Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again...

So it's happened...I'm finally back on the wagon. (The school wagon, to be exact.) A lot has happened since I stopped posting regularly. I moved back to DC from the UK, Matt and I are living together (and hopefully moving to a reasonably-sized apartment soon), we'll be celebrating our 2-year dating anniversary on July 25th (2 years without a single fight! Who knew?), I now have a full-time job with insurance, and I'll be starting school on August 30th at Catholic University.

I realize that as of the last time I posted regarding school, I was supposed to be starting a year ago. However, life doesn't always work out the way you want it to. Unfortunately, my program doesn't have enough money to fund everyone, so only one student per year receives full funding. Needless to say, I was not that student. And although I was approved for student loans, it wasn't quite enough to get me through the program full-time, and I decided to actually make a good financial decision for once in my life and not sink myself even further into debt than I already am.

Hence, I spent the last year trying to figure out what to do with my life. I continued to work at a museum part-time (in fact still worked there on the weekends), and although I loved it, and may choose to work in a museum field after I've completed my PhD, I had this nagging feeling that school is where I'm supposed to be-that I would never be completely happy unless I pushed on through and finished my degree. So I set about trying to find a way to pay for school. Savings was out, loans were out, funding was out. My only options left to me were either A) kill an obscure relative for the insurance money, or B) get a job at the university I want to attend so I can go to school for free as an employee benefit. So, after reviewing murder and insurance fraud laws and deciding on the latter course of action, I did some snooping around and I found an open position as an administrative assistant at Catholic. And lo and behold, I got the job! Now, don't get me wrong, a trained chimpanzee could do my job. But it's not the job I care about. It's the free tuition for attending school part-time that's my main concern. My boss is great about letting me out for class during the work day as long as I make up the time by giving up lunch or getting there early, which is perfectly OK with me-on the scale of personal sacrifices, I can think of bigger ones.

So that's where I am now. I've signed up for my classes, bought my text books, and now am just ready and waiting for the school year to start. And because I'm the biggest nerd EVER, I naturally went to the library the other day to do some homework for a class that hasn't started yet. (You can never start too early, right?) And as I found what I'm sure will be my regular library seat for the next 5 years, spread my stuff over the desk, breathed in the smell of musty old books and listened to the sound of pages turning and index cards flipping and students sighing, I couldn't help but think, "Now I'm home."

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