Wow! It has been a minute since I blogged here. I had to stop writing to focus on school. Well, the good news is that I graduated in Dec. 2015. So, I met my goal of not allowing anything make me drop out of school. I was tempted several times to quit but, as they say, a weakness (a.k.a stubbornness) can be a strength.
So, was it worth it?
I will like to believe that it was. I had an interest which I had been pursuing on my own for years and now, I have the degree to back it up. I took the risk, and even though I will be paying for that risk for some years to come, I do not regret it. That risk brought me to Texas.
Was your school a good school?
Yes. It is a good school. I am very grateful for the scholarship that I received which enabled me accomplish my goal.
Beyond the Educational bits, what else did I learn from grad. school?
So many things, namely:
a) Grad. schools are different. This was my second sojourn into the world of graduate schools and my first experience was actually nice even though I worked full-time and received some financial support from my organization but there was a greater symbiotic relationship between profs. and students. My second experience was not as ‘symbiotic’.
b) Grad schools are influenced by their environments: In New York, where I completed my first graduate program, there was a level of freedom that I had to ask questions. In Texas, before you ask your question, you need to wrap it up in pretty paper, place a bow on it, lower your voice, pretend to be meek and then ask. I did not feel as free in school. Of course, I had some profs. that were exceptional who wanted us to ask questions and be engaged in class. These profs. focused on their subject matter. A couple come to mind.
c) To survive the educational system in Texas (my experience at one school), you need to be psychologically prepared and resilient. There will be times, that you will feel that [the system/some profs.] might be going out of their way to break you (psychologically, physically and emotionally). Just be prepared.
d)Favoritism might be the order of the day. I will just leave this here.
e) There will always be a silver lining. I had some great profs. who came to class and focused on the subject matter. No attacks; no, I want to see if I can overwhelm you; just pure subject matter interspersed with stories of their lives. I will always be grateful to them because they helped me maintain my sanity.
How did I survive?
a) Stubbornness and persistence. There were several reasons that made me choose to leave the East Coast. One was to have a fresh start and the second was to acquire an education in an area of interest. I was sticking to that goal. I refused to be a statistic.
b) Avoidance: I ignored a lot of things and when I knew that I couldn’t ignore any more, I avoided. There were some classes that I spent more time studying on my own than in the classroom because I felt that the classroom situation was just too distracting.
c) Learn on your own. There are many tools/tutors online that can get you through a class, particularly a distracting class.
Well, I am still looking for a masters level opportunity that will provide an opportunity to utilize my educational backgrounds. But, if I can’t find that for whatever reason, then on to the next. I will not be returning to the East Coast.
Do I regret moving to Texas?
No, I do not. Texas taught me or is still teaching me that I am tougher than I think. Surprisingly, I like this very weird state.
Anymore schooling in my future?
I come from a family (extended and nuclear) of highly educated professionals. So, if I am not learning anything new via my workplace, then do not be surprised to find me back at school (either online, evenings or over the weekend).
If I find an interesting subject matter that brings it all together, I just might. My mother has one, so why not? But, it will not be this year.
Keep learning. You are strong. Go outside your comfort zone. Always, have a way to relax. Pray!