Back to School Tips
Hello DataLounge Friends.
This week I finalized my enrollment in a Master’s Degree hybrid program. I had been applying for jobs to use my teaching certification, but as a diabetic I decided I wasn’t comfortable going back to the school setting during the current crisis.
I have some mixed feelings, because... 1.) I am going to be a Buckeye! My husband’s parents, all of his brothers, and their wives have at least one degree from Ohio State, so it’ll be cool to fit in, but do l have to be an obnoxious sports fan now?! 2.) I love learning, I am getting into a great program with the strong possibility of a pretty great assistantship, but I’m also nervous to adjust to the demands of going to to school.
My question is...for those of your who have gone BACK to school after a break, what’s your best advice? I have been out for six years. Five of those I was on “the other side of the desk” so I’m not totally out of the groove, but I want to be in a strong position.
I hope everyone is staying safe.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||06/19/2020|
Cant you just be a housewife dear? You will end up as one anyway after your useless master.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||05/24/2020|
When you were in school before, you believed everything your professor said. Now, you are older and will come across those whom you find too " out there" or detached from reality. This will lead to frustration, but don;t let it get in the way. Advanced degrees are less about learning and more about just getting more letters after your name ( which may help in getting future employment).
|by Anonymous||reply 2||05/25/2020|
Masters in what? Most are worthless degrees but the programs are moneymakers for the departments that offer them. Masters students are even lower than doctoral students-- rubes who are willing to pay.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||05/25/2020|
R2, I can see that. Many professors get into their specific area of focus. It would be easy to lose touch with reality.
R3, I make that mistake all the time. Near as I can tell, I CAN say “Ohio State” but not “Ohio State University.” That’s what the “THE” becomes mandatory.
R4, Masters in Education, but it’s a content specific focus, so I’m not actually even working with the College of Education. I’ve met some of the faculty before and I think it’ll work out. The assistantship deals with curriculum development, which I have a bit of experience with anyway!
|by Anonymous||reply 5||05/25/2020|
It's nice to see you posting again, Ernst.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||05/26/2020|
Thank you, R6. I have a little more time to myself again. It is good to hear from you too!
|by Anonymous||reply 7||05/26/2020|
Sports RAH !RAH! seems to be more of an undergraduate obsession. I rarely see professionals rooting for the school they got their Masters degree from. Just fake it around in-laws.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||05/26/2020|
R8, I’ve been faking Buckeye enthusiasm this long, I’ll just keep up more the the same.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||05/26/2020|
I just finished a master's program in library science after being out of school for a little over 10 years. 75% of the classes I took were online, the rest were in person. It was helpful for me to only take one class my first semester because I was working full-time and needed to adjust to being back in an academic mindset. After that, I took two classes per semester.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||05/26/2020|
MORE excuses to not work. Stop wasting your husband's money. Like R1 said, you are going to be a housewife anyway. Learn how to be a better bottom if you don't want to be completely useless.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||05/27/2020|
Thank you for the advice! I will be going back full time, but I am not working right now. I might be called back once travel picks up again, but there isn’t a guarantee there, so I’m not counting on it. The good thing is that, since it is an education Masters, my assistantship takes some of the coursework out of the mix.
R11, thanks for the feedback. I’ll hold it close to my heart.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||05/27/2020|
Ernst, Welcome back! I'm your fellow Buckeye, but I don't bother faking it. I'm not sure how I'd get my enthusiasm back (I'm about to quit). I think it's really challenging to return to work, though, if you don't have some kind of passion. In my case, that would probably be art history or history.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||06/16/2020|
Hey R13! I’m not sure how much you’ve seen or heard about the fall semester plans. It seems interesting but I am looking forward to the shortened time frame.
My husband and I have done our evening walks on campus several times since I was accepted. It is a really pretty campus! Do you have a favorite part of campus?
|by Anonymous||reply 14||06/16/2020|
Ernst, I can't avoid personal favorites, but 'the Oval' at O.S.U.. is probably the prettiest part of the campus. The various campii offer a huge variety. I'm more familiar with some (of course) because my interests vary, and I don't care much for sports. The UC College Conservatory is full of performance halls with students practicing singing and instruments. Athens is a gorgeous little town full of artists and friendly stoners. I can't remember now if Oxford is considered a state school: the have a gorgeous 19th century campus with attitudes to match.
You may as well learn to make buckeyes!
|by Anonymous||reply 15||06/18/2020|
The last Ernst thread I saw the husband got you a job at his company doing event planning. You still doing that?
|by Anonymous||reply 16||06/18/2020|
What some may not understand on this thread is that to work in public education a master degree is required and inevitable if you want to continue to teach, so disregard those pooh poohing it. I’ve gone back for a Masters in Education and like the person upthread Library Science as well. Returning as an adult student is a whole other game, and if you love learning, which I’ve seemed to grasp you do from other threads, you will love it. The biggest thing about education programs are some are practical and some are theoretical, I like the latter and went to a program that was one of the strongest in the country for that. Hopefully your program meshes with whatever your needs/interests are.
One of the big things you will encounter is that there will be a divide between people who are coming into your program straight from undergrad or career changers new to the field and others like yourself who have already been teaching in some capacity. You already have a huge leg up and advantage as you will have real life experience and have worked with children. Where you will come in conflict is with old tenured professors who haven’t changed their teaching style and content in decades. You will have better current knowledge and be a threat to them. Watch out for them. My advisor was one of those types and I made it a point never to meet with her without another friend with me as she was a nightmare to those who had experience in the field. That’s my start, I might add more as you get other responses.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||06/18/2020|
I went back to get my Masters (Nursing) after many years on disability. I knew I needed a leg up in younger folks to compete for non-bedside Jobs. I, however was 50 when I went back...which was actually pretty liberating.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||06/18/2020|
R15, I am a fan of the candy Buckeyes, but I am also diabetic, so I have to make sure I don’t have too many.
R16, I was quickly ousted when Ohio’s Governor initiated a Stay at Home Order. They’ve checked in with me a couple of times to let me know they plan to “eventually” bring that position back, but they do not anticipate travel in the near future, so it isn’t a priority.
Thank you for the insight, R18. The majority of my coursework will be integrated with my thesis project (a grant funded “model curriculum” project for a commonly taught course) and TAing a Teaching Methods course. The advisor seems good, she is fairly new to the university too and this is her first tenure-track position. I was surprised I was picked up by her, she has a heavy research focus and I don’t have any interest in research (hence a big project in lieu of a traditional thesis). There is definitely a mix of ages in the cohort it seems. Hopefully we all mesh.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||06/18/2020|
Why on earth do you feign enthusiasm for sports - just be honest and say you have no interest in football or whatever and go do something worthwhile to you while the rest of them watch “the big game.” I’ll go to an occasional tailgate to be social and then say goodbye as friends enter the stadium, or join a Super Bowl party as the game is wrapping up - but I don’t pretend I care about the game, just seeing my friends.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||06/18/2020|
I taught for 22 years before going back for my MA. I did it in an evening program at a nearby university so I could continue to teach by day, and take care of my father who was bedridden for the last couple of years of his life. Both my parents were diagnosed with terminal illnesses during the same week and I was the only one to take care of them. I was a mess, and oddly enough going back to school (which I had always been good at) was what got me through it. I knew my life was changing irrevocably, and getting the degree was at least a change for the better. My tips:
Your classmates will quickly be divided into two camps. Group 1 is there to get a degree and get out. Group A is there to learn. Learn who is who, and align yourself with Group A. In my program we were constantly given group assignments, and you don't want to the the one person in the group who knows what's going on. You'll also appreciate having someone to bounce ideas off of who has actually done the reading assignment.
Back up your computer every single day without fail. I had a total hard drive failure and lost two chapters of my thesis. Thank god I had a back-up file that was only a couple of weeks old!
Finally, not so much a tip as a bit of wisdom: My program had a huge focus on equity and social justice. It was the philosophy of the entire department, and every course was tied to it. There were those in my cohort who did not agree with it, and ridiculed it at every turn. Privately, they would say things like, "This is just all PC nonsense. None of them really believe this shit." Only everyone did. The result is those students were miserable, and some dropped out. Find out what your department's mission statement is. If you don't buy into it, switch programs. You can't learn anything valuable from professors and classes where you don't buy into their foundational principles. It's not about indoctrination -Rather, it is about owning what goes on in your head, and making sure that won't get in the way of what you're trying to accomplish.
Best of luck to you!
|by Anonymous||reply 22||06/18/2020|
Ernst, I forgot something that could be hazardous if you followed my buckeye ball instructions. I would hate for you to get the same reputation that I now have. When you make 'bourbon balls" including pecans and bourbon, you normally keep the tin in the refrigerator for several weeks. I would hate for you to injure yourself, since I'm rather short, and my BF is even shorter.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||06/18/2020|
I would just plow through credits as quickly as possible & even take summer classes, if available. I wouldn’t try to have some type of college experience. I would keep to myself and avoid drama. I would try to minimize actually having to show up on campus, do as much as possible online.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||06/18/2020|
Here's a tip:
Academic degrees are capitalized only when the full name of the degree is used, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Social Work. General references, such as bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, are not capitalized.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||06/18/2020|
Don’t waste your time on education. Learn a skill like reading the classics for subtext, miming, or interpretive dance. These are the types of skills that will get you a job.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||06/18/2020|
That old saw, [R26]? Undergraduate degrees in any field seldom impart "real-life job skills" and most graduate programs really don't care what your undergraduate major was, as long as you meet their program requirements. My roommate who wanted to be (and is today) a medical doctor majored in sociology. Medical schools couldn't wait to snap him up to bring a little diversity (academic, not ethnic) to their campuses. My faculty advisor actually earned her paycheck when he told me to major in whatever I found interesting, as that would lead to better learning, higher grades, and result in more choices for grad school. And she was absolutely correct. A liberal arts education forces you to explore a broad swath of subjects and ideas, focusing on teaching you to read, write, think, and make connections. The result is that you are ready to pursue higher learning in your chosen field, or enter the job market prepared to quickly learn whatever is required of you.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||06/18/2020|
R27 Thanks for keeping us woke, Karen.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||06/18/2020|
The unemployment line is full, period.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||06/18/2020|
R22, thank you for the great insight!
I also learned the computer backup the hard way. When I was an undergrad my whole computer wiped out, it wouldn’t even turn on and campus IT said it was cooked. I didn’t have money for a new computer so I had to rely on a mismatch things to get by. Luckily for me I was a desk attendant and my job was to sit there all night, so that’s when I got my computer time in.
Thank you, R25. I have noticed that but never caught the differences.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||06/19/2020|