5.09.2006

Can you teach an old dog...?

I made a decision last week to call it quits at the pub. The bottom line is that I am tired. I already have a full-time day job, and working the extra 20 mostly late-night hours has become harder and harder for me physically as time has gone on. Does this mean I am finally starting to feel my age? Maybe so.

Even though my body might be feeling the affects aging, my mind is still sharp. Beginning next week, at the ripe old age of 38 years, I start back to college. With just over two years of education to go, I get the feeling that it is now or never if I ever want to earn my bachelors degree. Better make it now, I have reasoned. I'm starting slowly--just 6 credit hours with a journalism class and a computer class this summer semester.

I can't say that I really want to go back to school. Sure, when people are younger and more impressionable, college expands both the mind and the powers of reasoning. College also offers important social experiences for the young. But at my age and with my years of professional experience, having to go back to school feels almost pointless. If anything, I feel as though I am jumping through the hoops that society has dictated. I am merely crossing the Is and dotting the Ts--taking care of something that should have been done long ago.

But I'll take care of it, regardless.

Still, it sometimes amazes me how far I made it without a college degree on my resume. I am in a much better place professionally than any of my siblings who went to school. I carry less debt than many of my friends who still have unpaid student loans. And, out of my 22 years working, there have only been three years where I didn't work in my preferred field.

However, I do recognize that I am limited without a degree in that I do not have the luxury of moving around from job to job as other people do. The only way I have managed to carve out a successful career is by having stayed in one place for many years and by working my way up the corporate ladder--one rung at a time. And I doubt I could easily leave my current employer and demand my current salary anywhere else without a degree. In other words, I wear golden handcuffs.

So, beginning next week I take the first steps in loosening the golden chains just a little by heading back to class. Be aware that I will do what is required to be a total suck-up and teacher's pet--anything to make college life a little easier for this old gal. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, those hoops won't be as bad as I am imagining. Ya think?

8 comments:

Brenda said...

Okay.... just blundered onto your blog and YES... go back to school NOW! I got an AA back in 1977. Lot of good it's done me over the years... nuttin' honey. So, I also have been going back to school. Little by little and like you, 6 credits at a time. Slow and steady wins the race!
Good Luck!

Dan-E said...

degrees are so overrated. i know quite a few people with degrees from very respectable colleges who work in a field that has nothing to do with what they studied. and take it from a guy just finished art school while in his 30s (ok 31, but still), it's a lot more satisfying because you're doing it for yourself and you have a far better idea about what you want in life.

though i will admit, being a classroom surrounded by early/mid-20s is a little depressing.

JustJunebug said...

take it from someone who knows, going to (back) to college at "our" age is actually pretty great. you have a wealth of knowledge and it helps out tremendously! at least you have 2 years to start with..me? nada, but here i am 6 months later after starting and while it takes ALOT of my time, in the end it will be worth it!

congratulations! on both school and QUITTING the bar...thankfully i only had to tend bar for 8 months while out of work, and at my age (then i was 41) it was hell every morning as each bone and muscle ached...

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

Congrats. on your decision to go back to school, and quit the bar Diane! I have no doubt you will succeed at anything you put your mind to. :-)

3T

utenzi said...

Assuming you work where I think you do, Diane, why would you ever want to leave?

Of course having a degree is a good thing and easily affordable so I certainly congratulate you, Diane. I guess State is closest to you. Pity. UNC is so much better. LOL

Jaws said...

Thats awesome your going back to school.

My dad has a masters in Teaching and history. What does he do? He is a VP of a trucking company.

The degree isn't about what it teaches you so much but it shows you did it.. got through it. Says alot to employers about who they are about to hire and how hard they are willing to work.

Go for it!! I am cheering ya on.

zerodoll said...

I agree with Jaws, it shows your persistence and that you can stick with something. Good move! And you won't have to be distracted by looking for the next kegger!

TamWill said...

Wow Diane I am so happy for you, on both counts.
Good Luck with school and Cheers for making your load a bit lighter, two jobs is tough.

Here's a toast ((grab your martini)) to ya and your road to success.