I have decided that i had now had enough time where I am and things need to change. This blog essentially began almost three years ago, with my drawn-out mourning of the premature death of my career in physics. With little idea what I should do next, I chose to apply my wealth of information regarding the natural world to education. Since August 2006, I have had a wonderful career as a high school teacher in Leominster, Massachusetts, learning a great deal about people, myself, and seeing my life-long discipline through a new lens. I have grown, I have changed, and matured.
However, I something else needs to happen. I need to move, a new direction is necessary, a new discipline awaits, evolution must continue. In many ways, this points back to school again; I will be the last to balk at the idea of earning a doctorate or a second masters, but I would rather have a particular focus at this time, as an enormous investment of time, money, and sanity will be given to any continuation of my scholastic career. Or, this could simply be changing jobs, and then finding a new path.
At the core of this is that I am restless. I really do love my job, but I'm simply not sure where it is going. So much of my path thus far is defined by remaining kinetic, and quite simply, there is little room to grow in teaching. Yes, of course, I am (and am always working on) becoming a better teacher, but beyond my current job, the only other options seem to be administration or another job in pedagogy, in which I simply have no interest.
So where do interests lie? This is troublesome. Since junior high school, I had an intense focus upon physics (as lamented in prior posts), so finding a new one is difficult, but I believe I have this narrowed-down to several options:
Long-time fan. This largely goes back to an interest which has been at a "hobby" level for a long time. I have thoroughly enjoyed every history class I have taken from high school to today, and actively read about the history of science (fascinating topic-- particularly in the Renaissance). In fact, I briefly toyed with minoring in history during college. Exciting stuff, plus on a professional level, I would be allowed, nor encouraged, to dive into academia once again in studying, writing papers, and being an over badass with my mind.
On the other hand, what professional level? A college professor? A teacher again? Perhaps its my poor research, but in pure academia, there is a relatively barren field outside of the physical sciences. No stipend, few scholarships, rare government work, and little to no money. And what will I have then, A PhD? And I have saddled myself with decades of more education debt, with little path. And what if I do no finish? Another doctoral program quite simply terrifies me after my last experience. This idea shows amazing glimmer, but only if it works out the way I want it to. I am no so foolish to think of that again
- Archivism/Library Science
Related in the same vein as the last option. I believe that this would lead me a great deal into preservation and study of this field (duh). But the short of it is that I am a bit of a bibliophile. As a child, my family was always certain that a book for me to read was nearby, and later as a teen, I found myself working in the library and spending my breaks at a local antiquarian bookstore. This was one of the the first ties which Megan and I established upon our first conversation. Today, I have about a thousand books in my house and actively read at least two at a time.
In respect to my prior work, this is a bit different. To be honest, this mixes a long-time interest with pragmatism-- an MLS is marketable. Ideally, I would like to see myself working with a museum (particularly a science museum); in reality, there might even be connections to curatorial studies, which is a true formalism of museum work in the simple act of preserving knowledge. I've done some research, and there is a school in Boston which offers this degree, but again, I am uncertain of job placement and in particular, how and when I could pay for this degree. Speaking of placement, this brings me to...
If I had known that this was an actual field of study ten years ago, my life very well would have taken a different path. Anyone who knows me can tell that that I'm an absolute map geek. Whenever the opportunity arises, I will gladly spend hours staring at maps (particularly antique ones); a few years ago, there was a special exhibition at the Boston Public Library on map history, and was absolutely wonderful. What I know about the professional field is vague at best, but I've meant to learn topography from a mathematical approach for a long time. Most of it involves civil engineering applications, census data, population distribution, trends, etc. Jobs? Well, I have found this, which lists a few options, but I have a feeling that a lot of these jobs are few and far between (or at least the particularly interesting ones), and I simply have no idea where these would go
There is a small part of my mind that still wonders about returning. Seeing my friends from the Brandeis program grow in their research allows a slight sting of envy despite my happiness for them. Still think I'm a bit shaken about the '06 qualifier though. I think this will later be demoted to "hobby." I plan to buy Gravitation one of these days.
NB-- this blog will return to actual writing, rather than whining soon, I promise!