B recently turned 28. I’m holding onto 27 with both hands (for a few more days). We’ve been together for 7 1/2 years. In that 7 1/2 year span we were both out of school, with jobs at the same time for less than a year. We both have Bachelors, Masters and now B is working on his M.D. Our lives have revolved around school for the vast majority of our lives. And yet, I pine to go back to school.
Now let me explain. I don’t really want to go back to school necessarily, but I want to end result of going back to school. I was an English and Communication undergrad, a comm Master, but my true comm interest lies in public health. However, said public health comm jobs required a more concrete scientific background. (Apparently my Diversity of Life lab sophomore year in which we examined sponges and Moroccan hissing cockroaches need not apply.) Do I need to go back to school and get my Masters in Public Health? Could I even hack it in a science-heavy program? I have wrestled with this for way too much time. Thankfully, the answer is available and the answer is no because NO MORE SCHOOL LOANS.
But yet, I ponder more.
A common answer to my cries is, hey how about taking classes online? Or how about you finally finish that Coursera class you’ve started three times now but never completed? I consider myself to be relatively savvy in the ways of the Internets. I do a very large portion of my shopping online, I’ve teleworked for periods of time, but something about taking a class online doesn’t translate to me. I enjoy selecting color coordinated notebooks (the paper kind) and folders (again, the paper kind) to carry to a lecture hall, where I’ll sit in one of the first few rows and eagerly raise my hand to ask/answer questions. I like to see my professor, in all his or her eccentricities, including an undergrad comm theory professor who always left one huge section of hair out of her ponytail that she was sweep out of her eyes with grand gesture. Or like my grad school professor who bore a strange resemblance to Richard Gere if Richard Gere lived his life in a Texas Tuxedo and loafers. Not only that, but I would miss that time of physically sitting next to and getting to know my classmates. I got to know one of my now best-friends by sitting next to each other in a Comm Theory grad class. Discussion-based classes have always been my favorite type but online discussion via forums and discussion boards doesn’t have the same appeal. I want to be there, in person, slurping up knowledge!
But then I see B upstairs, nose in a book, sleep deprived and I think to myself, “Nah, I’m good.” Maybe I’ll save more schooling for my mid-life crisis.
UPDATE: Turns out I’m not alone in my preference of classroom education.