Probably I should be writing a 1,000-word-or-less statement for my graduate school application right now, but I’m not. Because I can write anything you ask me to… seriously, pretty much anything, I got this… but a 1,000-word-or-less statement about my academic and professional experience with researching, planning, executing and evaluating communications campaigns? Despite being, you know, what I do for a living?
Can my 1,000-word-or-less statement be, “I work here. I’m actually your office’s PR and marketing person. If you’d like samples of my work, see every publication you’ve sent out to a prospective student in the last four months. Also the institution’s website. Admit me. Thanks.” Forty words. Short, sweet, to the point. Here’s my application fee.
Yeah, one of those sentences isn’t really a complete sentence. Points off for that.
Because don’t make me think about what I do for a living. I’m quite familiar with what I do, but if I have to deconstruct it into all those subcategories and figure out how to apply them directly, I’m going to have writer’s block for days. Which I can’t really afford, because classes start in… soon.
It’s weird, thinking about going back to school. I say “thinking about” because obviously I’ve been lax in getting my application finished. The statement is all that stands in my way right now, but I’m really not in an all-fired hurry. If I don’t get to start in the fall, that’s fine, I’ll save my money for books and fees and start when they let me. Apparently I’m going to be forced to take a statistics course before I can start the M.S., so that’s going to suck, but maybe I could get that out of the way if I don’t get in right this minute.
Or whatever minute I finish the statement.
Which has not yet been started.
That first sentence is so clutch, right? I pick up books and judge them by their first sentence. I really do. And although the first sentence of my blog posts has never been a huge priority for me, I realize this is a different thing. I can’t think of how to start this statement.
Generally, if I don’t know what the first sentence of something I write should be, I just start writing from whatever point is already worked out in my head and go backward if I have to. But I got nothin’ for this.
I graduated with my B.A. 14 years ago. And I didn’t want to do another minute of school. I didn’t hate it or anything… I just knew I’d had enough of being a ridiculously good student for a while. My father had told me that, if I went for my master’s right then, he and my mother would pay for it. But as much as I appreciated the offer, I couldn’t bring myself to look at one more textbook.
Now I’m not sure they even use textbooks. Does anybody still know how to take notes with their fingers and a pen?
But now, boo-yah Dad: I get to do the degree for free. On account of I work there.
Wooot! Saved you a bunch of cash! You’re welcome.
If it weren’t for the free schooling, I wouldn’t be doing it at all. I love learning new things – hell, there’s so much cool stuff going on at the school, I could audit classes for years just for the sake of learning new stuff. But I wouldn’t pay for a master’s degree because, while I do believe in the value of education, I don’t believe I have any idea whether it would really be helpful to my professional life. I mean… it seems like everybody’s got a master’s degree these days. It just ups the ante, doesn’t it?
But then I remember that still not everybody has a college education at all. Sure, in a professional capacity, pretty much everyone in my world does. But maybe the master’s does help somehow.
I debated getting my MBA, actually. And then I stopped debating because it would take me another year as a part-time student (three instead of two, year-round) and would involve me being completely bored to terrible, bitter crocodile tears by every single class in the curriculum.
But occasionally I think, “Well… maybe that is what I should do. Because it’s supposedly a universal master’s degree that can work in any professional forum, and if it’s free as long as I work here, maybe it’s better to get the degree I’ll hate getting for free instead of waiting until they realize I clearly have no idea what I’m doing and fire me, and then I have to pay to get a degree it turns out I really do need.
“But wait, maybe not, because if it’s universal then doesn’t that put everyone who has an MBA into the same pot of relative ability and then somebody has to get a doctorate or something?”
And then I stop the whole thing, because wine.
Which, by the way, is also what allows me to continue procrastinating on writing this statement they require. (I had to stop and think about what word I wanted just then before I came up with “procrastinating.”)
School is going to be much harder now that I’m A) much older; 2) half-crazy; third) a big fan of vino.
The good news is, my friend Angie, who got her master’s at 25, says you get better at writing papers while buzzed as you go.
It’s weird we didn’t discover that as undergrads.