Monday, September 21, 2009

Getting to Know You: Training and Education

On an earlier occasion, we discussed our education. We have a wide diversity of experiences, don't we?

Today, let's talk about the education and training that we would like to have, and the things that hold us back.

Have you always wanted to get your Ph.D. or become a Black Belt? Would new and desirable paths would open up if only you had the right kind of certification or a few lessons from a master in their field?












Let's talk about those educational paths yet to be taken.

Authors, feel free to chime in! Characters, please don't mock the authors...too much.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, if I can't mock my author, what fun is it???

Aidan said...

I didn't finish in Art History. Maybe someday I'll get back to Cambridge to do that. Hell, I don't even know how to drive.

Kaelin said...

I didn't finish at Cambridge. I do have my black belt in Karate, but it's pretty passe now. I qualified for the Marksman Corp in Sentinel and right now my ranking is highest.

Marc said...

I have a few degrees, the latest being Computer Science. Every other decade or so I get bored and go back to school.

Laura Martone said...

I would love to have Marc's free time... if I were immortal (and independently wealthy), I'd just go to school forever. It's been eleven years since I graduated from Northwestern (with a lowly double bachelor's degree in film and English), and I miss it so freakin' much!

When I first graduated, I was so lost. Should I go to graduate school, join the Peace Corps, travel to Europe, become a park ranger (or a therapist), train for the U.U. ministry, move to NYC and get a job in publishing, move to L.A. and try my hand at television writing, or stay in Chicago and wing it? Seriously, all of those things passed through my mind. And I just about had a nervous breakdown trying to figure it all out (just like the time I freaked out at the Smithsonian because I realized that I couldn't see EVERYTHING in three days).

So, after taking a three-month paid intership in a downtown Chicago bank (long story), then heading back to New Orleans to finally learn how to drive (also a long story), I took my first full-time job in a terrible multimedia company in the outskirts of Chicago, and met the man who would change my life forever... Dan, my hubby of nearly nine years. And it's been a crazy ride ever since. Needless to say, he convinced me to do none of the above... and do what I really wanted to do: pursue travel writing and finish my first novel - which I have.

But, still, the call to return to graduate school is a powerful one - much to the hubby's chagrin, of course, for you see, the hubby thinks that such schooling is a waste of time and money. And perhaps he's right. Although I've toyed with the idea of teaching, I'm not so sure I'm cut out for it - so what would I do with a graduate degree exactly, except maybe proudly wave it around for all to see? And the biggest problem of all - besides the financial burden of going back to school - is that, after a decade, I'm still not sure what to get a master's in... journalism, literature, theology, cinema, or creative writing. All of the above still vie for top subject in my heart - perhaps none will ever win out. So, I'm left feeling half-empty when it comes to education, and full in most other aspects of my life: family, travel, creativity, writing projects, etc.

Oops. I didn't expect to write such a long-winded answer. Guess this question really struck a nerve!

Olivia Harper said...

It's okay, Laura. I have a double graduate degree in art and art history... and I haven't done much with it. I mean, I teach on occasion, but the real source of my income comes from my artwork - my photographs, collages, and beaded tapestries - which, as you know ('cause you wrote me), I was creating even before college.

Olivia Harper said...

Oh, and I should point out that, if you HAD gone to graduate school, you might never have hit the road with Dan, visited Mammoth Cave in southern Kentucky, and been inspired enough to write your novel - and create me - in the first place. So, uh, thanks.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

I'd be happy learning anything except languages - no ear - although, not in the Van Gogh sense.
To do University now - without the all pervading sense that making time for self is a bad thing - would be my idea of heaven without the long trip up.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...
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FLOWER said...

In Durham now. Will said that the University 'calls and it pays the bills' or whatever.
Hate it.
There's a school, probably more than one lol , still not going.
I want to go north. Homeschooling at Ed, Jam and Sam's, why did I hate it?

Christine H said...

I wish I had an MFA. Then writing would be my actual profession.

Notice I didn't say job. I don't expect to get a job.

But at least I could say it was more than a hobby, right?

Marenya said...

Perhaps if you had this "MFA" you would actually then write the rest of my story?

Whatever it is, would you please fetch it quickly?

I'm growing so tired of waiting.

Laura Martone said...

Phew! I'm feeling kinda grateful for my characters. Olivia and Devi are happy the book is complete and their story, told. Now, the revision is my bane, not theirs.

But, yeah, Christine, an MFA would be nice. Ahhh... A girl can dream.

Charles said...

When I was younger I had a private tutor that took care of all my education. After I married, I felt no need to continue my education, being cozily ensconced in my family's fortune.

Now my lack of desire for schooling continues, even though everyday Alexander continues to push me to go to night school. Why waste the time?

Laura Martone said...

A family fortune? That must be nice, Charles... Guess I'll have to dream about that now, too. Sigh.

Charles said...

It was nice, Laura, while it lasted. Unfortunately the money is all gone. Alexander supports us mostly now. Good friend, that man. We've known each other since we were little, and yet he still puts up with my stupidity.

Laura Martone said...

Wow, okay. Well, now I don't feel so bad being poor. I hope things work out for you, Charlie. Maybe you SHOULD go back to school. Just a thought.

Donna Hole said...

I have an AS in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a BS in Social Work. I'd like to get my MFA, but I'm not sure if that would really make me a better writer.

I miss going to classes though. I was over thirty when I started college for the first time, and I think I got more out of the experience than I would have at 20.

The price of age ......... dhole

Amy Thompson said...

I've been so stuck on surviving day to day I've found it hard to think about things like a career of my own. No man would support me in the venture anyway.

Well, in her third novel, my authour did allow me to take some GE courses and get a computer lit certificate. That sure improved my prospects for self sufficiency.

Hmm, I wonder what I would ever dream of going to college for.

Alexander said...

Charles, you should listen to the woman. She seems very smart. At least go back and get your high school diploma. Then you could at least get a job at McDonalds.

As for my education, I am always learning. One is never to old to learn something new, in my opinion. However I haven't been able to return to school for a few years now. The budget has been too tight.

However I hope to start some classes soon. Underwater basket weaving sounds like fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I'm in high school.

I might go to college. I don't know.

Shadow

Ricky said...

I wouldn't mind having an MBA. It might come in handy if I ever get good enough at band management to rent office space, hire additional promoters, and have a real company.

But here lately, I've been thinking legal training would be more useful

bunnygirl said...

I'd like to get a doctorate someday, but I was pretty tapped out after my master's and I haven't got enough time for a Ph.D. program.

Still, I'd like to have one just to have it. I'd probably not even tell anyone unless it came up in conversation. It's just one of those silly goals I set for myself as a kid and never followed through on.

Laura Martone said...

I'm with you, Ann. Sometimes, I just want a PhD to have a PhD. I wouldn't brag about it or anything - it's just one of those life goals I've had since I was a young girl.

Olivia Harper said...

Hey, Alexander! I took a seminar in underwater basket weaving once - when I was going to school in Austin, Texas. It was a lot of fun - but a rather impractical way to weave baskets, in my opinion.

And obviously, Aidan, I did finish my masters in art history, but I would love to have a black belt in karate like Kaelin. I swim and do yoga, but I've always wanted to be good at self-defense-type sports.

I should take a class on the mainland one of these days. But where would I find the time?

scruffy said...

woof!

Christine H said...
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Christine H said...
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Ginger said...

I wonder if Scruffy has been to obedience school? He probably couldn't tell us. I know Scruffy, bark once for Yes, twice for no! Good dog!

I was halfway through my business degree when I married Scott and dropped out. I was drifting anyways, not sure what I wanted to do. I always meant to go back, but...

Christine H said...

By the way, if you don't mind, I'm taking a poll on stress on my blog. I'm trying to figure out if authors are more stressed out than other people because of the pressure to be creative in addition to the rest of our responsibilities, or if we tend to go with the flow.

So please visit my blog and vote. Authors only, please! Fictional stress doesn't count, I'm afraid.

Thanks!

Mira said...

I start grad school tomorrow.

I'm nervous.

SIGH.

Olivia Harper said...

Good luck, Mira! Grad school was awesome!

Steph Damore said...

PhD, ick. Although I enjoy my teaching gig and I know that to get tenure track I need the degree. Humph.

Christine H said...

You'll do great, Mira!!!

Christine H said...

Marc,
As the Character of the Week, you get to pick the next victim... I mean, contestant.
Who is the lucky character?

Mira said...

Thanks Olivia and Christine. I hope you're right.

I'm nervous!! :)

Hi Steph - nice to see you here. It looks like you're surviving, which gives me hope.... :)