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Going Back to College
Posted: 17 December 2013 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 181 ]
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DarronS - 03 July 2009 08:11 PM

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. tongue wink


Lois

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Posted: 17 December 2013 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 182 ]
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As I recall, Lois, my wife had a bit of help with the pregnancy.  LOL

It was interesting reading my intro again. I’m finishing a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies with concentrations in Environmental Policy and Communications. Never did get the AA in Spanish. I need to go back to community college and do that, or spend a summer in Costa Rica taking intensive Spanish courses.

I’m still pondering grad school, but also looking for a job to pay off some debts.

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Posted: 17 December 2013 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 183 ]
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DarronS - 17 December 2013 12:47 PM

As I recall, Lois, my wife had a bit of help with the pregnancy.  LOL

It was interesting reading my intro again. I’m finishing a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies with concentrations in Environmental Policy and Communications. Never did get the AA in Spanish. I need to go back to community college and do that, or spend a summer in Costa Rica taking intensive Spanish courses.

I’m still pondering grad school, but also looking for a job to pay off some debts.

I think it’s awesome that you’re not “giving up” in your old age wink  I know some folks who at your age have basically shut down the store, disengaged, and are basically waiting for the Reaper. I do have a question though. How in the world are you paying for this AND your wife who I think you said is also going to grad school? (And yes, this ties into my thread on Dreams are for the Wealthy). And I’m not asking facetiously, I really want to know. Maybe there’s hope for the broke.

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Posted: 17 December 2013 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 184 ]
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CuthbertJ - 17 December 2013 04:20 PM

I think it’s awesome that you’re not “giving up” in your old age wink  I know some folks who at your age have basically shut down the store, disengaged, and are basically waiting for the Reaper. I do have a question though. How in the world are you paying for this AND your wife who I think you said is also going to grad school? (And yes, this ties into my thread on Dreams are for the Wealthy). And I’m not asking facetiously, I really want to know. Maybe there’s hope for the broke.

Thanks Cuthbert. I don’t plan to retire until I’m too feeble to move about on my own. As for paying for school, my wife’s employer paid for both her masters degrees. We’re paying for my education with a combination of student loans and out-of-pocket money. We aren’t rich, but my wife’s two masters degrees help on the job front.  wink

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Posted: 18 December 2013 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 185 ]
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DarronS - 17 December 2013 04:48 PM
CuthbertJ - 17 December 2013 04:20 PM

I think it’s awesome that you’re not “giving up” in your old age wink  I know some folks who at your age have basically shut down the store, disengaged, and are basically waiting for the Reaper. I do have a question though. How in the world are you paying for this AND your wife who I think you said is also going to grad school? (And yes, this ties into my thread on Dreams are for the Wealthy). And I’m not asking facetiously, I really want to know. Maybe there’s hope for the broke.

Thanks Cuthbert. I don’t plan to retire until I’m too feeble to move about on my own. As for paying for school, my wife’s employer paid for both her masters degrees. We’re paying for my education with a combination of student loans and out-of-pocket money. We aren’t rich, but my wife’s two masters degrees help on the job front.  wink

Nice.  BTW, how solid is your marriage? wink

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Posted: 18 December 2013 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 186 ]
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Very solid. We’ve been together 29 years.

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Posted: 18 December 2013 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 187 ]
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CuthbertJ - 18 December 2013 11:32 AM

Nice.  BTW, how solid is your marriage? wink

DarronS - 18 December 2013 11:33 AM

Very solid. We’ve been together 29 years.

Well CuthbertJ… Looks like that plan won’t work, eh? smile

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 16 June 2014 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 188 ]
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This is coming late, but I completed my degree plan May 9. I’ve been busy since then and have put off posting this, partly because I was in shock over my last semester. My capstone course, which would have been hard to begin with turned into the class from Hell. The current EPA administration refuses to talk to journalists or students, which made my project much more difficult than necessary. I got it done, but the only C on my transcript dropped my GPA to 3.8. Oh well. That’s still good enough for grad school.

My wife gave me a three-week trip to Denmark for a graduation present, then got a job offer in Colorado while I was in transit. I knew she was interviewing for the job, of course, but did not hear about the offer until I landed in Copenhagen. When I got back June 3 we went into full panic mode getting our house ready to sell. I have two friends over right now painting and laying tile. They should be finished tomorrow, and Wednesday morning I’m leaving for Denver to go house hunting. My wife flew out yesterday and started her new job today. I’m meeting our real estate gent Friday to check out some houses, and my wife and I will look at a few on Saturday and make decision. She’s coming back with me Sunday and will work from home until we move.

After one month it is finally starting to sink in that I have college degree. Officially my degree is a Bachelor or Arts in Integrated Studies with concentrations in Environmental Policy and Communications. I’ll start looking for aa job when we get to Colorado.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 189 ]
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Congrats Darron. All good stuff. Best of luck in your home and job search with an added bonus of all new territory to point your camera at grin

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Posted: 16 June 2014 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 190 ]
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Yeah. No more six hour drives to reach the good stuff. I forgot to mention I have family and friends in Colorado.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 191 ]
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DarronS - 16 June 2014 03:41 PM

This is coming late, but I completed my degree plan May 9. I’ve been busy since then and have put off posting this, partly because I was in shock over my last semester. My capstone course, which would have been hard to begin with turned into the class from Hell. The current EPA administration refuses to talk to journalists or students, which made my project much more difficult than necessary. I got it done, but the only C on my transcript dropped my GPA to 3.8. Oh well. That’s still good enough for grad school.

My wife gave me a three-week trip to Denmark for a graduation present, then got a job offer in Colorado while I was in transit. I knew she was interviewing for the job, of course, but did not hear about the offer until I landed in Copenhagen. When I got back June 3 we went into full panic mode getting our house ready to sell. I have two friends over right now painting and laying tile. They should be finished tomorrow, and Wednesday morning I’m leaving for Denver to go house hunting. My wife flew out yesterday and started her new job today. I’m meeting our real estate gent Friday to check out some houses, and my wife and I will look at a few on Saturday and make decision. She’s coming back with me Sunday and will work from home until we move.

After one month it is finally starting to sink in that I have college degree. Officially my degree is a Bachelor or Arts in Integrated Studies with concentrations in Environmental Policy and Communications. I’ll start looking for aa job when we get to Colorado.

Where in Colorado? Colorado is probably better than Texas in so many ways. Congratulations on your degree. Good luck!

What sort of job are you looking for?

Lois

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Posted: 16 June 2014 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 192 ]
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My wife is working in Englewood, a suburb on the south side of Denver. Yes, Colorado has advantages over Texas. I’m looking for some sort of environmental communications job, or I may start an environmental consulting business.

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 193 ]
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Congratulations, Darron.  From the intelligence of your posts, I never had any doubt that you’d succeed.  However, just reading the myriad tasks you have been, are, and will be faced with exhausts me.  I’ve only been to Colorado a few times, but from what I recall the landscape is far superior to that I’ve seen of Texas. 

I wish you well on your job plans.  Certainly, the environment is a major growing problem so it sounds as if you should be able to fit your education to helping solve it.

Occam

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Posted: 16 June 2014 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 194 ]
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Congrats on your degree Darron. I’m glad to hear that you followed through, and your field of study is much needed. Now on to the masters program! And wow, a move to Colorado as well. Ole Rick’s gonna miss you man. Seriously though a 3.8 is nothing to sneeze at. Well done and looking forward to seeing some scenic mountain pics.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 June 2014 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 195 ]
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DarronS - 16 June 2014 05:21 PM

My wife is working in Englewood, a suburb on the south side of Denver. Yes, Colorado has advantages over Texas. I’m looking for some sort of environmental communications job, or I may start an environmental consulting business.

Congratulations, (married) Bachelor Darron! on your graduation and on your escape from our politically challenged Lone Star State.  If I may suggest, if you decide to get a Master’s, hold off of partaking in the (now legal for you) MJ while doing so.

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