Sunday, March 9, 2008

Looking Ahead

I'm trying to think positively these days and assume that the theory that I've got this rare case of chronic parvo that mimics Lupus but will eventually, someday, go away is the right one.

And that means I need to think about the future, and assume I'll be capable of holding down a job again.

I've been thinking pretty seriously for awhile now about going back to school. One of the problems I've had is that most of the things that I think I'd really enjoy doing require more expensive schooling that would most likely require me to take out student loans. But the pay for those jobs often isn't any higher than I would earn if I went back to being a full-time reporter, which I definitely don't want to do. For instance, I'd love to be a librarian but getting an MLS would be a serious investment. For most of my youth, I wanted to go to law school, but that's really exorbitant.

I had been thinking about maybe getting an MBA. There's all these programs around that you can do it online or evenings and weekends and be done in 18-24 months. It was sounding pretty good, until I started pricing the programs and found out the less expensive programs (online) would still run $20,000 in tuition plus books and fees. Yikes! But that looked cheap when I looked at the University of Oregon one offered in Portland that costs $46,000!!!

It would be one thing if I wanted to aim for a high-powered career. But the truth is that I don't. I just want a well-paying job that I enjoy and get to use my brain for. I don't want to be expected to work more than the typical 40- to 50-hour work week.

After talking with a friend who's a tax attorney, I'm considering enrolling in a certificate program at the local community college that would train me to be a paralegal. If you do it full-time, it's a one-year commitment. I'd probably do it slower than that, though. I'm not sure of the costs yet, but it's got to be cheaper than a $20,000 MBA. :) They also offer a 2-year program to get an associate's degree, but since I already have a BA, I don't really see the point in that.

I have a meeting tomorrow with the department chair to discuss it. During a brief phone conversation, he said he thought my 15 years experience in journalism would be a great background for a paralegal, which was encouraging.

I'm not sure how quickly I'd start it. Currently, the inflammation (and pain) in my hands is too severe for me to take notes during a 3-hour class, which is how they offer the introductory class. But a new acquaintance told me I can request special assistance with a doctor's note and the college has to provide me with someone to take notes. (I guess then I just hope they're as good a note-taker as I used to be. :) So I'll be looking into that too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Take a look at the M.ED. in Instruction design that I"m doing with UMass Boston distance program.
Your technical writing skills would be handy. Each class is about $1300 and I take 2 per term. You need 12 to finish. IT takes about 2 years if you do it 2/term.

To see what some of the jobs are search for "instruction design" on craig's list.

Joan - forgot my password thing.