Monday, June 28, 2010

Soul Searching

On Friday, I attended one of those thought-provoking meetings with mentors - current and potential.

You know Wendy, you really should go back to school.

I know the perfect program for you!
This would be perfect! I can see the glint in your eye.

These types of conversations have gotten more frequent of late.

Every time I have these conversations, I think of the lunch in the small Chinatown noodle shop with Clark Quinn - who asked why I didn't go back and get the doctorate.

I gave him a pretty lengthy list of excuses at the time.

My career trajectory is fine.

I'm perfectly happy where I am at and where things seem to be headed.

I'm not interested in becoming a professor.

I don't know if I want to put the time/effort/money into this.

I can't see what the benefit / return on investment is to me.

I've got the best committee on the internet - there is no WAY I could put together the same brain trust at one institution.

I probably make more money without the doctorate.

...I'm certain there were others....

---------------------------------------

I don't know why Friday's breakfast got me thinking about going back to school more seriously than I have since I finished my 2nd Masters in 2003.

Maybe it was the sheer number of voices - my director, a highly regarded mentor, a soon-to-be-minted Ed.D.

Maybe it's the directionless rut that I'm feeling at work. Busy - but not entirely sure I am accomplishing anything.

Maybe it's the realization that the skills I am being forced to develop this year (project management, people management, leadership) takes me closer to a leadership position rather than a senior technical position. And that I am feeling singularly ill-equipped to handle the change.

Maybe I am finally coming to grips with the fear of repeat failure that has dogged me since I failed my qualifying exams at Kentucky 15 years ago.

Maybe it's recognizing that I've become intellectually lazy.

--------------------------------------------

I have some more research to do.
This is the program I am considering.

---------------------------------------------

I got my Masters in Instructional Technology by sheer accident.

I was bored at work. Found a program that matched what I was doing at the time. I worked at Towson - so classes were free. I was able to make my school work match my job tasks. Next thing I knew - I was one semester away from graduating.

The Wonk (a golf buddy and one of my best friends) put this in perspective.

Shoot Wendy, if nothing else, take advantage of the free classes!

-----------------------------------------------

I'm looking at the best way to tackle this. Especially since I am not entirely familiar with the field (or maybe I am, and am just confused by the jargon and range of research).

Take a couple of classes to see if my BS monitor goes up.
Take the Miller Analogy Test - just to have something current.
One semester at a time, with no "goal" in mind.
One semester at a time to see how this stacks up with my current workload.

I'm taking any and all advice / encouragement / warnings.

2 comments:

davidtjones said...

Sounds like you've worked out the best approach.

You're interested, looks good (though the jargon/potential BS is there).

Stick the toe in, see how it goes.

Whatever happens, you'll have learnt something

Wendy said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I know you are headed towards the end of your current degree pursuit. Thanks so much for sharing your research and drafts.