Life of a Blogger | School

June 19, 2014 Life of a Blogger 26

lifeofblogger
Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. Each week Jessi chooses a topic (scheduled in advance) that’s not book related so we that we can get to know our fellow bloggers better – and to know more about them than just books. I’m thrilled to join in and I hope to participate every week from here on out. I hope you’ll join in too – check out the details here!

This week’s topic: School

School. Geez, that’s such a loaded topic for me right now and I’m in serious danger of making this a rant and not a get to know me post. I’ll try to stay calm. No promises though πŸ˜€

So I’m what you’d probably call a professional student. I’ve been in school for the past… wait while I count… past EIGHT YEARS! Yep, eight! It started off so innocently and it’s completely taken over my life.

See EIGHT YEARS AGO I noticed a disturbing trend at my job. I got rave evaluations. I was the official trainer. Every new person we got, I trained them. And then watched them get promoted, while I was stuck. Why? Because I only had a high school diploma. And some arse thought that made me less qualified. So I started community college, which I attend full time while working 70+ hours a week.

Well that backfired – and I’m not sure if it was more on me or on my employer at this current moment. See, I realized that I didn’t want to waste my life in some corporate job. While I was attending community college my major changed from business to education. Yep. I decided I wanted to be a teacher. And I learned that I’m a damn good teacher (not bragging, just saying it how it is).

So after two years at community college, instead of stopping with my associates degree as I initially planned, I enrolled at a 4-year school (University of Texas at Arlington). I still had to work full-time hours but I couldn’t carry all that overtime or daytime hours anymore. So I quit the company I’d worked at for four years and took a job where I could work a late night shift. That’s where it backfired on them – they lost a good employee and they actually paid for my associate’s degree.

While I was at UTA I learned another layer about myself. Very long story short, I discovered that I had what it takes to go to grad school and be a professor someday. So I changed my major again – this time from education to two degrees: 1 in History (with a Medieval & Early Modern Studies minor) and 1 in English (with a classics minor). I applied to graduate schools in the fall of 2010 and by April 2011 I’d been excepted into 11 different programs across the US with a full ride and stipend. A local news channel even did an interview with me. I was at the top!

That was probably where I should have stopped. But I didn’t. I moved 600+ miles away to attend graduate school at Washington University in St. Louis. There I learned something else about myself. I don’t like graduate school, but I’m stubborn as hell. Even though I’ve wanted to throw in the towel since the first day of my first class in August 2011 I’m still working on it. I should earn my Masters in History this fall. Technically I’m on the PhD track, but at this point I’ll be lucky to survive the summer and get that masters.

Because I’m so over it. I hate academia (at least the part of it I’ve been exposed to). I’m tired of research. I still love to teach. I adore it actually and have learned that yeah, it was true – I am a great teacher. But I’ve also learned that unless I’m willing to put my career ahead of pretty much everything else in my life, I will probably never find a job as a Professor of History. At best, I’ll probably get a position as a lecturer making 20K a year. For years and years of school.

So remember how I said I wasn’t sure if they joke was on them or me? Well here’s the part where the joke’s on me. I’ve recently been looking at jobs that I’d be qualified for and would enjoy. One that it looks like I will apply for is doing pretty much EXACTLY what I was doing EIGHT YEARS AGO when I started school. Yep. Isn’t that just great?

Now the good part is that I’ve learned an awful lot about myself through this journey. One – I’ve learned that my career is not what will fulfill me in life. It’s the people I love and the things that I do on a daily basis. Two – I’ve learned that doing what seems right can be really wrong for you. And three – I’ve learned that you shouldn’t choose to do something because you’re afraid to follow your dreams. As it turns out, you can fail taking the safe road, so you might as well shoot for what you really want. You might fail then too, but at least you failed trying for what you really want. And that’s why I’m currently working on writing (editing actually) my first novel (and series).

So I don’t know – is the joke on me? Or was it all worth it?

Tell me about your school experiences πŸ™‚

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

26 Responses to “Life of a Blogger | School”

  1. Greg

    I think it’s the journey that matters, not just the destination (I see Voracious kinda already said that, but that’s what I thought of as I was reading your post). You should be proud of your accomplishments- a masters degree is nothing to sneeze at and takes a lot of work. And like others have said- you’ve learned so much about yourself- and you know you can do it.

    Keep writing too- whether you make it or not, what matters is you’re going for it!
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #50My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Thanks Greg! Sometimes it’s hard to look at that way, but I know you’re right. In the end, I can’t regret the decisions I’ve made because I wouldn’t know so much about what matters to me if I hadn’t taken this crazy route.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  2. Steph from fangswandsandfairydust.com
    Twitter:

    I have an MA in Rhetoric and Communication from a program that taught neither. I went halfway into an MS in Computer Science and dropped out to “meditate.” I worked four year in local government and still have nightmares. I have to say the job I have enjoyed the most besides blogging, of course, is retail.

    If you enjoy teaching I would figure out what the least you could do to get your qualifications is and do that. If you are good at teaching but don’t like it then my opinion (not that you asked for it) do what you want to do in life and the money might follow.

    Hopefully you got grants, fellowships and assistantships and are not a zillion dollars in debt.
    Steph from fangswandsandfairydust.com recently posted…Sunday: Post-gnosis, Prognostication & Why I’m Loving AudioMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Thankfully I’m not in much debt because I’ve been on a fellowship for my graduate work and my associate’s degree was paid for by my employer at the time. So I only have loans for the three years for my BA – and I had some scholarships for that. Thank goodness! I do think I’ll try to get alternative certification but that’s something I’ll have to do for next school year, since I’m a little too late for this year :/ Until then, pretty much any job that pays the bills will do. πŸ™‚
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  3. Jan
    Twitter:

    I agree with every other commenter…you didn’t waste your time. I don’t think education (of any sort) is ever wasted. And you’re wiser now, know things you don’t want to do. If you hadn’t gone the graduate route you would always wonder if you could do it and that maybe you should be a professor. (One of my daughters also went to grad school and stopped with a masters and is so happy she did).

    I graduated from college many years ago and some graduate work which I really didn’t like. I’ve worked a number of jobs through the years (we moved a lot since my husband was in the USAF). I never had a career other than stay-at-home mom (which I loved). Sometimes I feel like I should have done more with my life, but I made lots of decisions through the years which affected my future and that’s okay.
    Jan recently posted…Review: White Night by Jim ButcherMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgivee my tardy reply!

      Thanks Jan – it’s really reassuring to hear people saying that it wasn’t a waste. Sometimes it’s hard to not get down about it. But you’re right, I’m glad I went this route, because I WOULD always wonder if I should have. Now I know. And I’m that much closer to getting into a situation that makes me happier.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  4. Jessica @ Rabid Reads
    Twitter:

    I’m covered in gooseflesh right now. THE JOKE IS NOT ON YOU. Even if you do start at a job like the one you left, this time YOU will be the one that gets promoted, and there is no price you can put on the lessons you’ve learned. There are people that live for their jobs. You aren’t one of them. Neither am I. You know that now, and when life inevitably hands you a situation where one has to take priority over the other, you’ll know what to do. Who knows if you would’ve gained that knowledge if you never gathered the courage to DO something about your situation (that was making you unhappy). Well done, dollface. Well done πŸ˜‰
    Jessica recently posted…Question – Immediate Re-Reads. Have You Ever Been Compelled To Do This?My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Thanks Jessica πŸ™‚ I thought I was someone where career really mattered and, while I’d rather have a job I enjoy, I know now that I will never be someone who makes their decisions based on their career. And you’re right – who knows if I would have figured that out if I hadn’t taken this path. And I’m glad that I am getting out now – I know it’s wrong for me, so why waste the time, right?
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Thanks Brandee πŸ™‚ It’s been a rough journey, but I’m glad to be where I’m at now. Wish I could have gotten here without some of the Pit-stops, wrong turns and dead ends, but I guess in the end it’s not so bad. Now if I could just find a job!
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  5. Katherine
    Twitter:

    I don’t think education is ever wasted. Even if you’re going back to doing what you were doing this increases your chances of getting promotions. And even if that doesn’t happen you’ve learned a lot about yourself and accomplished something that not many people do. I think that’s a lot to be proud of!
    Katherine recently posted…Necessary as Blood – TBR ReviewMy Profile

  6. Felicia the Geeky Blogger
    Twitter:

    I think it shows that you are willing to take chances! Which can only work in your favor.

    I am the opposite. I went to school for a bit but decided it wasn’t for me. I ended up going the “hard knocks” way and it totally worked for me. I do think my lack of degree would probably stand in my way if I was headed towards management but since I am more interested in staying technical, it hasn’t been much of a stumbling block. That being said, I tell every kid I meet to go to college.
    Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted…Audiobook Review: I am Pilgrim by Terry HayesMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      I think it makes sense to at least try college or at least some technical training. In today’s world it’s hard to get many jobs without some secondary education. But I’m with you on not wanting to get into management, not at all interested. In my ideal world I would write for a living, who knows, maybe that day will still come.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  7. Rachael Turns Pages

    You have a lot of commitment. I just finished my freshman year of college and I want to be done with my bachelor’s so I can teach, but I will most likely end up getting my master’s degree in 15 months while teaching and super stressing myself out. After I get that done I’m not going to do anymore school. I really don’t like school. It stresses me out and I don’t enjoy the work. It is the only way to make my dream of an elementary teacher come true.
    Rachael Turns Pages recently posted…Summer Library Challenge: Read-A-Thon Goals, and UpdatesMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Thanks Rachael. I actually like school itself – taking classes and learning new things was great. It was once I got past that part and started being expected to put research and the production of knowledge first that things started going down hill. Good luck with your path, sounds like you’ve got a good plan!
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  8. Amanda
    Twitter:

    I’d say worth it. You pursued what felt right to you at the time. And you tried it. That’s more than some people will ever do. Even if you’re right back where you started, you know more about yourself now. (Plus, you haven’t slid back.)

    I hit the job market right when the economy tanked, so for me, it went college, unemployment, a year of community college thinking I needed a specific degree so I learned about computers, decided I wanted to teach English as a second language, grad school, taught a couple semesters, realized I didn’t want to teach AT ALL, and went into business for myself. Now I just need to kick my business in gear.

    And WAY TO GO on writing! So many people want it, but few actually go for it. Glad you’re in The Writing Sidekick. πŸ˜€
    Amanda recently posted…A Duke Never Yields by Juliana Gray {Amanda’s Review}My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      It’s kinda reassuring to see other people having to make a lot of wrong turns too before getting where they are headed. I guess that’s just part of life – you gotta make some wrong turns to even know what the right ones are. Good luck getting your business going πŸ™‚
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  9. Red Iza

    The irony ! I agree, living fully is more important than a big career. You often strive for years, work hard, miss opportunities because you’re thinking ahead, but meanwhile, you’re not really living. Who knows what may happen to us before we reach our goal ? We may as well enjoy life to its fullest and do our best to make our life correspond to what we want πŸ™‚
    Red Iza recently posted…Cat thursday #16 : This cat knows the meaning of “being at ease” !My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      Yep – I totally agree Red Iza. I think it’s easy to get distracted by careers, especially in the US where career and making it big are put before you as the definition of success from such a young age. I’m just glad I figured it out now, rather than another 30 years from now. Still time to focus on living my life πŸ™‚
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  10. Lexxie
    Twitter:

    I think that every single thing you learn is important in some ways. And hey, it’s not too late to go back to becoming a teacher, is it? I don’t get why some companies think diplomas are more important than people, and the way they actually work, so the joke is definitely on that old company you used work for!

    As you know, I am back to uni myself… and I am somewhat a professional student myself πŸ™‚ I may just have to write some more about this in a discussion post one of these days.

    Thanks for sharing a little something about yourself, Berls. Have a fantastic day!
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Ransom – Rachel SchurigMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m playing catch up on comments, but I still wanted you to know I appreciated your comment. So please forgive my tardy reply!

      I think I will do an alternative certification program this year Lexxie, so that by this time next year I can *hopefully* be getting into a position as a teacher. I agree – it’s a shame that companies put so much value on diplomas. I feel like things have turned now and while a degree matters, it’s also easy to be a way that they claim I’m “overqualified”. It never ends. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find something and at least now I know the job really doesn’t matter as much to me as everything else in life. Just pays the bills.
      Berls recently posted…How do you post pictures side by side?| Fun QuestionsMy Profile

      • Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
        Twitter:

        The ‘overqualified’ excuse is mostly used if one of the supervisors have less diplomas than the person their interviewing, so they are afraid if that person gets hired, their own position might be in danger one day. At least that’s the feeling I get from that.

        I hope you’ll be able to do your certifications so you can become a teacher, Berls. I will be able to be a substitute teacher from this fall, while I do my MA in English. I hope I’ll have the time to do both! I really want to get some hands-on experience now.
        Lexxie recently posted…Review: Dissonance – Erica O’RourkeMy Profile

        • Berls
          Twitter:

          I think you’re right Lexxie. It stinks, but sounds about right :/

          Good luck substitute teaching while working on your MA – it’s always a challenge to work while going to school but getting some practical experience will definitely be a good thing. If I could count on substitute teaching to give me a reliable income I’d do that – but I think it’s too hit and miss. I should look into though.
          Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 50th EditionMy Profile

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