Monday, September 22, 2008

What would you do?

School is set to start this week.

Here's a bit of background: I'm slated to graduate in June. I only really need one quarter of a foreign language and thesis units to graduate. Of course, I also will have to write the thesis itself. Most of this year will be dedicated to the thesis, since I have hardly any coursework left.

I have been given permission to enroll in placeholder units this quarter for various reasons (which means that I wouldn’t have to attend actual classes or go up to the campus). I did this for several reasons, mainly because I wanted to simplify my life by spending less time in the classroom. But I am currently still enrolled in the two classes I originally registered for: a graphic novels seminar and German. I'm definitely going to not take German (as I will be taking an online French course in the winter), but I keep wondering if I should keep the graphic novels class.

Pros to taking the class:

My thesis is on a series of graphic novels, so taking a seminar on the subject would be very beneficial, not to mention extremely relevant.

Taking a class would help keep me connected with the university, which would be very helpful in completing my thesis proposal and beginning work on the thesis itself. By this, I mean that I will probably hold myself more accountable for working on the thesis.

The class is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-8 PM, so I wouldn't have to get to work extremely early on those days.

It's only ten weeks.

The class is taught by one of my thesis readers, which would give me instant access to him.

Taking classes, while extremely draining, usually keeps me pretty inspired.

It would also keep me from thinking about our reproductive issues so much.

It will probably be fun.

Cons to taking the class:

Taking a class (even one) is greatly going to add to my stress level. I have a real desire to keep my life simple right now.

I'm burned out, and the last thing I want to do is take more classes.

This class could interfere with time I need off from work for testing and/or treatment for reproductive issues.

Taking a class will keep me so busy that I may lose track of everything else in my life, including my photography, the thesis itself, and all those other things that I enjoy having the freedom to work on.

I wouldn't be able to take a job out of state if one came up.

The class is going to take a lot of work, as all my classes have.

So tell me what you'd do if you were in my situation. Please note that even though there are more pros to taking the class, the cons are huge. But I can't deny the fact that I probably won't do a lot of work on my thesis proposal and/or unless I'm attending classes regularly - unless I just give myself a giant kick in the ass day after day and make myself do it.

Dropping out of my program is not an option. My heart is definitely not in this anymore, and I seriously doubt that I will end up in an academic-oriented career. But I cannot justify dropping out after three years of extremely hard work and tens of thousands of dollars spent. I have to finish this damn thing, and I have to write the thesis. I'm trying to figure out the absolute best way to keep myself engaged enough to make this happen.

With all this in mind, what would you do?


WeezerMonkey said...

Is there a way to take the class pass-fail?

I am a masochist. I would probably take the class.

inflammatory writ said...

I say take the class. Get it over with. It sounds like something you will enjoy and it will keep you motivated/distracted from the personal stuff. Sometimes, good things happen when we're too busy to think about them. Also, if you're going through with finishing the degree, go through with it ASAP so you can get on with your life. That's what I think!

Valerie said...

I would say take the class...

tootie said...

If it were me, I would skip the class. Anytime I see "burned out" in the cons, then I know that it outweighs any of the pros. But that's just because I don't handle stress very well!!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't take the class. I took one class my final semseter when all I had to do was write my thesis. It wasn't that serious of a class and I thought it would be good for me to have something else to work on, but it just ended up being a pain the ass and something else I had to do when all I wanted to do (and needed to do) was work on my thesis.

Maybe you can email the prof (since he/she also on your thesis committee) and ask their opinion? You don't want the class to be a waste of time. Or, can you enroll in a phys-ed type of class instead? I enrolled in a yoga class my final semester and that was VERY helpful.

phairhead said...

Go for it, the short term insanity will add to the long term benefits

Amy said...

I would say go for it. It's only 10 weeks. Yes you would be a bit more stressed for those weeks but it would be over before you knew it. Also, if going to the class will help you stay involved in your thesis that is a big bonus. I'm a huge procrastinator so if you're anything like me that little bit of motivation will do wonders to keep you on track.

Anonymous said...

This is a tough one.In the end, I'd probably take the class, But if you think it would be just too much, then take a pass.

Angie Eats Peace said...

I would take it.

I think if you dont, you will become even more disconnected with the university, and it will be continuously harder to finish.

Erika said...

I feel you need to ask yourself this:

How important is your need to start a family?? if its REALLY important at this present time, then the
more time you have to devote to your appointments and such are extremely precious.

On the other hand, if you WANT to hold off a bit and concentrate on finishing your classes and FINALLY getting it all over with then i say go for the class.

Again, all that added stress is no good for what you want to achieve family wise. 10 weeks is not that bad of a wait tho for your appointments.

Just my 2 cents worth.....:)

amber said...

based on everything you've said, i'd probably take the class. but, i'd check to see if you could take it P/F. or, is there a way to just audit the class? that way, you could go, enjoy the lectures/reading and then not worry about having to turn in papers and stuff. and, it'd keep you connected to school so you can work on the thesis.

good luck.