Friday, May 05, 2006

Update 2: All school, all the time

This morning, I am waiting for my grades, due out later today. I know what they’ll be, but I don’t feel like the semester is really over until I can print out a grade report.

Bizarrely, I am a student all over again. I dropped out of High School because I hated school. I barely kept my head above beer in University. And here I am now, working in an office at a college. This was the place that would hire me, so far from my home town and the industry I knew best at the time, so this is where I’ve stayed.

Here at the college, one of the benefits available to me is that I can arrange to take classes for free, providing they are offered at one of the state schools, and providing they don’t interfere with my job. Having finally taken that last class to receive my Bachelor’s back in 2001, I decided that getting another piece of paper might be fun, so I searched for a degree program that would suit me.

Georgia doesn't seem to be really big on liberal arts, however. Here in middle Georgia, it seems clear the only reason you go to school is to get a job, and the jobs are in nursing, childhood education, and information technology. A business degree is almost frivolous. Fine arts, which is what I first looked at... is out of the question in most parts of the state.

Finally, I found a likely-looking program sitting squarely on the fence between the creative and the practical, managed by a state university in Marietta, about a 2.5 hour drive from where I currently live, straight through the traffic hell that is Atlanta. The Master of Science degree in Technical and Professional Communication sounded like it might indeed be up my alley, but could I actually get to an evening class and home again without killing myself? Could I, more to the point, actually pass the entrance exam?

Luckily, I eluded both the exam and the traffic. Southern Polytechnic State University was also offering a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication as a fully online program. Admission required a couple of essays and some recommendations, but no exam.

Seven classes later, I am halfway to a Master’s degree. SPSU has graciously decided to extend an offer of a second online Certificate, an opportunity obviously created for the sole purpose of holding onto one of their star pupils, me. Yes, me. Why are you looking so shocked?

I will receive my new piece of paper in the mail in the coming weeks, but it looks like I am not finished after all. I will be back in class this fall. The former Becky Slocombe of Toronto, Canada, who never could stand school... works at a college; is in graduate school; does her best to support her gorgeous husband Luther, who is now a full time college student; and shares a home and her questionable wisdom and sense of humor with the teenaged Wil, who is a full time high school student. It’s all school all the time at the Hendricks household.

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