If you don't read Elizabeth from Confessions from a Working Mom, I might just have to break up with you. Because she's awesome. As a former Working Mother who used the same exact work phone as Elizabeth, I felt an immediate kinship with her and was so excited that she's going to be hanging out with us, here at the Tomato Pad. Lend her an ear, or an eye, and show her the lurve!
Elizabeth of Online PhD:
There are two types of people in this world.
The first type includes people like my husband. They are the people who dreaded the first day of school. They're the ones who counted down until the clock struck 3pm and the dismissal bell rang. They're the ones who wished winter vacation would never end.
Then there are those who have their first day of school outfit picked out before summer break ever starts. They're the ones who have their term papers written two weeks before they're due, and always study in study hall.
I fall into that second category.
I've always been what you would call "a dork". In fact, many times I have been called a dork. I've also been called a nerd, a geek, and a brown-noser. I've recited the phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me" so many times that I should have it tattooed on my upper arm.
But despite that, it still struck me as odd when I began having alarmingly nostalgic pangs for my old academic days.
It started when I took a new way home from work a few weeks ago. This is a route that takes me directly through a college campus in the town where I live. It's not where I went to school, but there were enough similarities to trigger some deep-seated emotions.
On my drive, I could see the fluorescent lights of the dormitory hallways shining even in the midst of summer break, when it was likely that not a single soul was in the building.
I could see the stoic lecture halls, vacant for the summer, awaiting the return of the giants of academia in the fall.
I could see the pristine campus quad, with acres and acres of finely manicured grass, which will be trampled on in criss-cross patterns when students return in the fall.
And, as I saw all this, I felt a lump rise up in my throat. It was a lump that told me, "This is where you belong."
I'm really not sure if that lump wanted me back on campus as a student (I've always dreamed of earning my Ph.D. in something completely engaging and utterly useless, like theology or philosophy) or as a professor (I already have a masters degree in communications, so I could teach as an adjunct member of the faculty). I'm not sure if that lump simply wanted me to pull the car over to the side of the road and walk the hallowed university grounds. I just had this all-consuming feeling that the campus setting is where I belong, and where, ultimately, I will end up.
What happens to a dream deferred? Langston Hughes pondered this very question, and the truth is, I don't know. I think we all have dreams, goals we'd like to accomplish, but we put them off. Now isn't the right time. I'll get around to doing that later. But why? Why do we put ourselves-- and our aspirations-- on hold?
I'm not sure how long it will take me to get there. I'd really like to finish paying off the degrees I already have (which, if my calculations are right, won't be until my daughter is a sophomore in college) before I apply for FAFSA yet again. But I know I'll get there.
So, the next time you think about calling me a dork, remember this: I may be your child's English 101 instructor some day. That's Professor dork to you!
Elizabeth is a content writer for Online Schools and Online MBA, who gives advice on the pursuit of education and living a healthy life. In her free time, she enjoys chasing after who toddler, who is usually chasing after the dog, who is usually chasing after the mailman. You get the idea.
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