Saturday, October 24, 2009

Head In Hands, Book in Face

I fear that my ambition may be the death of me. Ambition, that very energy which drives me to maximize the value of my life, is surely to be the force that kills me.

How else could I explain taking a challenging semester of 3 classes- none of which I truly need? I already have a degree and I planned to apply for a graduate MPA program for which ONE prerequisite was needed that I did not have. The school offers conditional acceptance, so even if they felt that I was qualified enough for their program without having met the prereq, I would have been accepted and could have taken the class at a later date. But nooooo. Not me. Not only did I want to take the class before I started the program, I also took on TWO other classes that were not required. Two public administration classes in order to become more familiar with the study of public admin- to see what it's really all about, since I had only read about it and never studied it.

Three classes, taken as a Graduate-at-Large which means that the class that is eligible for graduate credit if taken as a grad student (read: more work). I was up for it. It had been two years since I'd been in school but I was ready for the academic challenge, and the sense of accomplishment and academic enrichment that was sure to accompany it.

What the hell was I thinking?? For one, students at large do not receive financial aid of any type, and BOY am in need of some. I obtained graduate tuition waivers through my job, but the fees alone are over $700!! Not to mention books, all of which I still don't have and won't be getting due to financial reasons. All of this expense, paid out of pocket on my measly non-profit salary. Then, it's that very "financial obligation to the university" that prevented me from obtaining my transcript and applying for my graduate program which was the whole point of me taking these classes in the first place. Not to mention the fact that I'm stressed and overwhelmed more so than I ever remember being in my four years of undergrad. My workload is astronomical. It does not help that I admittedly have not managed my time in the best way (though I have done better than in the past).

Then wait, it's not over. No, no my friends. The grad students (which by the way, I am not required to take this class as one, but I chose to) are required to complete a 20-25 page paper (undergrads have the same assignment with a 12-15 page requirement). We had a few options on how to do it- a literature review, cross-cultural interview and a few others. I chose what is likely to be one of the more challenging options- a consulting project reviewing and making recommendations for the volunteering program at a non-profit organization. Of course I'll be using the League. The benefit is that I'm very familiar with the structure and workings of my organization, and idea is that this consultation will be of use to the League. . . hopefully *sigh*. Downside being that I will have to work with others to collect some of the information and insight I'll need. I cannot even begin to expound upon the challenges that will present. . . not looking forward to that part AT ALL. Then there is always the reality that noone at my organization will care. . . or even read the thing for that matter! I could have done something relatively easy like a lit review. Read some journal articles, evaluate them, talk about them. . . collegiate book report.

Ambitious me wanted to do something more meaningful- on top of all that I have to manage in my work and personal life. So, here goes nothing. Even though I don't even need these classes I'm still going to try my best. Scratch that, I'm going to DO my best. . . even though it just may kill me.

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