So, I’ve had this goal (dream) of becoming a college instructor for 8 years now. I say instructor because at my age the thought of working on a PhD before I start to teach is unrealistic. For those who do not know, I am what you would call a “late bloomer;” I went back and finished my bachelors in my mid-forties, now I want to finish my masters before I turn 50. Hey, better late than never right? Well……
College has been a life changing experience for me. Those of us who return to college in our later years have a lot to prove to ourselves, and I am no exception. I worked very hard, forgoing a social life, and at times putting my homework ahead of my mother and son. For this, I earned a top spot in my graduating class (I was in the 1% group) and was recognized by the Phi Beta Kappa society. The two most important things I learned in college was that I LOVE learning and how to think critically. If I excelled in anything it was in the sharpening of my critical thinking skills. Ask anyone I know, they’ll tell you my BS radar is always out and ready to shoot down any and all ill-conceived arguments that come my way. Oh, yeah, my family just “thrilled” with the changes in my attitude. In short, I’m one of those “well educated academic snob“ you’ve always been warned about. But where has it gotten me, besides a seat at the edge of many family dinner tables.
I’m proud of what I have accomplished, and how far I’ve grown, but yet, I feel like something is amiss. Maybe it’s because I live in Carson City Nevada, a town and state that do not value higher education. And why should it, when the top jobs are in mining and casino tables? Perhaps by now I would be in nonprofit work or doing something meaningful with my bachelor degree. For now, I am still doing admin work full time and writing part-time.
I don’t know. Maybe I should changed schools. As much as I loved the University of North Carolina’s (go Spartans!) online bachelor’s program, I am not impressed with the MLS one. So far half of my professors are so out of touch that they fail to engage us or offer constructive feedback on our work. Honestly, I could just as easily make up my own syllabus on any given subject. Last May I did just that with my blog series “A Course, A Course!” Making up my own syllabus and being accountable to my followers would save me a lot of money and headaches. Of course this would also mean you would have to suffer through long essays on different topics, and no one wants that!
At this point, I am just about fed up with my experience, and self-doubt is starting to creep in. What if I’m not offered a teaching job, then what? In the end, will having masters really mean much, if I cannot use it? What does it mean to have a “masters” in the liberal arts anyway? What the hell am I mastering besides the art of writing essays? Ahhhh! I need your help; am I suffering from burnout? Should I reevaluate my goals, or should I just be talked down from the ceiling?