Friday, June 09, 2006

Fourth and Fifth Thoughts

And now for the latest round of "Am I Doing the Right Thing?"

I'm interested in anthropology. And I was excited enough about the program to go through the whole application process---begging for recommendations, digging up writing samples, taking the GRE. I actually managed to get into a program at a good school. I've given my notice at work; I've put a deposit on an apartment in Madison.

So why am I still thinking, Maybe I should go to library school instead?

Finding out that I was a borderline candidate hasn't help get rid of the niggling doubts. I spoke with my advisor earlier this week, and apparently I barely made it into the program and was admitted primarly because they have a new faculty member who specializes in Malawi and I spent a year there. The advisor wasn't trying to be mean---I don't think. She was being candid and trying to help me by letting me know where I stand and what I need to do to catch up with my classmates, namely, reading ahead over the summer. But the conversation brought to the front a whole bunch of nagging thoughts: Have I really thought this through? Is this really what I want to do? Am I in denial about what I really want? Or is the alternative just a "safe" escape from what I want but find too scary and intimidating? Is this going to be a $50,000 mistake?

Part of it, too, is probably stress about the move. Staying put would just be so much easier. I wouldn't have to worry about finding someone to help me move or worry about whether my car is up to hauling a trailer across a half dozen states or go into massive debt just trying to get from here to there. The move is really just starting to wear on me and the first, little one is still a week away. The big one is two months away!

I wish I felt more certain about all this---that I felt confident that I am doing the right thing. Why can't life come with a map and a handy guide?


At 9:52 AM , Blogger Liz said...

I bet that once the stress of the physical move is behind you and you have a chance to get acquainted with the area and start your classes, it'll be easier to figure out how you feel about what you're studying.

You're taking on at least two of life's biggest stressors at the same time. Go, girl! I am kind of in awe of you.

At 10:41 AM , Blogger the belligerent intellectual said...

I think it's pretty common for the immediate hardships of making a life changing move to give a person second-thoughts. But, much like the time I dumped Christine Aguiar in fourth grade because I needed more time to myself, in the end it's worth it.

At 12:36 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

Belligerent intellectual - did you mean Christina Aguilera? Hee.

Lisa - I guess I regret law school so much that I would advise you go to library school. It sounds like a nasty advisor to me. And debt sucks. But feel free to ignore me ;)

At 12:36 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

I didn't mean to sound overly negative. Of course you should follow your heart, etc.

At 4:00 PM , Blogger Frema said...

Here's a story that might put things into perspective for you: my sister, Ryan, who is 20, attended her freshman year of college at Columbia College Chicago to study musical theater. Turned out she wasn't happy, in her major or at the school, so she transferred to Indiana University in Bloomington for her sophomore year. She tried to be happy, there, but that didn't work out, either. In the last few months, she revealed that she's always wanted to go to cosmetology school and do make-up, but when she talked to my dad about it in high school, he told her she had to go to college. Guess what? This fall, she's going to cosmetology school.

Moral of the story? Go with your gut.

I'm so helpful. :)

At 9:56 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

Unfortunately my gut is as confused as the rest of me!

At 10:49 AM , Blogger Capybaras United said...

Many academicians are real asses, especially at the graduate level, and only care about their perception of a meritocracy, and not about their students.

So I wouldn't take her comments personally at all - just as a reflection of academia. I'm sure you'd do fine in the program, and she was helpful (though obnoxious) by giving you a roadmap.

The big question is whether you'd enjoy what comes after the degree - I assume teaching and research and being in academia? If that would stimulate your brain a lot, then go for it!

At 11:30 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

I don't think my advisor was being obnoxious. Sometimes telling a hard truth is the kindest thing to do. Now I know

* That I shouldn't count on any TA positions for the first year (because I lack an anthropology background)
* That I need to read ahead over the summer so I'm not behind the other students in the program
* Why (mostly likely) I didn't get into the other two programs
* Who to go to for help

The truth sucks a little, but I'd rather know where I stand and what I need to do than show up in September and be completely overwhelmed and frustrated.

At 7:30 AM , Blogger Scott said...

The only question that I have for you is what is the future of libraries? I fear that they might not be around the way that they are now.



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