Thursday, May 15, 2008

M.S. in Babbling

It's a year now since I started working on my masters degree. I've spent just over $6,000 on tuition, plus a pittance for books. I've earned 18 credits -- just over half of the 33 I need to finish this program. But I wonder: Do I feel any smarter? The mere fact that I've spent money and accumulated credits shouldn't be the only benchmarks for increasing my intelligence, should they?

Am I approaching work differently, applying what I've learned? In some ways, I think, yes I am. I'm thinking more about the audience, more about the form of the document rather than just the words. I'm looking at Uncharted in a different way as I'm applying what I've learned about document design. But there are many ways in which I have not changed, perhaps have not learned as much as I should. I assume that's the same with everyone. But maybe I'm just making an ass of myself. I want this experience to be more than just jumping through the required hoops. It's up to me to make it so.

But I will continue. By this time next year, I will have finished the masters degree. I'm contemplating now whether it would be beneficial to go for a doctorate. As far as advancement on my current job, not even the masters degree will help -- there's simply no room for advancement, or at least room that I'd take. Who wants to be a tech lead here in the writing group, when at Danny's own admission, he's probably the lowest-paid writer on the staff? (He may indeed be speaking out of the other side of his face on that one; if there's a difference between his salary and mine, it's pennies to be sure.)

What would a doctorate do for me, I ask. Locally, it could help me in applying at the local universities. But do I want to teach? That sounds like such an otherworldly thing to approach. But if I want to make more money and stay local, that's probably the best option. I can always get back on the novel writing as well, but for that to happen, well, I've got to get the head pulled out of the ol' butt.

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