Should I complete this masters program?
October 16, 2011 8:07 PM Subscribe
LifePlansFilter: I’m currently enrolled in graduate school in a masters of secondary education in art program. I enrolled as a way to explore my creativity in studio classes, and also as something to do during unusual life circumstances. Being in this program will continue to be an option for me for a limited time. Should I take the requisite courses I need to complete the program or should I keep taking whatever classes I want and drop out of the program when I leave? Many details within.
posted by anonymous to Education (5 answers total)
I am a 31-year-old female in the USA.
Background (trying to keep it short): Two and a half years ago (in 2009), I moved (along with my now-husband) across the country for what I believed was my dream job that I would have forever. Six months later, it ended (rather badly/in an upsetting way). We moved out of town quickly with absolutely no plans (now-husband had yet to find a job in our new city, and there was no reason for us to stay; also we couldn’t afford to stay there). We set up temporary house in a recently-deceased relative’s empty house in an extremely small town in a very rural area in another state and tried to figure out WTF to do next. I was mentally and emotionally squashed by the trauma of all this, and I told now-husband that our next thing would have to be chosen by him. He decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of his: to earn a BFA in visual art. He began school at a small, inexpensive state school here in TinyTown (recently-deceased relative’s town), and because we couldn’t find a place to rent, we bought a house with inheritance from recently-deceased relative. (We also have savings we are using to live, and we are getting by ok.)
When Husband is finished with his degree, we are planning on leaving TinyTown. We prefer a more urban setting, or we would consider a different rural situation that wasn’t oppressively conservative (we’re in the Bible Belt – specks of blue in a sea of red – it’s just not a good fit, plus the weather’s horrible). He will probably finish up in spring 2013.
As I began to put myself back together after the trauma, I also decided to enroll at State School. I wanted to take some art classes with Husband, plus I was interested in taking some music classes and other stuff. I already have an undergraduate degree, so I figured I may as well enroll as a graduate student in the one arts-related masters program State School offers, which is a masters of secondary education in art.
I’ve never studied art before, but I’ve found myself falling in love with making fine art, and often I’m even pretty good at it. I like teaching adults (this was part of my previous career), but I have no designs whatsoever to become a high school art teacher. I could maybe be a college professor, I guess, or teach recreational classes to adults – but I don’t really see how a MsEd in secondary education would help me do that? Or would it?
Or perhaps I might like to pursue an MFA in visual art. Would holding a MsEd be a help or a hindrance to being accepted into an MFA program? Is it horrible to have dropped out of a masters program?
I also have some ideas about an independent project I’d like to do (this is what I was about to start working on before I got my job in 2009), which is making a website related to my former field (that the job was in). I could be using some of the time I might otherwise spend taking classes to develop and execute that idea, and I might be able to blend some of my art-related work into it, too. The website idea *could* generate income, ultimately. (Not a guarantee.)
Also. State School’s art program happens to be really good, but its academic classes are… not so impressive. The education classes I’d have to take to complete the degree will likely be torturous and boring. I can still do it, if it’s a good idea, but I am not sure.
I’m asking now because the spring schedule will be coming out soon, and if I’m going to complete the program, I need to start taking some of the required courses.
Husband is similarly flummoxed with regard to career planning. We don’t know where we will go or what we will be doing; we just know we will be leaving here.
I am not so concerned with how I will make a living after this (it will become an issue ultimately, but for now, I want to focus on my personal fulfillment). I know these are challenging economic times, put please refrain from judging my choice to pursue artistic endeavors instead of being job-focused. I do realize how exceptionally lucky I am to have these kinds of options. But I am concerned about judgment being attached to my MeFi username, plus there are some identifying details in this post, and I’d rather not share my angst about this stuff with IRL acquaintances, hence the anonymous question.
Sorry for writing such a long post, but I’m trying to include as much relevant info as I can. I’ll watch the thread for any additional info you guys would like me to send to the mods; also feel free to email me: Throwaway at firstname.lastname@example.org