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mfas/or simply education

updated thu 8 jun 06


JOYCE LEE on wed 7 jun 06

You know, I never planned to have multiple degrees.... ever! I
didn't even plan to be a teacher. I married two years into a
business major degree, had kids, and used my basic business
subjects to get decent jobs as we moved about the country
following #1s dream, and thus mine. (The way it was in those
day's, folks...... and I relished it.)

As we moved about, I found the easiest way to become=20
acquainted with people of like or differing minds ... people
on more than simply the mommy track .... was to
enroll in a course or two at whatever local institution was
available. If the course I chose wasn't available, I selected
another. I did this for about ten years accruing more units
than needed for two degrees (so I was told often by counselors!).
However, as diverse as my learning was, no way could it add
up to a degree. I finally stopped and took the needed TWO MORE
years to get a degree in something...... I had more units in
psych, history, and languages than anything so those became my
majors and minors and I honed in on completing the requirements.

Later, needing a job to justify all this attention to ME and My wants,
I decided on teaching because of the hours and days and months which
coincided with my kids' time in school. AND the pay wasn't bad. For
a change more money would be Coming In than Going Out. It=20
turned out to be a great choice and, of course, changed my life
dramatically...... as did pottery later, much later.

I wound up with the other degrees upon discovering that in
California every time one made a move in education, lateral or
not, a different credential was usually required. THEN I was
amazed to discover that after all the class time required for
the credentials, one had to RENEW the credentials and could
lose the right to teach in the area covered at what seemed to
me like somebody's whim. AND that a credential could be
"taken away" if certain rules were broken. Okay, fair enough.
BUT if one had a masters in the same course of study one
could NOT lose it .... the masters would be one's for life. AND,
hold the phone, the masters often required only 2 or 3, maybe
4, courses beyond that required for a credential.

So, with the family's blessing, (they liked me to be busy....) when
I decided to jump into Special Education, I completed the
credential and the masters within the same year. Piece of cake. This
is NOT rocket science, after all...... nor even Senior Calculus. =
I was terribly interested in all the material covered. Exciting times.

The same situation occurred when seeking the Administrative
Credential. Good times, too, and not much taught actually having
to do with how to administer .. same for the masters..... but still
taught me much more about logical processes and how important
understanding the PROCESS of anything can be. I learned lessons
that I continue to use daily.

This story repeated itself until #1 wanted to know how long I'd have
to attend classes in order to earn the right to retire. We laughed.
But, wouldn't you know it, there WAS a three-day seminar (class)
that I had to attend before retirement papers would be accepted.

Still and all ..... for somebody who never planned to work for
degrees..... nor to have a career...... I've had a whale of a good
time...... and continue feeling the same way with pottery. Thank
goodness I feel no need (since there is none) to get an MFA.
BUT if I wanted to teach or to explore deeper the artsy side of
clay ..... I'd be beating down somebody's door demanding to be
let in ...... age discrimination information and Gray Power fanatics
supporting me all the way.

In the Mojave desert of California USA