No, I’m not pregnant, let’s get that right out of the way. Two’s plenty, thanks.
My office is on the crest of some big changes (people leaving, the structure of the office changing, etc.) and it’s been a big topic of conversation among us about what shape the changes will take, when they will happen, etc. The sad part is I work with a great group of ladies. A person couldn’t ask for better co-workers and I will be extremely sad to see a couple of them go. I won’t just be losing great co-workers, I’ll be losing great friends, and that makes me very sad. However, it’s the right thing for them to do. There are many reasons for them to move on and all the reasons make sense, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
But with these changes comes opportunity. Opportunity for me to advance
and get paid more. The three of us had a very good discussion a
couple of weeks ago and it was brought up that the position I really want (when
it comes open) may require a higher education then a Bachelor’s degree. I’ve
given it a lot of thought, discussed it with my husband, etc. and I’ve decided I’m going to pursue my Master’s degree! (Holy crap
holy crap holy crap). The thought was planted because of the possibility of
that job but the more I think about it the more it makes sense that, no matter
what, I get my master’s. The thing is, the college I work for has a great
benefit. They offer classes to staff for $20 a class. Whether it be undergrad
or grad class, it’s still $20. Which means, I can earn my Master’s degree from
a prestigious university for $140. It will take me 4 years because I’ll only be
able to do one class per semester but still. $140 people!!! $140!!!! I’d be
stupid not to!
I started by talking with my friend who handles the administrative stuff for the MAT and MA programs (and one of the people who will be leaving at some point - sniffle). She gave me great advice and helped guide me with my decisions. Then I met with the chair of the English department to see if she thought it was possible for me to pursue. The university doesn’t have a large MA program and it’s been several years since anyone has pursued a master’s in English so she said it was definitely possible but we’d have to have more conversations about the shape of my program. (It will be individualized for me.) I didn’t want to approach my boss with the idea unless I knew for certain I could do this and was starting to get pumped up after speaking with the chair of English.
So yesterday, after talking with my friend again, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and talk to my boss. I was very nervous about her reaction. My boss is great and is always supportive of me doing things to advance my career (I’m lucky) but this is a big commitment. It will mean time out of the office (the university doesn’t have night classes so every class will be during working hours), it will mean altering my hours so I could make up time, it would be asking my co-workers to pick up my slack while I’m out of the office. I realize that this doesn’t just affect me and I was afraid she’d see it as too much of a disruption. So with frayed nerves and a shaky voice I walked into my bosses office and asked if she had a few minutes to talk. I had hemmed and hawed about how to approach her, what to say, and what points to bring up. As soon as I said “I’d like to pursue my master’s” she immediately said “great!” GREAT! After that I calmed down considerably and we had a very good discussion about my plan. She thinks it's a great idea and is very supportive of the whole thing. She said we would "make it work." How can I ask for more than that?
I’m going to take a couple of grad classes prior to matriculating in the program (partly so I can see if I’m up to the challenge and the other part to give the department an opportunity to see my work before they commit). I’ll be able to apply those courses (up to 2) once I matriculate so it will work out well. I’ll have to do 7 courses and then a thesis. It’s a little scary to think of all the work involved but I hope I can keep my eye on the prize. It will be such a rewarding goal to accomplish.
So there it is. I’m going to be a master’s student.
Let the fun begin!