Today I start graduate school. Finally.
In the past few years I've pursued one direction after another. I've looked at everything from Biblical Theology to Ultrasound Technician to Publishing and announced those choices here and you've all been supportive and excited with whatever I've come up with. I've thought long and hard about what I want from a graduate degree - personal enrichment, a good job, or it doesn't matter as long as I check this goal off my list.
In the end I've come full circle beginning the Graduate Institute at St. John's College, the ostensible reason I moved to Maryland in the first place. Deciding factors: I thought it would be cute for Zeb and I to have matching degrees. And we already had the books. Also I get really jazzed about those books in a way I never did about Ultrasound Technology (sorry Natalie!).
I've been nervous, though, finally deciding and tying myself down. I like having my options open, and I realize that after this I probably won't get to go back and do something else for a long while. But as soon as I opened my first reading (coincidentally Descartes who I started Gutenberg with ten years ago this fall) I calmed and realized this is a decision I don't think I'll regret. Not that Descartes is calming, in fact some of the things he says are quite alarming, but this program will only strengthen my mind and hopefully my soul. That's never ever a bad thing. And I need it, I think my brain's gone soft lately, too much Apartment Therapy and not enough Arts and Letters Daily.
On the arguably more practical side, in my spare time, I've also begun a course in Herbal Medicine. It won't lead to a 'degree' because there isn't one available, but at the end of three years or so, if I make it, I'll be a Certified Herbal Therapist. It's a correspondence/online course that can flex around other life commitments. The thoughts behind that decision are many, and growing all the time, so I'll probably save that for a different post. So far, though, I've loved the ideas I'm encountering and the very practical skills I'll walk away with. Even if I never use it professionally, which would be my hope, it's good to know how to brew up concoctions for sore throats and ear infections.
Life will certainly change. Zeb, the dear, will be taking over most of the cooking and cleaning duties in order to free me up for homework. As grateful as I am, I think it will be difficult for me to relinquish control of those things, I'm used to feeling connected to my life through the rhythm of household duties, and also I'm very particular. It will be good though. I've promised I'll be OK with two ingredient meals like chicken and rice over and over again, and he's promised he'll at least cook it all from scratch.
So, now, of course, I must rush off and re-skim readings before my first class this morning. That will probably be a common end to posts from now on. Yay!