Tuesday, July 22, 2008

College From Home

I have always wanted to get my degree, though I think that without the persuasion of my mom, I would probably be a little more okay with NOT pursuing a degree and instead vesting my time at home with my family. As it is, I am doing neither. As I have posted in previous posts, I am in the process of changing all of that. I am confident that it won't be changing overnight, but am working on it. Whenever I ask Eric how to go about changing, he always says, "just do it," like the key is just in doing it. I always thought that was the least helpful advice in the world but now I am beginning to understand. Change is only so good as what you are doing. We always liked to say that it's "the thought that counts" but really, that is only okay for children buying a parent a gift. In reality, talking about change (what I am very good at!!!) is not enough. I have to actually change and not in thoughts, I have to change in actions. I think this is what Eric has been struggling to see in me lately- a change in action. Though I have had a change in heart, meaning that I regret my actions when I behave poorly and I recognize that the house is not cleaned up to standard, I haven't (yet) allowed my heart to influence my actions and get me off the couch (and internet) and on to cleaning and care-taking. I am learning to change my actions now and my biggest prayer i that I am able to make lasting changes. So often, I go overboard on my changes and then am unable to continue them. I even feel my appropriate rush of feeling on top of the world, but as soon as I miss a step, I'm back to square one (sounds like the Atkins diet!!!). So back to the degree...

I had originally planned to go to Saint Martin's this fall and was planning on putting the kids in full-time daycare (though the wouldn't have to be there full-time) since Jordyn would be going to school in a year, it seemed like a good time to start since I only have a little over a year left for my English degree. However, as the time has drawn close, I don't think I can manage the $12,000 per SEMESTER tuition costs, plus paying $1500 in daycare a month...that's pretty darn expensive for a degree that I don't plan on using!!! I satisfied myself with staying at home and learning with my children as I begin to teach them. However, I mentioned to a neighbor about wanting to get a degree but being able to afford Saint Martins and not willing to go to Evergreen. She said I should look in to an online degree. I blew it off, but the thought stuck in my head and now, I have applied and been accepted to University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Their English degree is 100% online and I will minor in History. I can't even say how excited I am about this school right now!!! I can start this fall and though it won't give me anything that I can really use for a career but most schools have a program where you can get your teaching credentials after you get your BA degree, so if I'm ever at the point where I NEED to teach, I can get my certificate within a year or so. It's not ideal, but by then my kids would both be school-age, and that makes child care easier. The funny part about me going to school is that we MAKE money in the process instead of spending money like at Saint Martins. Because UMUC is a public, non-profit school, they get extra grants and scholarships that other schools might not. Plus, since Eric is in the NG, we get "in-state" tuition costs. Plus, I get my GI Bill, which is supposed to be $1300 a month starting in October, I think. Basically, I will get paid to go to school. This alleviates the need for me to go out and get a job so now I can stay home with the kids. I am pretty excited about this because it just seems to be the best of all my worlds. The biggest problems are the flimsy nature of online schools and there relative disrespect in the education community and my ability to stay full-time in a completely online environment. I don't know the answers to those questions nor do I really know how to get the answers. Since I am not really pursuing this degree to provide a career, I am not as concerned with the first two and as for me completing full-time credits, I am not confident about that at all, but I hope that I will manage, I will just have to shift some priorities around.

Who knows what will come???

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