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Thread: Put on your thinking caps

  1. #1
    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    Put on your thinking caps

    So lately I've been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. I'll be 30 next year, so I'm about a decade late, but whatever. Career choices #1 and #2 aren't cutting it, so I'm hoping that the third time's the charm. Anyway, this whole train of thought has led me to think about going back to school. Then I started thinking about my undergrad choice, and my first attempt at graduate level study. Then I started talking to the 3-D people in my life about their scholastic choices, and what led them to choose what they did. Then I talked to some other people who never went on past high school, yet possess some of the greatest brains of anyone I know. They shunned formal education, but still pursued intellectual interests, just for the simple love of learning. They write, they play instruments, they learn about quantum physics, they know every baseball stat from the beginning of time. Not because some professor told them to, but because they wanted to know. Very very cool, in my opinion.

    So why am I telling you people this? Because I want to know more about what you guys do, and what you think about. If you went to college or are currently a student, what did you go/are you going for? Why'd you pick it? Did/Do you enjoy it, or, like me, would you do things differently if given the option? If you haven't gone to college, do you independently research things just because you find them interesting? If so, what? If not, do you have things you'd like to learn about if only you had the time? What are they? If you're planning on going to college at some point, what do you want to study while you're there? Why?

    I know, it's Monday and nobody wants to think. But indulge me. Please? I'll give you a cookie. It'll be cyberlicious.

  2. #2
    Nerds Just Wanna Have Fun Boredom's Avatar
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    I'm not at college yet, but there are things that I study for the heck of it. For instance, I'm attempting to tutor myself in computer programming.

    Now then, do I get my cookie?

  3. #3
    FORT Fogey eldee's Avatar
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    Amanda G. I PMed someone yesterday about a similar topic. I am quesitoning if I should return to school full time.

    I will be reading this thread for replies to you

  4. #4
    Don't Panic senrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaG
    So lately I've been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. I'll be 30 next year, so I'm about a decade late, but whatever. Career choices #1 and #2 aren't cutting it, so I'm hoping that the third time's the charm. Anyway, this whole train of thought has led me to think about going back to school. Then I started thinking about my undergrad choice, and my first attempt at graduate level study. Then I started talking to the 3-D people in my life about their scholastic choices, and what led them to choose what they did. Then I talked to some other people who never went on past high school, yet possess some of the greatest brains of anyone I know. They shunned formal education, but still pursued intellectual interests, just for the simple love of learning. They write, they play instruments, they learn about quantum physics, they know every baseball stat from the beginning of time. Not because some professor told them to, but because they wanted to know. Very very cool, in my opinion.

    So why am I telling you people this? Because I want to know more about what you guys do, and what you think about. If you went to college or are currently a student, what did you go/are you going for? Why'd you pick it? Did/Do you enjoy it, or, like me, would you do things differently if given the option? If you haven't gone to college, do you independently research things just because you find them interesting? If so, what? If not, do you have things you'd like to learn about if only you had the time? What are they? If you're planning on going to college at some point, what do you want to study while you're there? Why?

    I know, it's Monday and nobody wants to think. But indulge me. Please? I'll give you a cookie. It'll be cyberlicious.
    I Went to college. I even graduated. I have an architectural Degree From Pratt Institute in NY. I enjoyed it, but I'll admit it was bittersweet.
    I no longer do Architecture at all now, although I dabble in Interior Design. For me, though, I find that the experience has allowed me to do many many things well.

    If i could do it all over again, I'd have done a CS degree, even though it would have been far less fun.

    most of what I have learned, I learned by doing. I'm a published poet, A computer geek, and I've started a new life discovering fun and interesting things to do, and just doing them, no matter how embarrasing. I also draw, paint, do woodworking, and try to spend time with my wife to watch Reality TV, (quality time is so important in a relationship ). Can I have my cookie now?
    "The purpose of the new capitalism is to shoot the wounded." ~ Andy Grove, Chairman, Intel Corporation

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey mrpayroll's Avatar
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    OK here's my story. Graduated from high school with a C+ average. Subjects that I liked, I did great in (English, History), those that I didn't, I got low grades in (Math, Biology). I went 1 semester to college, and the 1 subject that I liked, history, I was failing so I dropped out. I was 18 at that time and working part time at Sears.

    I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I had no grand plans of what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I didn't want to go back to school. I was tired of school.

    I started working full time and have been ever since. I have always had employment, because I didn't go in a specialized field. I am an Admin Asst. at Walt Disney Imagineering. I have survived 50% layoffs these last 4 years, because I am not a specialized person. Before that I did payroll for 13 years at various companies. I kind of fell into that job and enjoyed it during that time.

    Many people go to college, rack up incredible debt thru student loans, and when they graduate cannot find a job in their specialized fields. Then it takes them 10, 20 years to pay off the student loan.

    Do I regret after 42 years of not getting a college education, no! Am I ignorant, no! The things that I am interested in, I am very knowledgeable. Who needs years of advanced math that they will never use in their adult lives?

    You will be 30 next year, and physically it is all downhill . What you need to think about is, financially can you afford to go to college to further your education. Will you still be working full time at the same time. Will you then have enough free time for yourself, your family & friends?

    I don't know if you're married or not, have kids, but that can make youre decision harder. The internet is a wonderful tool for education. You can pretty much learn anything you want by searching. Of course if you want to be a doctor, I wouldn't want you operating on me, if you only had an internet education.

    But the important things are, be happy with the choices that you make, and make sure that you can afford those choices.

    Chris

  6. #6
    So Far Away Yellow Apple's Avatar
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    Going back to school..... truth is, I've never really considered it, though I have paid lip service to the idea a few times. I'm still young enough that most of my life has spent in a classroom, and since I haven't been out that long (4 years), I'm not really in a hurry to go back.

    That being said, my current occupation isn't even related to what I went to school to learn. I really wasn't going to school to get a job; I was going to school to get that piece of paper that said I graduated, so I could use that sucker on my resume. Nowadays you pretty much have to have a college degree to even be considered for most positions, so that was really my goal moreso than actually learning anything. Most of what I know I learned from reading books, not from sitting in a classroom. I think formal education is necessary, but oftentimes overrated. I know people who were dumb as bricks in the classroom but had all kinds of common sense. Then I've known other people who could get straight A's but were still stupid. So just having a degree and 1000 titles behind your name doesn't really impress me. That's not taking anything away from those who have done all of that, of course, but just don't expect me to treat you any better than I do anyone else.

    As for what I do now, well mostly I enjoy not doing much of anything. With no school, no wife, no kids, not even a girlfriend, I can do pretty much what I want to when I want to (within reason, of course. I do have a job to worry about). Or at least that's what I try to tell myself...

    I'm on a diet, so no cookies for me, thanks.
    R.I.P Willie Dog (?/?/1989-12/17/2004). Gone but never forgotten.

    Welcome Zelda (and a hot of other names)! (Born 08/08/2005, adopted 10/08/2005)

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  7. #7
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    I'd love to go back to school... but I just can't right now.

    Here's my story...
    After high school I went to University because, well, that's just what you were supposed to do if you had the grades. I wanted to be a teacher, but halfway through an honors program I switched gears. I no longer wanted to teach, but I didn't want to not finish my degree. I got my honors degree in English/French and turns out to be just as useless as it sounds. There is 4 years down the toilet.

    I decided to turn my focus onto journalism, where my education could help out. Of course, you need to get extra education for that, and I headed to college for 2 years. After I graduated, I found a job fairly easily. I like journalism, but I didn't have the stomach for it. Too many people using their job to further their own agendas. If you can't be objective, then you are in the wrong job. I could have advanced further, but I opted to take an office job that paid just as much, but with better hours and less stress.

    So I'm in the illustrious field of office administration. I like it, but I'd have rather done something else. Since I already wasted 6 very expensive years in post-secondary school education, I don't follow my whims anymore. A couple years ago, I wanted to go into social work. I've always volunteered, but I decided to take a more agressive approach with my volunteering. I currently volunteer on a weekly basis for a crisis line as well as a group therapy program. It's been fulfilling, without the paycheque for it. Should I decide to go into social work down the road, I will.

    In the past, I've taken college courses at night to satisfy that thirst for knowledge. Haven't for awhile... maybe I'll sign up for some this fall.

    I don't really have any answers for you Homey G, but rest assured, you're not alone.

  8. #8
    FORT Fogey joeguy's Avatar
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    graduated high school. no college. learned about5 quanten physics from a book I read. like it, found it interesting. computers are fun, not that great at fixing the little problems that come with them though and at 45 I still have no idea what I would have gone to college and studied for. electronics?. doesn't pay for crap.

  9. #9
    Back from the dead! brusch's Avatar
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    This probably isn't going to help but I am in just about the same boat. I turn 30 in a month and still need to figure a lot out. I did all right in high school and college, but no where near what my upper 99th percentile on all the standardized tests I've ever taken would indicate. In college, first I wanted to do this, then that, but I never really stuck with anything. I have excellent problem solving and abstract-thinking skills and prefer to learn on my own. But neither I or anyone else knew what to think of me or how to motivate me. One of my brothers has had similar problems and a couple of years ago was diagnosed with ADD. Come to find out its me too. It isn't the hyperactive type, but it has the inattentiveness and hyperfocus on things we are interested in. If only I had known this about 15 years ago I would probably be doing something I loved and doing it well. Instead I am still trying to assess the damage and come up with a plan for the future. I would really like to go to grad school in Urban Planning, but the ADD hurt my grades (even though I killed on the GRE), and I am still unsure if I am willing to commit to more school and potentially waste time and money (I already have $30,000) in loans). This is all probably depressing and off the original question, but I am still pretty optimistic about the future. I also have a lot of decisions to make for myself shortly, but my family is pretty good support. (and I'm single so I can pretty much go anywhere, etc. )
    Log off. That cookie sh*t makes me nervous. --Tony Soprano

    So I said to him, "Look, buddy, your car was upside down when we got here. And as for your Grandma, she shouldn't have mouthed off like that!" --Homer Simpson

  10. #10
    mantenna for AI3! blindart's Avatar
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    I got a B.A. in painting when I was 19, and then realized there was no way to get a job - with no work experience and being 19, I was both under and over qualified for everything imaginable.

    So I joined the army as a Russian translator, and then I worked as a civilian for the army doing military intelligence and counterintelligence work. I learned a lot of computer stuff on the job, and learned html on my own. I did that until I was about 34, and finally managed to switch to a defense contractor doing graphics for the army - finally back to my major in college! Last year I switched again and became an arts teacher at a high school.

    Over the years I've dropped out of a masters in Russian Studies, out of a B.A. in sign language, and now I have finished the coursework and am doing my thesis for an MA in multimedia studies.

    I'm 39, I'm tired of being in school. But I read something about 5 years ago that changed my mind about whether I was too old or not to return to school and switch careers. Basically it was the concept that in 5 years I was going to be 40, no matter what. I could either be 40 with an MA or I could be 40 without one. I'm doing a distance one, btw, so I don't have to actually go to a classroom - it's so much easier that way, I can log in whenever I want and work it around my schedule. And as I age, I seem to be getting a touch of ADD myself - online, I can do 10 minutes of work, go get some coffee, go back to work, post on here, work some more - it suits me a bit better - I tend to daydream if someone's in front of a room lecturing. Plus, the program is in Australia (accredited by their govt), and the exchange rate makes it about half price.

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