Life Changes

Monday, April 20, 2009
As many of you know, I have been considering a mid-life career change once the Smart Twins are off the payroll.

Since they'll be graduating from High School next month, it's not like I need to make plans immediately - it's going to be at least four years before I can move on any graduate work to support a career change.

But that doesn't stop me from thinking about it.

Initially, I thought I might like to go to Law School in order to become a public interest attorney and work in public policy.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize I probably will not be able to achieve that goal without incurring some student loan debt. I really don't want to be 50 years old, embarking on a career that will arguably pay less than I make now while paying back student loans.

So I'm exploring other options.

So far I've looked at a Masters in Global Studies at the University of Denver's University College. This is the College I attend now, and the coursework would be consistent with what I'm used to, and the cost is more manageable. I'm also looking at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at DU. They offer a Global Studies degree with an emphasis in Human Rights that sounds fascinating, but the tuition cost would be greater than Law School. Both of these programs can be done part-time, which is a plus.

I think this is the beginning of my mid-life crisis. I have so many things I'm interested in, and so many ways in which I'd like to spend the rest of my professional life, I'm not sure which direction to go. If I could afford to, I think I'd end up being a professional student for the rest of my days.

Of course that's not going to happen unless I divorce the SmartMan and marry some old rich guy with a bad cough, so another plan seems to be in order. Maybe animal assisted social work...

14 comments:

The Mechanicky Gal said...

There is always Cosmetology School!

Why you lookin' at me that way?

Jim Wright said...

I hear there's big money to be made in either Diesel Repair or Medical Transcription.

What?

Eric said...

Oo! Oo! Oo! I know! You could go to ninja pirate astronaut school and become a ninja pirate astronaut when you grow up and then you could like fly your spaceship to Mars and fight these zombies with lasers in their skulls and the zombies would go: BWEE-BWEE-BWEE with their skull lasers and this rock near you would go BWOOOOSH! and you'd be like all, "Ha, I knew they would fire their lasers at where I was standing so I jumped to the side with my mad pirate ninja astronaut skills," and then you'd like pull out your cutlass and ninja stars and the zombies would go SQUINCH SQUINCH SQUINCH SPLOOSH while you chopped off the heads of some of them and threw your ninja stars over your shoulders at the ones coming up behind you and then you would proclaim, "I NOW PROCLAIM MARS IS SAFE FOR AMERICANS!" and you'd get in your rocketship and go WHISSSSSSSHHH and fly off to your hidden fortress in the Kuiper Belt.

Hey, that's funny--how did you know somebody brought chocolate-covered doughnuts to the office today? They did. No, I only had one.... Wait a second... are you MAGIC? Because maybe you should go to pirate ninja wizard school and....

What?

neurondoc said...

Eric -- how many cups of coffee did you have with that donut?

Janiece, at least you are having a productive mid-life crisis. :-) For his mid-life crisis, my dad had an affair, left my mom, and eventually married the other woman...

I had considered getting an MPH a few years ago, but the cost was surprisingly high for a distance-based learning program, and I was still paying off my med school loans at that point. I didn't think that I would ever recoup that money. But I am still a wistful, because it would have been so interesting...

kimby said...

I am apparently having a similar mid life crisis. I have no idea of what i want to do..and there are OPTIONS. Sometimes I think it would be easier if there was no choice involved.

Nathan said...

You could just keep the rich old guy with the bad cough on the side until he croaks and leaves you all his money. I'm betting SmartMan is smart enough to take the good with the bad.

Or you could just study something that would help us understand what makes Eric tick, tick, tick, tick, tick...you, know...before he goes off.

Janiece Murphy said...

Amy, shouldn't you be in Ireland or something?

And Eric, I like your suggestion better than the other three. Next they'll be suggesting I enroll at ITT Tech or the University of Phoenix.*

Natalie, that was my "head up my ass in my 20's crisis." I've outgrown that particular piece of dumbassery.

Nathan, I think not. On either score. I'm far enough away from Eric that my interest is pretty academic (pun intended), and the SmartMan's flexibility has limits.

*Yes, I am an education snob. There are way too many excellent schools in this country to settle.

The Mechanicky Gal said...

Seriously. I have considered Cosmetology school. There is a Vo-Tech kind of college near me that has clothing design, and all KINDS of hands-on things. Right up my alley! I am wondering how I can go to all of the different classes I want to, and make sure that my GI Bill covers it all. Get all but teh last course I need to get teh certificate, then change my program? Then, after I have exhausted all of the separate courses I want, then get those last classes done? Or, use up all my money in teh Except-for-the-Last-Class Program, then go back at my liesure and take the last classes? It's so exhausting planning my scam.

Janiece Murphy said...

Amy, going to school for pleasure is right up my alley, too. But you know for a fact that my incredible lack of skills in the "hands-on" arena means I need to choose a more intellectual pursuit.

And using the educational benefits you earned to further your education isn't really a scam. It's more like creative execution...

Tania said...

Cosmetology is kinda cool if you have any talents in that area and live somewhere where you can make a living at it.

You frequently can be your own boss, you get to be creative, do fun girly stuff and get paid for it, and no matter how bad things are, people usually need to get haircuts.

I always wanted to get my cosmetology/hairdressing license so I could apply for the hairdresser job down at McMurdo. Fun!

Janiece Murphy said...

Tania, I'd love to go to McMurdo. I actually considered wintering over when I was active duty and decided against it because of A MAN.

Stupid me.

Steve Buchheit said...

Follow your bliss, the money will follow. And when you're quit and with yourself, your bliss will make itself known.

Random Michelle K said...

Natalie, I enjoyed most of WVU's MPH program. I did all my classwork but never finished my practicum (Grandmom moved in and school became untenable.)

Of course most of my classes were gerontology classes. I think if I'd pursued a different focus I might not have had as much fun, but the gero professors are excellent. I even liked Epi, although I didn't have enough time on the math portion of the exams, because simple math and I are enemies. (3+5=11, right?)

Janiece, in addition to becoming a life-long student, you might want to look at different kinds of jobs. I lucked into my job, which allows me to use many different skill sets.

Eric, apparently YOU stole all my energy today.

Bastard.

Janiece Murphy said...

I'm sure I'll work out the crisis, and I'll keep exploring options.

Eventually I'll find something that grabs me. Maybe I'll even be a ninja pirate astronaut, if I can find a position with benefits...