Thursday, September 15, 2005

Seven Year Education Itch is upon me

It's almost fall.

I have this odd sense I want to go back to school.

Geo's sister, who is my age, is going to college at night. I am so jealous. I want to be back in school. {stomping my feet for effect}

I went to a state school straight out of high school. I won't get into any detail about my 18 month tenure there. We'll just leave it at I barely remember anything that happened.

Then I went to an art college. That didn't last too long either. I missed taking courses like English Lit, Psychology, basic math, etc. One year there and I was deciding making a career out of a hobby just didn't cut it for me.

My next stop was a HUGE school here in Philly. Unfortunately, it was during the year this school decided to have a strik from August until October. That didn't work out either.

I finally settled on a Philly school with a big name, small campus, and a kick-ass basketball team. Thank goodness, too. My Dad's only comment was, "I can't see out of the back of the car with all the goddam school stickers."

I loved going to St Joseph's University. I went there at night while working full-time during the day at a bank. I'd name the bank I worked at but it doesn't exist anymore (wow, there's a shock). Provided I kept above a C averege, the bank paid 100%. Can't beat that deal and I have the ending 3.50 GPA as proof. I worked and went to the University College for seven years. Straight through. Fall. Spring. Two Summer classes a year. I kept up that pace until I walked down to the stage to get my Finance degree.

And a year before I was ready to graduate, something awful happened. The bank was sold (it has been sold again since then). The new bank had no presence in the North of the US. Everyone thought "job security" with no duplicate branches anywhere. Wrong. This bank believed in running an efficient branch on half the staff. Uh - oh. That meant lay-offs. I had just bought a new home and had three little furrballs to feed (aka the cats - Whickers Bronte, Harlequin Davidson, and Snowball). But I was the top branch lender in Philly so there was no way I would lose my job. Oh how wrong I was. The evil mass of carbon I called my branch manager decided to "clean house" at her branch. There were eleven of us. She had nine of us on the lay-off list. And the remaining two? She fired within five days.

Now, I always try to find somthing positive in in the most vile creature ever to walk the Earth. Not this creature. She was evil incarnate. She epitomized all that is hated in the world. And she was damn proud of it.

But I digress.

Just as there is always a ray of light which breaks the night sky to entroduce a new day, so did that happen in my life. Where that troll thought she ruined my life by releasing me from the bank, she actually released me from mandatory employment. You see, a stipulation on educational reimbursement from most companies is that you must remain with that company for a minimum of one year from the date of reimbursement. All that money the bank had shelled out over the past six years for my college education? I was laid-off; ergo, I owed them nothing. Ha!

I graduated in 1998. Here I am seven years later. I have a different home, no cats (no pets), a little girl, Geo, for the most part a decent job (though it's too damn far), and I still feel the draw to go back to school. I have a Finance degree but I really want to get an Accounting degree. Yes, I LOVE math. Maybe I'll do the Phoenix on-line thing. Or maybe I'll wait until the baby gets a little older and go back to night school. Or maybe I'll just sit here at work and wonder if I should go back. I still have time to go back, right?

Yeah, I miss school.


CrankyProf said...

I'd be wary of the Phoenix on-line program. I've not heard good things about it. I'd look into accelerated programs -- you can sometimes get a Master's in 18 months, at the right school. Penn State has a lot of satelite campuses in your area (I know Penn State Great Valley isn't that much beyond KoP.

Drop me a mail -- I'll be happy to play academic advisor!

Piggy and Tazzy said...

I agree with the prof - some of the accelerated programs are excellent (although sometimes very expensive).

Have you thought about asking JR if she fancies doing a course with you?

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard good things about Phoenix,either. My counselor told me that Phoenix and Strayer (don't know if you have them in PA)weren't any good. As you can see from me, it's never too late to go back to school. At least you already have a degree, I'm starting from scratch! It would be great if you could get your degree from your current company like before. That's the only reason I can do this. My company pays 100% including books. If you have a community college, they might offer your classes on weekends. That might be something worth looking into.


Maidink said...

CP - Thanks, CP! I'll get an e-mail out to you soon.

P and T - the tough part with the accelerated programs is that I am looking into Accounting and the programs are normally not that specific.

Shell - There is BC3 and CCP I can check out.

To all - my boss told me a lot of employers are wary about the on-line credentials so it would be a waste of money and time.

Moxie said...

I think you should definitely go for it. I am 36 and contemplating a return to university. I never completed my degree and now want to do something completely different. My job pays for study, etc. but, embarrassingly, I've not taken advantage of that and by now I don't feel that I'd want to stay with the company under the mandatory thingy either.

We don't have a full degree granting university here in Bermuda, so a number of adults returning to studies opt for the distance learning, so they can remain here and work. I've known of one or two who have embarked on the Phoenix online programme, but I'm not aware of how prospective employers view it.

Whatever you choose, go for it! You seem very clever and that you have support! Can't beat that!

Maidink said...

Mox - well, your sitch is different. Online might be good for you, but try a "different" university. I wanted to sign-up for University of Maryland or Penn State on-line until I saw the price. Ouch.

Think of where you'd like to go and see if they offer an on-line program.