So, I’m back in school!
While I love it I will absolutely gripe about it all the way to the bitter end, I’m sure.
You see, I’m still trying to finish a masters program.
I started in 2009 and it is going to take every brain cell I have left to get a thesis done. I’m working on it this summer.
Meanwhile, this is the very real conversation I had with my once a week housekeeper “Oxsana” about it. Her name is not Oxsana but I’m protecting her identity.
Okay, first you should know Oxsana came to this country from Russia as a young adult. I adore her and she’s like part of our family but we do have these unique ideological conversations that usually begin with her asking, “Why do Americans do such and such… I don’t understand.” (Me either, Oxsana.)
So this week it was, “Why do you do this thing, go back to school? Do you need it?”
Me: “Nope. I don’t need it. I just want it.”
Oxsana: “Why do you want it if you don’t need it?”
Me: “Hmmm.” (How do I explain this?)
Oxsana: “Do you have to pay for it?”
Me: “Yes, yes I do. I work at Temple University but I am working on my Masters in Journalism through the University of Missouri because that’s where I started in 2009 so yes, I’m paying for it.”
Oxsana: “Why do you do this? You could go on a nice vacation, instead.”
Me: (Laugh. She makes me laugh!) “This is true. You have a point.”
Oxsana: “So why do you make yourself crazy and do this?”
The thing about Oxsana is she doesn’t mess around. She’s very practical. She often gets right to the heart of the matter like when she asked me, “Why do you keep shoes you don’t wear?”
The next week, I donated a whole boatload of shoes and out the door, they went.
I should probably explain here, despite having lots of shoes and a housekeeper, we lead a very pared down life. I kind of like living small but having Oxsana in our lives is a bit of luxury. Trust me. I’m a creative mess. I need the help. And, I just like her.
Me: “Here’s the thing, Oxsana. I started the masters when I thought I was going to teach journalism. Now, I don’t really need it. But, every day as the Director of Career Services (at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University), I tell students they must be gritty. They must dare themselves to do hard things and finish them. That goes for me too. How can I say do this but I don’t do what I expect them to do?”
Oxsana: “Hmph.” Silence.
Me: “Besides, it’s a point of pride and I just like learning. I just want my masters.”
Oxsana: Just turns away, shakes her head and says, “I still don’t understand it. You don’t need it.”
I’m sure Oxsana has decided this is another ridiculous thing Americans do, spend time and money on things they don’t need and also make them curse out loud.
I’m sure in the next few months, as I struggle toward this finish line I will occasionally think she’s right. I’m a crazy person.
Nevertheless, I’m daring to go down this road and I’m seriously determined to get this done. One thesis and one more class and with any luck during my 62nd year on this planet (or maybe 63rd), I’ll be able to say I finished my Masters.
Anyway, periodically, you may be hearing about it. And it may make me a bit crazy. Just warning you.