Contemplating busyness

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I struggle a bit wondering if my investment in school will be worth it. It's a BIG investment. It's short term (i.e., being super busy) and long term (i.e., takes several more years). This semester has been the worst yet, and I will have to figure out a way to NOT repeat this for another 5 years. Maybe once every few semesters, but not EVERY single one.

I do feel like I'm "working my life away" sometimes. I know there is more to life than school even if there isn't much more to MY life lately than school. The things that keep me trucking are, in no particular order:

I think it will be cool to have a Ph.D. someday, even if it's only my family who is impressed.

In an ideal situation, being a professor is a pretty cool job. The flexibility is good. On the other hand, I read a quote last week, "Yes, it's flexible, you can work any 80 hours a week you want." LOL But the investment in having a cool professor job goes so long beyond graduate school into the first several years of your assistant professor job. That's if you can get a tenure-track position to begin with. I definitely won't get one at UNT since I'm getting all my degrees there. Plenty of universities around to work for. A one-year post-doc appointment somewhere would probably help, too.

But even with all that uncertainty, the degree I'm aiming for is based in statistics and measurement, not educational theory, and I think there is sufficient "real world" opportunity available should I not go right into a university, whether or not by choice. And would it really be the end of the world if I finished school and taught K-12 or community college? Point is, there are options. The options are fewer without the Ph.D., though.

Wouldn't Tom love it if I came home one day and said, "Hey, I don't have homework anymore, so I won't have to work on the weekends!" Sure. But not at the expense of me leaving school. It's as much an investment in me as in our future. He knows that. He doesn't give me a hard time, but I know he'd love more leisurely Amber time. I have HARDLY been leisurely all semester.

The gray hair makes me look distinguished. LOL

I'm a little bummed because after the conference in Saint Louis November 5-8, I was hoping for some calm. But we had a meeting yesterday, and my boss asked me to help her rewrite a chapter - authorship on a chapter is worth a few more weeks of crazy, I think. It's due December 1st, so it can't last forever. Something new will come up by then, though. *sigh*

But how do you eat a big pie? One bite at a time.

(Note to self: work on SITE conference proposals and grading this morning, then on paper due Thursday this afternoon, then put together NAGC presentation Wednesday, finish paper Wednesday night into Thursday, turn it in Thursday, upload NAGC presentation Friday, and enjoy the Alliance Airshow on Saturday. You can do it!)


The O'Brien Family said...

all valid thoughts. Hugs & kisses!

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