19 November 2007


I went to the well at one of my NABLOPOMO groups to look for a writing prompt. Poking around a bit, I found "Why I Chose My University Degree." Now there's a long and sordid tale...
In high school I was a speech and theatre geek (aside for those pitnickers out there: "theater" is a building, "theatre" is a craft (or an art, if you want another argument)) I was even awarded our high school's theatre scholarship. I was the first in my family to go to college, and I had to find the cash to do it. After narrowing my choices to two schools, I went with the state college that offered me more scholarships. I was offered a decent financial aid package at choice number 2 as well, but the private school tuition negated the aid.
I dove headfirst into college life, and floundered my way through with little to no advising, juggling production schedules and part-time jobs, loving every minute of it. I acquired and discarded a couple of boyfriends before diving into a relationship that lasted the better part of three years and which I still cannot understand why the hell I stayed in so long. I was on track to finish my BA in 4 1/2 years, and I was deciding where to go to grad school, considering a masters in dramaturgy.
The old saying goes: "Man plans, God laughs." The Old Boy split his sides when he set me down in a Happy Chef restaurant one August afternoon in 1990. I was back in Marshall apartment hunting for the school year after completing an internship at a community theater in my hometown. We stopped at HC for lunch since I had previously worked there and still had some friends on staff. Turnover being what it is in food service, the new assistant manager was a friend from a directing class. Coincidentally, he was losing a roommate, so I jumped at the vacancy and took the room. We married the following April.
We were on our own financially, and supporting a household and two college educations was a bit too much, so we withdrew from school with the intention of going back when we got on our feet financially. We managed to commute a bit and get a couple more quarters of school completed right after Thing 1 came along. I tried to go back when I was expecting Thing 3, but had to drop at midterm due to financial aid hangups. Finally, when I was expecting Thing 4, I was fat, tired, and truly disgusted with my job. I had four years of college and nothing to show for it. I taught a few workshops and directed a couple community plays over the years, but we had settled in a location where theatre will not pay the bills. So, what to do with all this booklearnin'? I thought about what I enjoy, I examined my transcript for the best transfers and substitutions, and I cobbled together the better part of an English education degree. Bless you, William Shakespeare! I really do enjoy language, reading and writing, so hopefully I'll be able to use that to make it easier for some kids to learn it in high school. Now, once again, my biggest enemy is the almighty dollar. I am no longer eligible for financial aid, which means I must scrounge the cash for each class. Each semester I cannot afford is four months longer before I can go look for a teaching job to pay off all these loans that I took out to get this degree. It's a bit circular. Hrm.
So there's one writing prompt down and a little something you may not have known about the ol' saucy goose. With that, I am off to work a little on a poetry paper, read a few articles on language and literacy, and go to bed!

1 comment:

cosmic junkie said...

you wanna talk about irony, I am using the money I make from my part time job to pay the student loans on which I went to school to learn how to do that very part time job I went to school for. Isnt education wonderful? Just let me pay and give me the stupid certificate and we will cut out all rest. It could be worse. I could be an intern.