And going back to college does both.
So you can imagine my dread yesterday when I attended my first graduate-level seminar in years.
I had never taken a class from this particular English professor, though I’ve known him since my undergraduate days at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He’s been encouraging me to return to the English department and, well, do something. Finish my master’s, apply for the Ph.D., write. But I’ve thrown every reason — read: excuse — at him and everyone else who’s urged me to go back to school.
I don’t have time. It’s hard with two jobs. What am I going to do with a Ph.D.? Can I bring my dogs to class?
But now that I’ve got a little more time — read yesterday’s blog — I’ve considered taking one class. Just one.
I used my reporting skills to find out a little more about this class I’m taking — really, to find out what the workload was like. I talked with a couple of grad students who had taken this professor’s class last semester.
“He buried me,” said one.
“I never read so much in my life,” said another.
Apparently, he assigned something like 900 to 1,300 pages of reading a week. A WEEK! That, in the words of one of my students at Kapiolani Community College, is “like reading a Harry Potter book a week — but not that fun.”
So I went to the first class last night, a little nervous about diving back into midterms, homework, late-night reading and cram sessions. (It wasn’t fun the first time around.)
I sat there, wondering how I was going to keep up with the reading, if I was even going to understand the concepts we were going to discuss, if I was going to cut and run.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only person in class freaking out.
There was a woman who’s returning to school after a couple of decades. Another student who barely survived this professor’s class last semester (and is back for repeat punishment). Another who took my journalism class online several years ago and is taking her very first graduate seminar ever.
I guess I’m not alone.
So I’m going to stick it out. For now. We’ll see after reading, “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.”
Got any advice?