After 26 years, at the age of 54, I have decided to quit my job and go back to college. I never finished my degree because my wife got pregnant halfway through my junior year, which was her freshman year. I had enough education and experience to get a job as a journalist on the local bi-weekly newspaper. We struggled and my wife got through college with a lot of help from her parents. As I gained work experience and the economy improved in the 1990s I started making too much money to consider finishing my education.
Fast forward through the tech bubble bursting, four years as a motorsports photographer, and two years working at a local auto dealership setting appointments in the service department, and I realize I hate my job. I do not want to go to work in the morning. I’m fed up with whiney customers, coworkers who do the absolute minimum amount of work they can get away with, and mostly I’m tired of working at a job that has no rewards other than a small paycheck.
Yesterday i went to our local community college and took a placement test. I scored a 99 on the written portion, 96 on reading, and 28 on math. So I’m placing out of freshman comp and taking introductory algebra. I plan to get an associate degree in Spanish and take one math course each semester until I hit a brick wall. If I can tear down that wall I’ll pursue a degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences, which will require biology, chemistry, physics and calculus. If I run into a mathematical brick wall I’ll pursue a degree in American Studies with a concentration in Environment, Science and Technology.
Either way I’ll be much better off than I am now.
My wife is pursuing her second master’s degree (MS in Organizational Leadership and Ethics), and I am helping her with her classes. She is very smart, but has poor writing skills, so I am doing extensive editing on her papers, and have learned a lot doing so. One thing I have learned is I can make it through graduate school. But one step at a time. First, the AA in Spanish, then I’ll know which direction to go with my major. If all goes well I’ll graduate with a PhD at the age of 62 and begin my final career. I don’t care if I end up as a freelance science writer making $6,000 per year, I never want to work another customer service job.
Looks like a good plan. I have one question, though. Did your wife get pregnant all by herself?
If so, it might be a good topic for your first science writing project.