Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School

Seriously, I had almost forgotten that I have a blog. Summer whizzed by way to fast and before I knew it the time had come to ditch my job of twenty-two years and become a full-time student instead of perpetually being a full-time employee and part-time student.  It felt like it meant that I wasn't serious about my education, which is far from accurate and unfair to mature students trying to juggle life and school. Anyway, I have officially moved on to a new life and I couldn't be happier with this decision, difficult as it was as well as a long time in coming.

I'm already almost three weeks into the fall semester and I'm sinking fast and questioning my sanity.  I thought I would have lots of time for my classes since I am  no longer employed, but I don't believe it's going to work out that way after all.  For the first time, all of my current classes require a paper, plus book reviews, and so on.  The scary part is my Senior Seminar class which requires the longest paper (only 4500-6000 words, but still) and requires a quick decision on my part as to my topic, question, and thesis.  I'm not known for making quick decisions. If I do make a quick decision I will probably just change my mind anyway, so why bother?  It's best when I can just take my time about these things, which is also why I am completing my education as an adult student.

Next Wednesday is the deadline for turning in my prospectus and bibliography for my seminar paper.  I feel like my professor doesn't really like my chosen topic (Nellie Bly and the role of female reporters during the progressive movement, or something along those lines) and my initial excitement has given way to trepidation.  Well, maybe not exactly trepidation, but more like panic.  I'm waffling, as usual.  He wants me to do something about Louis Post and the Red Scare or making peace with Spain,  presumbly about the Spanish-American War, topics which I know absolutely nothing about.  I am leaning toward letting go of Nellie Bly, but I have to decide yesterday and this is causing me a great deal of stress.  Just decide already!

Moving on, my classes this semester are, in addition to Senior Seminar, Literature of the Ozarks, Fundamentals of Tourism, and History of the Middle East from 600-1914.  I'm wondering why I chose to do all of these classes this semester and leave only one class for my last semester in the spring, but it must have seemed like a good idea at the time. 

The best thing so far about this semester so far have been the trips with the seminar class to both the school and the county archives.  It was fascinating to read arrest reports, almshouse ledgers, and old coroner reports.  Apparently, back in the 1920's our county had quite a number so suicides by carbolic acid.  All very intersting; I just wasn't sure how to make a paper out of any of it. 

So here I am, trying to make a very important decision:  Nellie Bly, the Red Scare, or the Spanish-American War.  Suggestions anyone?


StudyingParent said...

Why do professors push students into essay topics they are not interested in. Is it because the Spanish American War is his special interest? If he is not going to mark you down for not going with his interest I would go with yours: Nellie Bly - you are the one writing it after all.

The PhD Pimpernel said...

Thanks for the welcome back Connie - I've mode my blog to wordpress ... I wanted a fresh start. Hope to see you over there sometime.

E. Sheppard said...

I vote for Nelly Bly. What a fascinating person she was!

Caz said...

I really wish I could give you a suggestion, but my brain is mush! Are you an undergrad still or have you moved on? I can't remember. You're still getting used to being a full-time student and I'm sure you'll find your groove soon. Good luck with it all. X

Nicki said...

Sorry I haven't been online to read this sooner. I too forgot that I have a blog!! What did you go with? I would have dug my heels into the ground and stayed with Nellie Bly because that seems to be where the passion is and passion usually makes for a better paper. I get tossed so often between "I will write for the grade" or "I will write for me." Same with my art classes. Usually when I choose to write or draw for me, I end up getting a better grade because I am really into the topic I pick. Good luck and hang in there!!!!! The semesters will fly by fast going full time!!!