Sunday, January 25, 2009

Musing Over My Decisions

I went to college in Hawaii, Jerusalem and Illinois--none of which were near my home. I never graduated. My dad used to bug me about "getting on track" in a specific program, but I couldn't decide what area (in all of the areas) I would most like to focus. My one argument for not entering a specific program was that I was earning an education, not a piece of paper. And, for the most part, that was true. I was a good student and enjoyed the classes I took. My classes varied widely in difficulty and scholastic scope and I learned a great deal.

Fast forward twelve years: I wish I had a college degree. I wish I had graduate degrees. There is something about that piece of paper. It legitimizes you amongst your peers and raises your own sense of accomplishment.

Having said that, because I did not, in fact, earn a degree, I have striven harder than most to educate myself. I want to be taken seriously; I want to understand the world around me. Also, without a degree, you can never say, "I'm done." I will continue to study and wonder and learn. This continued learning is healthy for me, I think.

I hope to go back to school, one day, probably not until my children are grown, and that's okay with me. I find hope in the stories of people who graduate in their old age. As long as my children ask questions I can't answer (and then go and find the answer), I will be prepared when the time comes.

By the way, if I could go into a degree program today, it would either be linguistics or ancient history.

What would your major be, now that you have a little bit of life under your wing?


  1. I really wanted to be a history professor, but I am already weird enough as it is.

  2. well Emily- I do have a degree...but it is basically your education with a B.S. at the end- and that stands for bachelors of science not B.S. as in bull sh...crap. \

    anyway so I love my education. I was very confused what to be...and I just kept switching my major over and over again. I though I wanted to be teacher and yet I couldn't handle the idea of teaching the same subject over and at the end of my 4 years I graduated with a Interdisciplinary Bachelors- which is a study of 4 areas instead of 2. I studied political science, health, history, social, pyschology, geography, anthropology, education, book making, children's literature...portuguese- I mean I was all over that campus. (I love BYU-Idaho)

    It changed my life.

    I am zero marketable. But the classes I took- especially at the end changed my life. I think about my degree and I get emotional...and so grateful that I was able to come in contact with some of the teachers I did. I ended up taking 6 family classes at the end of college- and I learned nothing about family- I mostly learned about me.

    So education is all relative- and I don't treasure my diploma- just what I learned.

    So- I think you might have more to offer than many parents with degrees have to offer- only because of what you choose to engage in- what you teach your kids- how much your willing to sacrifice for them by teaching- relative- education is all relative-

  3. I switched colleges three times & still have not completed my degree. I started with math because it was easy for me & there was a great pool of eligible bachelors. (Yes, seriously. ... and I met my husband in a physics class.)

    Now that I am still not finished (<27 credits to go) I wish that I would have gone into accounting or maybe nutritional science. I love helping people figure out how to eat healthy & change their lifestyle. It wasn't really an available degree back then. I took children's literature last year & LOVED the class so much. I felt like I was home. A multi-disciplinary thing would have been right up my alley - I came close with math, physics, computer science, & family history.

    I think you can be an educated person without having a degree but I do want to be Done.