5.25.2009

in which i announce my obvious decision

Last week - here and here - I announced my decision to go to graduate school in order to change the non-writing portion of my working life.

I've been working on my application and I'm very pleased to announce... it is done! It really wasn't such a big deal.

While I was writing the application, the answer to the pressing question - whether to begin this September or in September 2010 - became obvious. I don't feel ready to start this year, but waiting 15 months to begin seems ridiculous. Ideally, I'd start in January, but that's not an option. So ready or not, this year it is.

It won't be the first time I accelerate or change my plans in order to take advantage of an opportunity, and I still have a few months to prepare myself, mentally and otherwise. Unfortunately, I'll have to start classes a little late, as we'll be out of town the first week of school. (Note to self: this will not be as nerve-wracking as starting high school three months late, on crutches, not knowing anyone in school. Do not have flashbacks.)

I want to thank you all for your support and encouragement. It's been great to hear your stories about your own second or third careers, or people you know who began school or new careers later. I'm feeling better and better about the whole thing.

The next step is to apply for a part-time job as a library page, to start accumulating hours with the union.

27 comments:

Amy said...

That's great, Laura! I am excited for you and can't wait to follow your journey through school.

And your high school experience sounds like quite a story. But nothing is as awful as adolescence, no matter what the circumstances. Graduate school is surely not going to be high school redux!!

James said...

I'm getting surrounded by librarians. My old BBS buddy Tom Turritin is a librarian in Winnipeg. My cousin Corey the Shelf Monkey left Winnipeg to be a librarian (and author) in Fredericton. A mailing list I'm on has two more librarians on it as well. :)

Where would you be taking classes?

L-girl said...

Thanks, Amy!

The high school experience isn't much of a story, I'm afraid.

I had knee surgery the summer before starting high school. The recovery didn't go well (a portend of lifelong knee trouble), and I wasn't strong enough to begin school in Sept.

All my so-called friends (horrible people) from junior high were going to one high school and I was going to another, some zoning thing. They were crappy friends but at least I knew them!

I was tutored at home so I wouldn't fall behind in school, but the social anxiety of starting school late, and not knowing anyone, was intense.

Intellectually I know that has no bearing on graduate school, but... our psyches do not forget!

L-girl said...

"I'm getting surrounded by librarians."

There are tons of them online, too. Quite a few blogging librarians read wmtc, or at least used to.

I'll be going to the U of T Faculty of Information - "the iSchool". Details in the earlier post.

James said...

I'll be going to the U of T Faculty of Information - "the iSchool". Details in the earlier post.I meant, where physically? The iSchool web page makes it look like you'd be at Fort Book (which makes sense), but I couldn't tell from a quick browse if you'd have an option to go to the Mississauga campus, or do mostly at-home study.

L-girl said...

"I meant, where physically?"

Oh, sorry! No grad school classes at UTM, I'm afraid. All the classes will be in their St George building.

The Assist Dean I met with mentioned an independent study option. That would mean I would only have to take the 6 core courses on campus, and do the remaining 10 working on my own. That is VERY appealing to me, so I hope it can work out.

James said...

All the classes will be in their St George building.I've always been fond of the Robarts Library, aka Fort Book. You don't often see buildings with floor plans based entirely on non-rectangular shapes.

Amy said...

Starting high school that way had to be upsetting. Like I said, adolescence is tough no matter what, but anything that adds to the anxiety is awful.

But you obviously survived (as did we all), and I am just sure that you will love being back in school. I would love to be able to take classes again...with the wisdom and perspective of the 30 years I have lived since I last was a student. So I am enjoying the vicarious excitement!

L-girl said...

Classes are next door, at the Bissel Building.

The Robarts Library is a cool building, I haven't been in it yet, but that will soon change.

L-girl said...

Oh yes, survived and it's all ancient history.

What I'd really like to do is go back to school for another BA. If someone dropped a bag of money on my head, I'd get another undergrad degree and take entirely different courses.

But this will be exciting in a different way, I guess, as I'll be working towards a goal that should improve my life.

And yes, I agree, there are some great advantages to starting school at this age. A lot less anxiety and drama, for one thing!

Amy said...

My retirement "dream" is to take courses in areas that are entirely unrelated to law. I wouldn't do college over differently because I loved most everything course I took in college, but I wish I had had a few more years to take more courses. My real professional dream was to be a college prof, teaching English or history (along with owning that bookstore!), but...

I guess we all have to live more realistically. So law it was and law it is. Sigh.

L-girl said...

I also wanted to be an English prof, but I had many other career ideas, too.

Just to clarify, I don't mean a do-over of my college courses. I'm perfectly happy with that, as they relected my interests at the time.

I mean an additional four years of entirely different classes, in addition to what I took as an undergrad. More time to take more courses, as you said.

Amy said...

I wonder how many of us wanted to be English professors. Maybe it's not as much fun as we all think it would have been (sort of like owning that fantasy bookstore where I don't have to worry about money). But being a librarian is related to books and literature, and at least I got to teach. So maybe we are close enough for the real world!

L-girl said...

Re being an English professor, what I really wanted was to go to graduate school for literature, but not especially to teach. But if I got my PhD in English Lit, teaching was going to be inevitable.

I also considered being a therapist, a social worker, a lawyer - and running a theatre company, which is what I started out doing.

Whatever I did, though, if it wasn't my own writing, it wasn't what I should be doing, and I was going to end up leaving it.

It was fun putting together my CV for this application. I've done a lot of different things!

L-girl said...

"But being a librarian is related to books and literature,"

I've been writing for more than 25 years. It doesn't get any more related than that!

James said...

Classes are next door, at the Bissel Building.While, technically, the Bissel building, the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, and Robarts are separate buildings, I've always thought of the three together as "Fort Book". :)

Amy said...

Yes, you are very fortunate to have been able to pursue your passion for writing. I was just saying that in terms of the stuff we have to do to get by financially, being a librarian will be more related to that passion than, e.g., the work you are doing now for the law firm.

For me, OTOH, the closest I get to being an English professor is teaching students how to analyze language in court decisions and statutes. Hardly like talking about great literature, but it helps to pay the mortgage.

L-girl said...

"Yes, you are very fortunate to have been able to pursue your passion for writing."

I am fortunate, yes, but it hasn't happened by luck. I've made a lot of sacrifices, especially financially, and worked very very hard to arrange my life to give myself time and space to write.

I'm not trying to pick on your words, it's just a serious pet peeve of mine, this "luck" I have to be able to write.

"I was just saying that in terms of the stuff we have to do to get by financially, being a librarian will be more related to that passion than, e.g., the work you are doing now for the law firm."

True, but that's not why I'm doing it.

"For me, OTOH, the closest I get to being an English professor is teaching students how to analyze language in court decisions and statutes."

Why did you choose not to go to grad school for literature and teach English?

L-girl said...

"While, technically, the Bissel building, the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, and Robarts are separate buildings, I've always thought of the three together as "Fort Book". :)"

Well, I've only been there once. Perhaps soon I'll think of it as one building, too. :)

Amy said...

Yeah, I did not mean you got there by "luck." I know that. Too much hard work and dedication to the craft to succeed at writing for it to be about luck.

I was just expressing my envy that you did pursue that passion, despite the odds against it, whereas I took the easier route, the less risky one. I went to law school instead of grad school because that's where jobs were, and I was too risk averse to take a chance on making it as an English professor. I just have great respect for those who took the less conventional routes and some regret that I am not that adventurous.

L-girl said...

Thank you for clarifying. :)

James said...

Well, I've only been there once. Perhaps soon I'll think of it as one building, too.The three towers were designed & built together, and are connected by bridges. Here is Robarts and Fisher Rare Books. Bissell is similar to Fisher, but on the north-east instead of the south-east.

Fisher's usually the one that gets included in the photos, because it has that periscope on it. :)

MSEH said...

Not to hijack these comments, but, holy cow, James - we had dinner with Corey and Cathy a few weeks back! Talk about a small world!

And, Laura, fabulous! We'll have to chat more when next we meet.

JakeNCC said...

I'm really happy for you and look forward to going to the U of T with you. ha. You will be wonderful as a librairian. I've always thought you'd have been a good attorney. Law would go along with your activism well. Of course I understand writing is your passion and I believe one day you will write the Great Canadian Novel and gain the fame and fortune your writing deserves.

James said...

Not to hijack these comments, but, holy cow, James - we had dinner with Corey and Cathy a few weeks back! Talk about a small world!Tell Corey "Hi!" for me!

L-girl said...

"Not to hijack these comments, but, holy cow, James - we had dinner with Corey and Cathy a few weeks back! Talk about a small world!"

That is too funny! Small world indeed.

L-girl said...

"I've always thought you'd have been a good attorney."

Thank you Jake. :) I was "supposed to" become a lawyer - that was my family's plan for me. Unfortunately for them, I had other plans.

"gain the fame and fortune your writing deserves"

I think that ship has sailed, but fortunately I don't care about either. Although hitting Lotto would be nice. Other than that, life's too short to worry about fame and fortune, I'll just focus on being happy.

Jake, thank you for your vote of confidence in me. Maybe I'll see you at the U of T. Of course if I do, I won't know it...