  This is why I'm so popular), I am very good at it.  I've never received less than an A on any assignment and I generally receive lavish praise from my instructors for my papers and essays.  Two of my professors have told me that I can count on them for recommendations when I apply for graduate school.  But as flattering as this is, and as much as I like and respect these two professors, I must say that I'll see them in Hell before I'll enter graduate school.  My academic career will end when I receive my B.A. 

Counting the CLEP credit from last semester, I've earned 25 credits, so I have 36 to go.  36 credits sounds not bad at all, but 12 classes seems like a very large number of classes.  If I continue to take three per year, I'll finish at the end of 2013.  And you know what?  I won't be anywhere NEAR 80 years old in 2013.  Onward. 

PS:  If you'd like to win my FIRST-EVER giveaway, you have a few days left!  Leave a comment here.  All comments received by 6 PM US Eastern Time on Sunday, January 31 will be entered into the drawing for Wendy's adorable Teeny Genie necklace. 


Anonymous said...

I shudder at the thought of going back into education. I was already a shuddering wreck when I got out of it first time around. So I admire your courage what with family and job etc. to deal with too. You're obviously quite insane, C. But in the most intelligent way! :)

Carolyn said...

I can relate to everything you wrote. It's been 20 years almost exactly since I was last in school and grad school is much harder this time. Also, I won't finish until 2013 either, right as my youngest finishes high school...

Wahkonamama said...

"But as flattering as this is, and as much as I like and respect these two professors, I must say that I'll see them in Hell before I'll enter graduate school. My academic career will end when I receive my B.A."

As a fellow adult student pursuing her B.A., I wholeheartedly agree. I'm on my third-to-last semester and I am completely grumbly. My classmates are all anxiously applying for grad school, and I have no plans to continue. That will reduce my job prospects significantly, but I would rather gouge out my eyes with a rusty spoon than do grad classes.

2013 is not so bad!

Sauntering Soul said...

My ex-husband (who did not have his bachelor's) kept insisting I should either go to law school or go back and get my doctorate because I already had a bachelor's degree in psychology. I constantly told him how insane he was (for this and many other reasons). Instead, I'm now a legal assistant so I work in the field of law and deal with crazy people (attorneys) all day long. I make decent money and have pretty awesome benefits and never had to go back to school for any of it. Win, win I say.

I am in awe of how you are going to school with everything else you have going on in your life. I bow to you my dear! Good luck!

CDP said...

Veg--that is high praise from you!

Carolyn--I bet enc tells you this all the time, but you should really be blogging! Especially now that you're in school...if there's one thing about life as an adult student, at least it offers plenty of material.

Wakhonamama--I'm with you...grad school vs. rusty spoon? I will take the rusty spoon every time.

SS--see, the undergraduate degree is enough, right?

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Embee said...

I feel your pain. But I went for the immersion method of adult education...I finished my BA by taking full time coursework, working full time, raising kids and completely ignoring my house...that's where I got the extra time. I don't think I ever took fewer than 17 credits per semester. Now I am in grad school and the first semester sucked big time, but this semester is better. I'm doing grad school full time, too. Because I don't want to be 80 when I graduate. I want to finish as quickly as I can. You know, rip the bandaid off instead of peeling it slowly. (Didn't somebody just fund a study on which was better, bandaid ripping or peeling?) Anyway, if I can keep it up I'll be done with my MFA May of next year. But then the PhD is looming on the horizon...

CDP said...

Embee--I totally admire you. That wouldn't work for me, and for reasons other than sheer laziness (which is always a factor). My husband's work schedule is crazy and unpredictable so there are long stretches of almost single parenthood for me. Plus, I'm compulsive about neatness. Plus, the laziness thing.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

From someone who has spent 9 years in postsecondary education and will probably never have children, I promise you that if you really are 80 when you walk across that stage, you'll be glad you took the time to find those swimming goggles.

(Inarticulate Fumblings reincarnate).

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