Finding My Way – Manic Style!

February 12, 2011 at 12:13 am (Academics, Contentment, Education, Future, Life Propelling Forward, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I am consistent in a few things in life:

1) My love for God and those He’s placed in my life (though I do fail at times)

2) My coffee consumption

3) Wasting time on facebook

4) My tendency to debate for the sake of debating (or boredom…)

5) Persistently, perennially, planning my forthcoming prospects

6) Love of change

Without a doubt there are more, but these are the few that come to mind. I’m just going to expound upon the last two. Right now I am exhausted, but I feel I’ve been neglectful of this site so I’ll tell you what I’ve been thinking about the past five days. I’m working through my student teaching and as I do I find myself continually planning for the imminent future. I’ve been looking at schools, advanced degrees, fellowships and various career paths. This was how my week played out.

MONDAY: I decided that teaching was not a field for me to be involved in for more than 10 years. I am just past my 10 year high school reunion mark, so it is still fresh to me how quickly a decade can pass. That being the case, I decided I had better pull it together and come up with an exit plan, to be meticulously implemented sometime within the next 10 years.

TUESDAY: I did a search on a PhD that involved the international educational field and more specifically works with managing educational progress in third world and developing countries. Of course this PhD is offered at a university that is both cost effective (if Steve Jobs is your uncle) and easy to get into (if you are unusually intelligent and/or related to an executive administrator). For a mere 43k/yr, Columbia offers what appears to be a stellar program in International Education Development: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/its/cie%26ied/index.asp?Id=Prospective+Student+Information&Info=Program+Description Sounds great, right?

WEDNESDAY: I decided that I was really compromising what I truly want to do, which is write. I must confess that the cost of tuition @ Columbia did give me cause to pause! Since I’m currently accruing debt, the thought of going to a school that, by my research, appears to be the most expensive in the country, did not sit well with me. So I decided to to search schools that offer advanced degrees in Journalism or Communications. I have not often found educational institutions that have a reasonable entrance when it comes to the field of Journalism. Usually there’s a requirement for a specific bachelor’s degree, usually: English, History, Political Science, Economics, Communications and the like. My B.S. is filled with such ambiguity that I delight in explaining to people what it is exactly. It’s a fluid concept that changes with every telling. To my joy, I found myself on the Northwestern University site for graduate studies in Journalism: http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/journalism/grad/ . No particular major required. The program looked excellent and flexible, contingent upon one’s personal goals. That’s what I will shoot for after gaining some professional teaching experience.

THURSDAY: Being such a fastidious planner led me to want a back up for my Journalism plan. I desire to do work overseas, regardless of any degrees I may or may not obtain in the future. Feeling guilty for not searching schools on the west  coast, I finally caved in and ended up searching many universities, but finding an interesting-looking program, not in my beloved California, but in Oregon (which I also love, and let’s face it: they get weather there). An International Relations grad program that appears worth looking into is there:  http://intldept.uoregon.edu/graduate/program/ I’ve never looked at Int’l Relations/Communications programs located in areas outside a substantially sized city because, well, it just makes sense to me that an international relations program should be centralized in a large city. But perhaps I was being narrow-minded. Yes. Oregon Int’l Relations here I come.

FRIDAY: I experienced a LIGHTENING BOLT of possibilities as I was thinking some paths over. One of my (many) recurring thoughts is that I ought to work overseas for the human and educational rights of those with disabilities. A few times over the years I have had this particular fleeting thought, but immediately dismissed it on account of my self-perceived intelligence level. But today I allowed the thought to linger. I considered law school. With an emphasis in international law. So excited was I (and indeed, am) about this idea that I have never shared with a soul until this day, that I looked at many schools. Here are my two favourites: University of Virgina: http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/academics/combinedegree.htm and USC: http://lawweb.usc.edu/why/academics/curriculum/dualDegree.cfm

I am many things. You could probably guess that dreamer falls into that category. So does the persistent idea of being positioned to “do the most good” that is possible. Which is why I may be such a dreamer. That’s when I realized it.

My creepy epiphany: Katy Perry was actually singing about my educational career in her song “Hot N Cold” (word to the wise: NEVER let your eyes rest upon that music video. It will scar your soul). Who could have possibly guessed that the line, “You change your mind like a girl changes clothes,” is actually regarding my ceaseless twittering about the world wide web, visiting an inordinate number of university grad program sites and changing my opinion of the future so often that it truly explains the vertigo I now have. I’d like to say lesson learned – hold up! – no I wouldn’t! And I shall not. Life is a process. Education and finding one’s place in the world is a process and I am thrilled to be on the journey. I know I’ll end up exactly where I need to be in life.

But I am a little curious: I’ve ripped through five professions in five days. What will I want to be tomorrow? 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Willie Mac said,

    Sounds like you need to do more praying and less thinking haha.

    I will give a shout out for any Virginia college, my home Commonwealth has some of the best schools statewide in the country. The University of Virginia is an awesome school but it is hard to get into, even though it is a state school. Plus, you can live near DC; wouldn’t that be exciting.

    But do pray about it some more.

  2. Amanda said,

    Barring an act of God (implausible, though not impossible), I certainly WILL be praying about all of it. I know how hard ALL of the universities I’ve been checking out are to get into. Fortunately for my always future-focused mind, I have student teaching to complete and a large sum of debt to begin to chip away at. I will be praying and actively waiting on the Lord. A few weeks ago, I was talking to Him and I heard two words, “Keep walking.”

    I don’t know where the path is headed, but I know as long as I follow Him, it will be into the heart of God. What a great place to be.

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