Thursday, September 21, 2006

Academic Fantasies

There are some great discussions going on right now, but I'm too covered up with students and grading and committees to do any of them justice. Instead I'd just like to share a quick note about academic fantasies.

I finished my Ph.D. in 1996. Since then it has been my continuing dream to go back to school. There's just no life I love better than that of a grad student. Of course, anything I might want to take wouldn't actually advance my career. Often I consider ditching everything and running off to an MFA program. Hello. My Ph.D. is in creative writing. This wouldn't exactly be a move forward. Once I was going to apply for a Ph.D. program at Duke and just get a degree in another field of English. What can I say? I drove through North Carolina and thought it was pretty.

Often my fantasies actually stray toward other disciplines. I'd like MAs in history, philosophy, and graphic design.

I never fantasize about taking courses that would allow me to make more money. I'm just an arts and humanities girl through and through.

I could, however, change the particulars of my current job by getting another MA. Instead of two sections of literature and four sections of composition every semester, perhaps I could teach two lits, two comps, and two comparative religion classes. Wouldn't that be nice?

Ah, well. We all need our dreams.


Nancy McKeand said...

I don't have a PhD, but I understand wanting to take more classes both to broaden knowledge and teaching fields. My MA is in TESOL, and now I am working on 18 hrs of actual English credits. I would love another Masters in almost anything! Maybe some day...

It is fun to dream!

Mike @ Vitia said...

I have a hard time understanding grad students who talk about how glad they are not to be taking classes: while it's certainly nice to work on one's own very specific problem, there's also something extremely pleasant that happens in the seminar where a bunch of people are tackling ideas new to them. And I love learning new stuff.

firstcitybook said...

I know I'm late in responding to your posting, but I think you're nuts to want more grad classes after having gotten through Oklahoma State. Learning as a autodidact is much more fun and far less stressful than attending seminars, turning in research papers, and taking exams. There are ways to pursue one's intellectual goals without enrolling in a traditional program of study. I'm much happier now that I'm away from Oklahoma State. Ruth and Harland say hi.

Sharon Gerald said...

J! I'm glad you stopped by. How've you been? It seems like forever since the OSU days. Your son must be nearly a teenager now. Does he still have the Curious George I gave him? Ha!

Maybe I am happier now than I was back in Stillwater, but I honestly do miss being the student. I remember grad school life as being much more leisurely and mentally pleasing than anything I've done since.

Of course, I couldn't quit my job to go back to school, and I couldn't afford the time to devote to coursework with my current job, so it's all just pretty talk. Sigh. :)