Friday, April 04, 2008

MUSINGS ON LEARNING

Today I looked over graduate programs and I have concluded that I am probably going to embark on a journey to get another useless degree. While I firmly assert that I got an excellent education and that my Liberal Arts degree is totally worth something the reality of that statement is up for review. I like to say that I have a degree in everything but I also have a degree in nothing. The programs that sounded remotely interesting to me are as follows:

Curriculum Studies
English
Human Services and Counseling
Interdisciplinary Studies
Media, Culture, and Society
Organizational and Multicultural Communication
General Psychology (which I probably won’t do because I would have to take the GRE and I am lazy and I hate standardized tests and I don't want to get a bad score and worry that I am stupid)
Sociology

Seeing as the guy who meets with undecided students works in my office, I should probably go and have a meeting. Maybe I can get some help. Help just isn’t really like me though, I tend to just make decisions and live to regret them or live to love them. In fact, the only education related regret that I have is taking the MCAT instead of the GRE and not figuring out that I didn’t want to be a Dr. before I took all of those science classes. In the grand scheme of things that isn’t too bad.

9 comments:

Danielle said...

Those all sound like great programs.

I am just finishing up my associates degree from a community college in History but when I transfer I will be taking up a dual major of political science and journalism.

Learning never ends.

Have a great weekend!

Danielle

Mom said...

Bravo! I am certain that whatever degree you choose will be useful, interesting, and fun. Though somewhat "unconventional" of course. ("You are different. So are we.")

It's not so much "help" as "due diligence". But it comes down to finding a program that interests you and offers you the opportunity to pursue things that interest you. A lot of the investigating can be done online (as I know from experience) but some has to be done in person (as I also know from experience).

You have a lot of interesting interests. The programs you listed definitely look like ones I could see you pursuing. (And no matter how you might or might not score on a standardized test you are about as far from stupid as anyone can get.)

You can go interview people in the departments that sound interesting. (In this situation, you are the one interviewing them, to see if their program suits you.) One potential question, of course, is "what can a person do with a degree in...?" There are lots of other things you'll probably want to ask as well. You can talk to students who are nearly done with their degrees (maybe talk to some who aren't nearly done too), etc. You can talk to professors (I assume you've already checked their CV's online), department heads, etc. Ideally, you'll find professors that you'd want to work with and who you think can help you grow in the direction you want to grow in and whose interests interest you, as well as students you'd like to have as "fellow travelers".

"...In the grand scheme of things that isn't so bad." I like that perspective!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

What's the GRE? Is that like the GMAT? Since you wrote the MCAT, at least your door is open in the event you decide you wish to become an M.D. (psychiatrist? pediatrician?).

I'm so ignorant about these standardized measures of intellect. :( I think they are so inaccurate and serve little more than to wean out turkeys from their programs, which they could also do by virtue of an interview. No need for all these multiple guess questions!!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

Oh - and I do plan to return to school one day too...which will require me to write the GMAT. I want to do a Master's Degree in literacy.

Woozie said...

And because everybody's a Psychologist. Too many people, not enough jobs.

The Doc said...

The GRE isn't that bad; you get plenty of opportunity to practice and it's not as hard as you think. At least, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Natalie said...

Danielle- They actually look pretty good.

Mom- I haven't checked anything. Only looked at all the master programs and picked the ones that looked remotely interesting. I was somewhat disappointed that they didn't have a Diaspora studies MA but so it goes. I certainly have more research to do though.

Mrs L- Actually I think the MD ship has sailed. I did get into med schools but decided I didn't want to go and my scores are eight years old so even if I wanted to go and to the Med school thing again I would have to retake the exam which is NEVER going to happen. From what I understand the GMAT is the Graduate Management Admission Test and is used primarily for business schools (MBA track) while the GRE is the Graduate Record Exam and is used for most of the humanities. I agree that the tests are relatively useless in measuring intellect or the ability to succeed in a program. I find interviews to be much better indicators of success.

Woozie- I don't think I would really want to practice although I once entertained notions of becoming a female Dr. Katz

Doc- I actually tend to do very well on standardized tests and I am sure that if I really wanted to take the test it would be fine. However, I haven't taken a math course since 1998 and I just don't want to put that much effort into studying, particularly when there are plenty of great programs that don't require the exam.

citizen of the world said...

Ahem. Everyone is not a psychologist. But do what speaks to you, that's the main thing. Life is too short not to do something you love.

kim said...

I like the idea of media, it's the one thing that truly lasts :)