Today was the first “nice” day in a good while.
I’ve been under the weather as of late – not with a cold, but rather, a persisting condition that likes to flare up when it is least convenient for me. The end result is that it interferes with my ability to walk, making each step painful and uncomfortable. My visits to physicians have, as the ancients used to say, “Borne little fruit,” and I’m resigned to add this to the pile of other maladies for which I can get no real relief.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that I’ve been in a dark and dismal place these last few days.
To her credit, however, the Little Woman has (rather forcefully) demanded that I not surrender, and has graciously offered to help me find a new physician within my insurance plan. I won’t lie – I’m not convinced that a newer person will help any more than the previous physician, but as the Little Woman so eloquently put it, it beats living in pain. With that in mind, the Little Woman encouraged me to get out of the house. While this was mainly because she needed a perform an errand, her secondary goal was to get me out from the cloud of ‘gloom and doom’ under which I’d been hiding since Monday.
I’m glad that I went because I’m feeling better already.
I have been considering returning to school to finish my English degree, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort. I don’t expect to be employed with it; finishing is more along the lines of me doing what I’d always wanted to do. It’d been my intention for a few years to have degrees in history and English, but at the time I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, circumstances forced me to make a decision that I did not want to make.
At the time, I was working for The Company™, and it was through the willingness of my then-supervisor (not this one), that I was able to return to school at all. I could complain about the workload and some of the nastiness of my then-colleagues, but I’d still have to praise the fact that despite all of that, I was able to return to school. That alone was no mean feat because there were so many colleagues who resented my being given that opportunity. (They didn’t know that I’d only accepted the position with the condition that I’d be able to attend classes.) It was hard working a 40-hour work schedule and a 15-to-18-credit course load; I certainly don’t recommend it as a choice. And it was harder having to work under those conditions and having to deal with the office drama that followed.
I’d planned to stay in school an additional year to finish the English degree, but, as Fate would have it, that was the same year that The Company™ began to consider layoffs and firings to perk up its financial bottom line. I’d finished my history studies, and knew that I’d be going off to graduate school in that discipline. But English was for me, if that makes sense, and I’d wanted it because . . . well, just because. Knowing that the odds of me being laid off were extremely high (last hired, first fired – you know how it is), I reasoned that I should just finish the history degree and come back later for the English. That way, if I were dismissed, then I’d at least have a college degree to brandish as I went on the job hunt.
Sure enough, I was laid off on a Friday, only to return in a new position on Monday. And, after my triumphant return, I could stand tall with my sheepskin in hand. (In truth, the whole thing was an administrative game, as there was minimal chance of any of us being let go – we were just shuffled around.) I looked in to going back to school to take the remaining four classes to major in English, but now that I was a graduate, the fees involved were astronomical. Despite having a set of new Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison books in my bag, the dream of a second degree was put on hold.
Career-wise, getting a second degree will do nothing for me. Where at one point it made me more flexible, now, it’s just an adornment. But it’s an adornment that I want and it might be an avenue to new opportunities. I miss sitting in the classroom and taking notes. I miss studying and worrying about exams; I miss writing papers. Those were things that I was good at, and while I inflict those tortures on my own charges, there’s still a part of me that envies the idea of letting all of that be someone else’s problem.
I might be able to get the degree through my own school, but there are problems with that – mostly administrative. If nothing else, it can’t hurt to ask, right?