Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Old Dog, New Tricks

photo credit-Avolore
creative commons license

Well, I did it today. I registered to go back to school.

One would think that after spending most of my adult life in either higher education or advanced training, and after reaching an age where I should be actively planning my retirement, I would have more sense than this.

Perhaps I am addicted to education. Or is it just Pomp and Circumstance?

Over the last 2 years my interest in bioethics has increased. I regularly attend and participate in a monthly ethics conference at my institution, and have done some reading on the subject. We have discussed such issues as the exhibit of human bodies in Body World, sham surgery, and the "Ashley Treatment". So I have decided to formally add some credentials to myself in the area of bioethics.

Rather than commit to a full Master's degree at this time, I am starting with a certificate program, in which I will take 4 Master's level 3 hour courses, followed by participating in a 5 day seminar in Chicago. If I like it (and still think it's worth the money), I can apply those courses towards a Master's degree in Bioethics, for which I would need a total of 30 hours of coursework, including a thesis.

I can't afford to take off work to do this (especially with the cost of college nowadays), so I am going to do this via an online program. So even though I work and teach about 70 hours/week, I am hoping that this won't interfere too much with my home life.

What it very well may interfere with is my blogging. Summer is kind of hectic around here, so I haven't been doing much blogging lately. But once I start school in August I suspect that my coursework may keep me offline a fair amount.

I've always felt that while blogging was good (both for me as well as for spreading a positive message regarding autism), that we were all most effective when we leveraged our connections on the net to do things in other venues.

I am hoping that my writing experience in this blog will assist me as I go back to school, and that my exposure to all of you will help me as I attempt to translate a philosophy of respect for all people back to the medical community, as well as applying that philosophy to ethical questions that occur.

So I am not closing down the blog, but don't be surprised if I am even more scarce around here once August rolls around. Know that I will often sneek peaks at your blogs, and even write some comments when I can.

Now, I wonder if I should get myself a cyber backpack to carry my cyber assignments in?


storkdok said...

Good luck with the bioethics degree! I have been toying with the idea of going back to school. I thought about bioethics or a PhD in psych/developmental psych. I just don't know how to find the time, my dh is on call all the time, which is why I can't work, but I feel like my brain is going to mush.

I hope to read about your coursework! Best of luck!

Maddy said...

That sounds great. I'm tempted to go back to school but I already have a slew of useless qualifications for my current lifestyle. There again perhaps I might just try something a bit more relevant this time.

Best of luck

sahar said...

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Club 166 said...

It's online... You can do the coursework after everyone's in bed...

I also thought about getting a PhD in Psych or dev. Psych. I had a minor in psych in undergrad just because I found it interesting. I also figured I would be taken more seriously at IEP meetings (yeah, right!).

This may turn out to be another useless qualification for me, but at least I'm interested in it.

Afflicted? I think I'll pass.


Club 166 said...

...But the fact that I am in bed about 5 minutes after both the kids might not give me enough time!

Hah! That sounds like just enough time for an efficient person. I'll bet you've done crash C-sections in less time!


Anonymous said...

Congrats! You will do well I am sure. I went back a year ago or so and found it too difficult with M. Sigh. I hope you blog as much as you can, I would miss your posts a great deal.

Ange said...

1st, love the harvest picture! I came home to a handful of green beans and a zuke, and am almost as proud as when Moosie said "mom" ! ;)

Congratulations on school! If I could just find some way to build on what I already have instead of having to "start over." Not that I'd know what to do with anymore education anyhow, but I love to learn. Certificates sound like the way to go! Keep us updated here and there if you can.

Anonymous said...

Go get 'em Joe!! Like you, I greatly enjoy learning, and have told my wife that if we ever win the lottery I'm going back to school. Not sure what I'd study, but I'd love to be able to do research about how the mind works, why we are the way we are, etc.

I've done the Master's on-the-weekend while I keep working thing once, and I don't think I'd do that again. But with your shining example, I might have to check into a good online program.

Good luck, have fun, learn lots!!!

Angela said...

I understand! I am in school myself...want to be a developmental psychologist. Good luck with your choices!

Casdok said...

Good for you and all the best!

Niksmom said...

Joe, I think your plan sounds fantastic! You'll find the ways to make it work I have no doubt. The world needs more medical professionals to take a keener interest in the ethics portion of medicine, IMO.

I'm having gardner's envy...just plucked my first tomato yesterday.

Blog when you can; you know we'll still be here reading and learning. :-)

Daisy said...

Congrats on the big leap! You know more than most how much time school can take. Unsolicited advice from one who completed a masters while teaching full time: Prioritize. (Yeah, duh!) Use your blog as a therapeutic outlet. We'd love to hear about your studies, and your blog doesn't have to be in perfect grammar or use APA citations. Good luck, and happy gardening!

Steve D said...

Good for you, Joe!
Your voracious appetite for education and betterment knows no bounds.
I hope you squeeze in a blog post every now and then, and we'll be ready for you when you are ready for us.

Ed said...

I hope these courses go well for you Joe.

This field sounds interesting.

agate said...

You're going to love the distance education deal - I'm doing it now (different program) and it's GREAT. Totally flexible and you're in with others who have interesting professional experiences to share. Best wishes! Bioethics will only become more important as science progress and our challenges become less "can we" and more "should we."

Club 166 said...

Thanks everyone for your well wishes.

A long time ago, when I finished undergrad, I worked for a year full time while going to school part time. I hated it. But that was physically going to classes, and I was in a whole different place in my life at that time.

I'm hoping that this is going to "fit" a lot better for me.