Saturday, April 14, 2012

Now and Later

Yeah, this is me. And would you believe I've actually been entertaining the idea that I might continue to do this? In other words, I've been considering going on to get my Ph.D.  I mean, I know it's not that simple, but I've looked into it and I qualify--at least my graduate work (3.82 GPA) and GRE scores qualify, my sad undergraduate work may not. Of course you're probably thinking that anyone who goes around beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions couldn't possibly hack it on the doctoral level, and you may be right. *shrug*

The beauty of it is that I don't have to decide for a while. The deadline for TWU's program is February 1st, I'll graduate from TSU in August, so that's plenty of time to mull it over before I have to decide. Initially, I was under the impression that it takes 7 or so years, but Dr. Young--my thesis director--has assured me that it's more like three years.  She said she finished her masters and Ph.D (in a program that goes straight to Ph.D) in five years, which was encouraging to me. Of course, she's remarkably genius, so it'll likely take me longer than it took her.

For now, though, I'm just looking forward to finishing my Master's Thesis.  Check out the meter on the sidebar, yeah, over there to the right, the one that says "Radcliffe's Daughters."  Check out my progress, I'm feeling amazing about it. I've just, tonight, finished Chapter Four, so I'm on cloud 9 right now.  I just have to go back and add some quotes, all good research is supported by other research, and then I have to read through it and make sure my points are as strong as I can make them and that they make sense. So, I still have another day's work tomorrow, but being done with the bulk of it, tomorrows edits notwithstanding, is making me incredibly happy!

When I finish my thesis, and I hope to have the whole first draft done by May 8th, the day before I leave for CA, then I'll have to defend it and edit it, but I'll be pretty much done. I've been pretty concerned about what I'll do after I finish my MA, what sort of job I'll be able to get in this tiny town in this terrible economy, because I've pretty much decided that teaching is not for me. Some people are cut out for it, I'm not one of them. This whole GA thing has been an eyeopening experience, but it also means that I have to hunt around for something ideal. When I started talking about this with Matt, his suggestion was absolutely frightening. You see, he wants me to take time off to work on my novel.

There, I said it.  And honestly, this is absolutely terrifying for me. Having one income, in this economy, is not ideal and it'll be tight. Every cell in my body is screaming "No!!  Go get a paying job!!" but Matt has managed to convince me--one of the perks of being married to a champion debater--that I should give it a try. I actually agreed, which has been really unsettling for me, but with the caveat that I would try to pick up some freelance work on the side.  There're no guarantees with freelance work, but I have Suite101 and can try to bid on eLance and Guru, and sites like that. I also opened a professional website (, if you want to check it out) to try to attract clients.

So, when I graduate I'm going to giving working from home, on my novel and freelance projects, a try by treating it like a regular, out-of-the-house job. I'll make a schedule, work during the day, maybe from 8am to 4pm, and see what I can accomplish. I have a habit of lacking faith in my ability to write, so this should be interesting. I also feel a bit like I'm chasing a pipe-dream with student loans to pay back, but I told him if it doesn't work out by early next year that I'm going to look for a more traditional job.  We're also hoping by then to be looking into moving home, hopefully we'll have a tax refund that's conducive to that goal. Finally, I'll have to decide if doctoral school is for me.

So much to think about. So much to worry about. So much left to do!!