2

I Just Wanna Make Pretty Shit

So I’ve been rolling yet another potential degree/career path around in my head for a while now. I figured that since I have yet to completely rule it out, maybe it’s time to give it a little bit of examination here at Late for Class.  Sound good?

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Sweet, let’s do this.

So waaaaay back during my first attempt at college all those many years ago, sometime between the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods while dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, I began dabbling in Graphic Design. I primarily did so in the capacity of creating simple posters and playbills for the Theatre department’s stage productions. Turned out I was relatively decent at it, and really enjoyed the process. I even won a little departmental award for one of my posters, and that was super exciting.

Around this time I also began teaching myself basic HTML and goofing around with building basic late 1990s era Geocities-style websites (with an intense focus on making them look as little like basic Geocities style websites as possible). While I wouldn’t say that I ever excelled at it, I did pretty okay for a 17-year-old kid with zero experience or education in this area, particularly during a time when the internet was still a relatively new phenomenon to the average person. Most importantly, I had a lot of fun with it.

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Afterwards, while I more or less dropped the web design ambitions, I did continue to play around with Graphic Design as a hobby. I created lots of things for various online communities that I participated in over the years and always received loads of praise for my creations. But now it’s been several years now since I’ve done it just for fun, as I haven’t had home access to any design programs more advanced than MS Paint.

Occasionally I’ve been able to put my under-developed talent in this area to work at some of my jobs, which has always resulted in comments from managers and colleagues such as, “You should be doing this for a living, why didn’t you go to school for this?” To which my default answer was usually, “If I ever get the chance to go back, I most likely will.”

And now here we are.

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The Pennsylvania State University offers a completely online Bachelor’s of Design in Digital Multimedia Design. If I were to go the Graphic Design route, I pretty strongly suspect that this would be the degree for me. It’s marketed as “Three colleges, one program.” Unlike a traditional Graphic Design program curriculum, this one interdisciplinary. Meaning in addition to Visuals Arts and Design, it also incorporates coursework from the Communications and Information Technology schools.

To quote the website:

“What You Can Do with a Penn State Education in Digital Multimedia Design? As a graduate of the program, you can use your skills to create, execute, and evaluate communication strategies — making you a valuable asset for businesses, corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations. Career options may include working as a digital designer in brand, motion, and user experience, or as a web developer, art director, public relations specialist, advertising manager, or media relations professional.”

So basically it’s Graphic Design, Public Relations/Advertising, and Web Design all rolled into one degree.

Which sounds fucking PERFECT for me.

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…At least in theory. As usual: Concerns! I has them!

  1. WTF is a “Bachelor of Design?” Yes, I know there are more types of bachelor’s degrees out there other than just BA or BS. But for real, though… Is it just me, or does this one just sound like make-believe bullshit? And will a prospective employer feel the same, and not take it seriously? (Though I would hope the fact that it’s from a great school like Penn State would counter some of that.)
  2. Is an interdisciplinary degree really such a good choice? I mean, on the surface it’s like “Sweet, I can be educated in lots of things that I enjoy and am good at, which will hopefully open more professional doors for me!” But in reality, will I just end up-with half-assed educations in three topics, but be a master of none of them?
  3. I fear that the degree name itself, Digital Multimedia Design, on my resume will lend itself to “Oh, she’s a graphic/web designer? Why the fuck is she applying for this public relations/copywriting/etc job?” types of situations.giphy18
  4. From what I understand, the world basically now has more graphic designers than it has good jobs to offer them. Obviously, that’s a big concern. Billie gotsa get PAID. Graphic and/or Web Design is the closest I could ever get to having a STEM career, and they say that’s where the money is. But if there’s so many candidates and not enough jobs for them all, then I might as well just major in Liberal Arts or Alligator Wrestling or Underwater Basketweaving.
  5. Speaking of paid: Penn State is significantly more expensive than Southern New Hampshire University, which is currently my top choice for their online Communications/Professional Writing degree program. Over an estimated 3-ish years (hopefully less), we’re talking $19,800 versus $33,600. However, with that pricetag I get a school with a much higher level of recognition and respect. But is it worth that additional $14,000 or so, particularly given my advanced age? Do I really want to still be paying on student loan debts from my bed at the nursing home?
  6. I can’t help but notice that the curriculum involves a lot of group projects and collaborative assignments. And there’s that whole problem with… Well. You know. I kinda don’t much like people, especially working with them, especially where my grades are concerned. Sooooo.

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2

Fight for Your Right to Studyyyyy: Part 1

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Yeah, I totally just nerded up the Beastie Boys with that post title, which I understand is borderline blasphemy.  #sorrynotsorry

Okay, I’m just going to say it.  Everything about enrolling at the Technical College of the Lowcountry has been great so far, but for one very important thing: It’s like pulling teeth to deal with their Financial Aid department.  I finally broke down and emailed the Financial Aid counselor who, according to the website, is supposed to be assigned to me (and also who I’ve never met or spoken with).

I know that I’ve been rather mum here about what’s been going on with all of this, but I’ve realized I’m doing myself a disservice as the entire point of this blog is to chronicle the highs and lows of going back to college.  So I figure the easiest thing to do is to just post the letter I sent tonight with names omitted (because I’m not an asshole), that way you, the reader, can get up-to-speed on what’s been going on.  Feel free to let me know your thoughts, or if you have any advice for what else I can do if this doesn’t work!

Good afternoon, xxxxxxxx!

Thank you for taking the time to read what has turned into a rather long email.  I am in need of help and I feel like I’m running out of options, so I am turning to you because (according to the TCL website) you’re to be my assigned Financial Aid counselor (due to my last name).  I sincerely hope that you can help me, since nobody else I have spoken with has had any interest in doing so.

I have big exciting plans to begin attending TCL in the Fall!  However, like most people, I will be unable to do so without Financial Aid and student loans (if only to cover books and supplies).  In mid-April of this year, I began the application and registration process, following all the steps as detailed by TCL’s Admissions office.  On April 27th, I came to TCL to take my placement tests and complete my registration for the Fall semester.  While there, I visited the Financial Aid office.  At that time I was informed that while my FAFSA had been received the day before, I still needed to complete an 17-18 Independent Verification Worksheet, as well as obtain a 2015 Tax Transcript from the IRS.

I did both of those things and brought them to the Financial Aid office on May 8th, which has been nearly 6 weeks ago now.  However, when I log into WebAdvisor and look at “My Documents,” both are still marked as Not Received.  Needless to say, this is quite concerning, as it appears as if I haven’t done my part in this process, when indeed I most certainly have.  I turned them in that day to xxxxx xxxxxxx.

About 3 weeks ago, I began calling the Financial Aid office to try to speak to somebody about this issue.  I called on 3 separate occasions, several days apart from each other.  During each of these calls there was no Financial Aid counselor available to speak to me, but I was assured that one would call or email me about this status of those documents within 24-48 hours.  Never once did I receive any return calls or emails.

On my 4th call, the young lady who was answering the phones that day placed me on hold to look into the matter (as happened on all my previous calls).  However, this time instead of being told that all of the counselors were busy, she informed me “The Financial Aid counselor told me to tell you…”  I thought it was interesting that a counselor was available this time but yet refused to speak to me.  But I digress, what was relayed to me was that “they do have your (my) documents, but they haven’t been processed yet because they are still working on packages for the Summer semester.”

Not only did this make me feel like my concerns were being completely disregarded, but this conversation occurred on May 26th… a week after the first day of summer classes.  To think that financial aid packages were still not awarded by the first day of class, when a student becomes officially financially liable  for the cost of those classes, is rather distressing should the same hold true for the Fall semester.

More importantly still, I have been keeping up with TCL’s “Important Dates” calendar for Fall 2017, and I see that June 30th is the deadline for Priority Financial Aid Processing for File Completion as well as the Student Loan Application Deadline.  With today being June 15th, and those deadlines being a mere 2 weeks from now and my documents still showing as “Not Received” in your system, I am quite worried that I may not be able to attend TCL this Fall.  Because of this hold-up, while I have been Accepted, I remain unable to be officially Admitted.

Can you please advise and/or assist me in this matter?  I would be most grateful for any assistance you can provide in resolving this issue in a timely manner.  If you prefer to speak over the phone, I can be reached during normal business hours at my office, xxx-xxx-xxxx.  Any other time, feel free to call my cell phone, xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Thank you ever so much for your time and consideration.

Billie Shoemaker
Student ID #xxxxxxx

0

All The Turkey Legs

Remember how I predicted that I would be back this week with another potential change to my degree plans? Well, here we are.  Who’s surprised? Show of hands? Anybody?

No? Okay, then let’s continue.

This time it’s not a terribly drastic change, I promise…

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So I took another look at the University of Central Florida‘s online bachelor’s degree programs, specifically that Creative Writing degree.  Despite last week’s assertions of “I don’t like writing silly fufu fiction!,” I have to admit that I do still feel drawn to this school and this program. When I look over the degree requirements, I just feel like I would enjoy this course of study more… Even if it means that the potential career options aren’t quite as numerous or adulty.

As it’s an English degree, it requires more Literature courses, and most of you already know what a bookworm I am. (Or at least I was until recently. The hours that previously were dedicated to recreational reading have been seasonally usurped by my Algebra studies.) So that’s right on up my nerdy alley.

Plus, this program offers more courses focusing specifically on Writing, which is the skill I’m most looking to hone. I’d have to take a few classes and workshops in Fiction and Poetry, etc, but is that really so bad? Yes, it would certainly be challenging for me, and it would force me out of my writing comfort zone. However, maybe that’s a good thing? I’m sure that would likely make me a better writer in the long run, and isn’t that the entire point?

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However, all of this doesn’t necessarily mean I would have to completely abandon the idea of also developing a skill set that would help me to qualify for jobs in advertising and marketing. Today I discovered UCF’s online minor in Mass Communications, which would add the following courses to my curriculum:

  • MMC 2004: Mass Media
  • MMC 3630: Social Media as Mass Communication
  • ADV 3008: Principles of Advertising
  • RTV 3007: Development and Structure of Electronic Media and New Technology
  • VIC 3001: Visual Communication
  • COM 3330: Computer Mediated Communication

So basically, I would walk away from school with a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a Concentration in Creative Writing and a Minor in Mass Communications. By adding that minor (instead of something neat like Anthropology, as previously suggested), I’m creating a program for myself that is kinda-sorta similar to the track I would have been on an SNHU, but lighter on the marketing & communications classes and heavier on the literature & writing classes.

Plus, I’m not gonna lie, the fact that the school is located in Orlando is a huge selling point for me. The reasons are primarily because the location satisfies my preference of a main campus within a 5-hour range, and it’s nice that it’s a drive that I’m already super familiar with.

And. Also. Like. I mean. You know. DISNEY WORLD, OKAY?!?! Which yes, I do fully realize should NOT be factoring into my choice of a school at all. But I am who I am. Don’t judge me.

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Eat ALL the turkey legs.  All of them.

Seriously, though. I still haven’t given up on my long-held dreams of relocating to the central Florida area within the next few years, and I likely never will. (Not that I currently have an actual plan for how to make that happen yet or anything.) So if I do manage to accomplish that goal, then gaining frequent access to the campus and it’s resources would be incredibly helpful during my studies.

Sigh. Why must making this decision be so ridiculously difficult for me, ya’ll?

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0

So the Plan This Week Is…

Bachelor of Arts in Communications, with a Concentration in Professional Writing and a Minor in Social Media Marketing.

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No, really. I’m serious. Let me explain.

So of course, in typical Billie fashion, I’ve continued to turn the idea of the Creative Writing degree over and over in my head until it’s tumbled to death. And here’s the thing: I’m an okay writer with a decent-ish grasp of language mechanics and grammar, etc. I immensely enjoy words and crafting things with them in an engaging way.

When possible, I particularly love to make people laugh with my writing.  Turns out that not every platform is the appropriate place for dick jokes, though.

What I’m not great at is making up stories. I don’t really ever write them, and I’m not into poetry at all, to be quite honest. I was thinking that maybe once I was in a structured Creative Writing program, I would learn to be excellent at it. But then I look at sample writing prompts, and they do absolutely nothing for me…

  • Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.
  • Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.
  • Numbers: Write a poem or journal entry about numbers that have special meaning to you.
  • Dread: Write about doing something you don’t want to do.

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All that being said, I do enjoy the creative process of stringing words together, but in a different sort of way. Ways that directly observe the world around me, that inspire action or reaction, that convey thoughts and ideas, that bring real life to the page (or screen). Words used to persuade, to help, to inform. That’s the style of writing I’ve always enjoyed best. Travel recollections. Book reviews. Editorials. Opinion columns. So on and so forth.

Basically what I really want is a degree in blogging, frankly.

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“Okay, but Billie, you know there’s a division of Creative Writing for Non-Fiction, right? Some programs even let you do a concentration in it within your major!”

Yes yes, I know. And believe me, I have very much considered it, and haven’t entirely ruled it out, honestly.  University of Central Florida‘s Creative Writing program offers classes and workshops in Non-Fiction.  So if I do go with a Creative Writing degree, that is more-likely-than-not the direction I will go with it.

Another type of Writing major option is Technical Writing, but it’s just way too dry for me.  Technical Writers are the people who write instruction manuals and such.  Which I don’t want to do.  Because I would rather not spend all of this money on a degree only to wind up sitting in an office like…

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So all of these wandering thought-bunnies eventually brought me to another place…

When I was a travel agent, one of my favorite tasks was having to write up the copy for and work with our company’s Marketing department to produce a poster/flyer to advertise upcoming special events we were offering. Another favorite job of mine there was managing our office Facebook account, combining images with copy I would write to try to get people interested in our services, attractions, and destinations. And as much as I didn’t love direct sales (aka customer service), I did always enjoy the part of crafting an exciting and persuasive presentation via email to pitch a pricey vacation to an interested potential client.

Which got me to thinking about a friend of mine who works as a copywriter with the Universal Orlando Resort, in the in-house marketing department.  He loves it, and I’ve always been kind of envious of what he does, as it seems like an absolutely fantastic gig and something I would truly enjoy.  So.  Why not go for it, riiiiiiight?  Or at least put myself on an academic path that has more of a chance of leading me in that direction.

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The other reason I’m considering moving away from the Creative Writing degree and more towards this Professional Writing degree is simply Adulting.  As I conveyed previously, if I’m going to do this… you know, spend all this time and money, especially this late in my life… then it would be vastly preferable to get a degree that will actually have at least some potential to for improving my career prospects and financial position.

And frankly, this degree is just far more practical, with courses like:

  • ADV 263: Advertising Copy and Design
  • ENG 220: Business Communications
  • COM 230: Graphics and Layout in Print Media
  • COM 235: Intro to Journalism
  • COM 310: Social Media
  • COM 325: Editing for Media and Publication
  • COM 340: Writing for Public Relations
  • COM 445: Writing for New Media
  • COM 232: Desktop Publishing
  • COM 315: Communication in the Digital Age
  • COM 329: Editing for New Media Technologies

See?  Definitely less artsy-fartsy and more worky-jobby.  But still things I feel that I would enjoy learning about and honing my craft in.

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I initially wanted to do a minor in Graphic Design, something else I’ve always enjoyed and have often been told that I have a talent for, but I ran into a snag.  One of the courses required for the minor has a pre-requisite course, which is fine, I don’t mind taking additional Graphic Design classes.  However, that pre-req course is described as being “Mac-based.”  And I’m a PC user.  And I’m not about to run out and spend an enormous wad of cash on a Mac just for one class.  Sooooo… Sadly, I had to scrap that whole idea.

So after exploring my options some more, I came across the Social Media Marketing minor.  By adding this skill set to my degree, I’m effectively exploring my love of digital platforms and learning how to use them to make money, as well as expanding my career options that much further.  Plus, given my vast ineptitude with math, something dealing with the online world is the closest I’m ever going to get to a STEM career.

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Now all of this being said, I do have a couple of reservations about this degree path (of course I do… thanks, Anxiety!):

  1. It’s a Communications degree.  I haven’t been out of school long enough to forget all of the shit that gets talked about Comm majors.  No, seriously.  If you don’t know, then google “Communications Majors Stereotypes” sometime, and you’ll see what I mean.  And while I don’t much care what the average schmoe thinks of my Communications degree, I do have to consider how it will look to employers.
  2. I recognize that I’m probably overselling it, not just to ya’ll but also to myself, as while some of the course work looks really interesting, other bits of it seem super boring, especially the Marketing classes.  But I’m sure there’s no such thing as a program where you’re going to 110% love all of your classes, right?

After spending waaaaaaay too much time comparing schools and programs, the only one I’ve found that offers the blend of professional writing, advertising, and digital media that I’m looking for is Southern New Hampshire University.

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The good news is that they have a fantastic online degree program, and the classes are administered through Blackboard, which is the same software that TCL uses for their online courses so the transition would be pretty seamless.  However, choosing SNHU also means giving up on my goal of staying within my region so that I could take road trips to the school as needed. I would only ever see the SNHU campus twice: When I fly up in a couple years to check it out before I officially enroll (which most online students don’t ever do, but I feel very strongly that I need to see with my own eyes what I’m getting into and where I’m going to be accumulating a massive amount of debt before I make a commitment), and then again 2-3 years after that for graduation.

So that’s where things stand this week.  I’m sure I’ll be back in a week or two with a totally different agenda.  Stay tuned!

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0

Khaaaaannn!!!

Okay, so yeah…. That title is a super-geeky Star Trek reference.  #sorrynotsorry  But it’s a bit of a bait-and-switch, because the subject of tonight’s blog post is not actually this guy:

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Or even this guy:

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(Although in any other context, you can talk about Benedict Cumberbatch with me any time.)

But right now, the Khan we’re talking about is this guy:

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This is Sal Khan.  (Not to be confused with Salman Khan, who is apparently some hot-shot Bollywood A-lister.  It’s amazing the things you can learn from a simple Google image search.)  Or, more to the point, we’re here to discuss his fucking amazing website.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me start over:

So as we all know by now, Billie has mad math problems.  At the beginning of this month I bought into that Learning Upgrade software that I discovered, and paid $50 for the first Algebra module.  I finished it up on Friday night, but hesitated to buy the next one.  While I was learning some stuff, I found myself questioning if I was really getting enough out of it.  I also didn’t like that it was nearly all solving stuff on the screen, rather than having to actually work out equations and problems on paper.  So I got the bright idea to google some practice Accuplacer placement tests for the Elementary Algebra section (the part I’m trying to prepare for).

I took a couple, and the results were extremely disheartening.  However, while getting my google on, I turned up a link for Khan Academy.

Khaaaaannn!!!

I very vaguely remembered seeing a blip about this website on some show at some point, I recalled something about it being an education or tutoring website or something.  So what the hell, I clicked.

Ya’ll.  Oh my god.  This website is AMAZING.  I dove into the Algebra I section yesterday, and I’ve already powered through 4/17 units.  It’s infinitely more comprehensive than the other software I was using.  Each lesson I feel like I’m in an actual class, but one than I can pause and back-up when needed.  I’ve gone through about 10 pages of scratch paper over the last two days.  I feel like I’m actually learning and retaining.  Some sections I struggle with more than others, but that’s to be expected.  (No seriously bro, fuck inequalities.)

However, because this content is so much better, it’s also going to take a lot more hours for me to complete.  But that’s okay, I’ve got nothing but time.  Well, sorta.  I still want to be ready to re-take the placement test by mid-July at the latest, preferably sooner.  But I think with Khan Academy, I’ll hopefully be much more prepared.  Fingers crossed!

So far, it’s been a really enjoyable experience overall.  The website itself has a fantastic user interface, and I know it’s silly but I love that you win little badges and awards along the way for completing tasks.  I find it very encouraging, especially when I accumulate enough points to unlock an new cute little avatar!

Most importantly, the videos in each lesson are surprisingly engaging, which is saying a whole lot given how dry the material inherently is.  But Sal does a fantastic job explaining, narrating, and writing things out in ways that make sense (most of the time, anyhow… my fault, not his).  And some of the lessons are actually pretty hilarious.  I mean, really… Where else can you learn to algebra by solving for the number of Chuck Norrises (or Chuck Norrii, if you prefer)?

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Oh, and did I mention that it’s all completely 100% FREE?  Yeah, you read that right.  Sal’s mission is “to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.”  Anybody with a computer or mobile device can utilize this service, so there’s no excuse not to go get yo’ learn on!

I’m also super impressed by the amount of subjects offered.  Once I get through this Algebra I/II nightmare, my next goal is to find some quality study materials for the English Composition CLEP exam, which sadly Khan Academy doesn’t offer.  However, once I check that off my bucket-list I’m very seriously considering coming back to Khan to do the courses on Microeconomics and Biology and then attempt the CLEP exam in each of those.

Because seriously, the fewer college classes I have to take (and pay for) on my way to a degree, the better.

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0

Adulthood Is A Bitch

Get comfortable, dear reader, because this is gonna be a lengthy one. Why, you ask? Because I think I might be scrapping the whole Clinical Mental Health Counselor career path.

 

I know, I know. I sound flaky as fuck right now. But but but reasons! I have them!

Basically, as I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I’ve never been 100% comfortable with the idea of having to go to grad school in order to make my Bachelors worth anything. If I complete my B.A./B.S. and then decide that I want to go to grad school at that point, that’s whole ‘nother story. But with my advanced age as I start out my undergraduate degree, I’ve just not been in love with the idea of feeling obligated to continue on to grad school. But I was willing to suck it up and just accept it as part of my academic path.

Now I’ve known all along that in order to obtain my licensure as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), after grad school I would have to work for a couple of years as an Intern (or LPC-I), under direct supervision. Cool, sure, no worries. Right?

 

Yeah, about that.  What I learned this week is that supervision doesn’t come free. Well, let me back up… It theoretically can if after grad school you land a job interning with a agency who provides your supervision hours as part of your employment with them. It’s considered a perk of the job. However, those opportunities are fewer than you might think (especially in a small town like mine), and the ones that do exist are extremely competitive.

Because of these factors, most LPC-I’s have to find supervision in private practice, and that costs money. Big money. Like, $100-200 per week. For real, ya’ll. So let’s use some of my blossoming fancy math skills, shall we? Based on the median weekly amount of $150 per week, the equation looks something like this:

($150 x 52 weeks) 2 years = $15,600

 

Keep in mind this is AFTER grad school, so no more grants, no more loans, no financial aid at all. That cool 15 Grand+ would be coming completely out of my relatively empty, freshly-graduated pocket.

 

Can you actually hear my feet on the floor, backpedaling like a boss right now? (They’re pretty big feet, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you could.)

 

 

Needless to say, I’m feeling quite discouraged about the LPC career path now, and reevaluating all the choices I’ve made up to this point. Getting my Bachelor’s in Psychology isn’t going to lead me anywhere I want to be without having to follow it up with grad school and licensure, so I’ve been exploring other options.

The first and closest online equivalent I’ve found would be to get a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. It’s administered through the University of South Carolina, right here at the Beaufort campus. With it, I could go on to become a Substance Abuse Counselor. No grad school required, but I would still have to intern and do supervised hours for two years. However, from everything I’m reading, the opportunities for employment that provides your supervision are far more numerous. But would I enjoy it? Ehh. Maybe? I’m not sure. If I’m being completely honest, I just don’t feel quite so drawn to this field as I did Mental Health counseling.  And also because, well…

 

Another option from USC is one that I’ve mentioned before, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, which is administered online through the main campus up in Columbia. I would probably enjoy the coursework for the major, as I could focus on Psychology, Sociology, and English courses. And at the end of 4-5 years, I would be able to say “Hey, look! I got me a Bachelor’s degree, ya’ll!” But on it’s own, it would be worth about as much as that Psychology degree that I’m reconsidering. Hrmph.

So that got me to thinking… What if I did get me a good old “useless” degree after all?  Instead of worrying about career paths and earning potential and adulting, what if I just majored in something I would enjoy? I mean, I have a decent job that I love. I’m already far beyond entry-level. And wasn’t the entire original point of me going back to college more personal than professional anyhow? To finish what I started 20 years ago?

Which leads me to…

 

 

Yeah… Writing.  Oh, come on, don’t look at me like that.  And really, I mean, if you’re reading and enjoying this blog right now, that idea hopefully doesn’t shock you. (Unless it does, and you’re only reading this blog right now to mock me to your co-workers, which I acknowledge is entirely possible.) After all, I mean, I did get that perfect score on the writing section of my placement exams. So maaaaybe there’s something to that worth exploring?

 

After some research, I’ve created a shortlist of schools that I would be interested in transferring to, all of which offer online Bachelor’s degrees in English with a concentration in Writing:

 

 

#3: University of Colorado (Denver Campus), Bachelor of Arts in English Writing
UC Denver is an extremely reputable school and is definitely a great option (hence why it made the list), but of the three, it has the most drawbacks for me. I don’t love that it’s all the way in Colorado should I need to visit the campus. Also, it’s coursework has slightly less focus on creative writing and more on technical writing, which is both good and bad: It would probably be better for employment opportunities, but also pretty boring. It’s also the most expensive of my current three choices, coming in at $467 per hour.

#2: Southern New Hampshire University, Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing & English
Yes, the same SNHU that you see the commercials for. I hesitated on this one, as generally the majority of the mass-marketed online schools are just for-profit diploma mills. But I did a lot of research, and it turns out that SNHU is completely legit, and their online programs are very much geared towards online non-traditional students like myself. And at $320 per hour, it’s the most affordable.

 

#1: University of Central Florida, Bachelor of Arts in English: Creative Writing
This program seems to have the most of what I’m looking for: A creative Writing bachelor’s program that can be completed online, strong support for online students, an entire Transfer & Transition Services department that I can speak with while I’m at my community college these next two years to make sure I’m on the right track for an eventual transfer to UCF, prerequisites that I can actually complete at TCL, and a main campus located within a 5-hour driving distance from me. In fact, it’s a drive I’m extremely familiar with and make at least once a year anyhow. That’s right, ya’ll… UCF is located in Orlando. And as far as price goes, it’s only a little more than SNHU at $384 per credit hour.

As far as a minor goes, I probably should minor in something related to my major, like Technical Writing or Journalism.  Orrrrr I could just minor in something fun, right?  You know, like Anthropology!

 

I’m totally serious, James Franco.  I mean, for fuck’s sake, just look at the titles of the courses I would get to choose from!

  • ANT 3026: Mummies, Zombies, and Vampires: Anthropology of the Undead
  • ANT 3107: Blood and Valor in the Viking World
  • ANT 3177: Archaeology of Caribbean Piracy
  • ANT 3241: Magic, Ritual, and Belief
  • ANT 4013: Anthropology of Fast Food
I’m #sorrynotsorry, but that all sounds completely freakin’ AWESOME to me.

 

But anyhow.  All of that being said, if after completing my Bachelor’s I decide that I do want to continue on to grad school after all, I have an extremely convenient option. Savannah College of Art and Design, just an hour down the road from me, offers a fully-online Master of Fine Arts in Writing. So clearly, SCAD would be the obvious choice for my graduate degree.

 

 

So that’s kinda where things stand now. Or not stand, since they’re all up in the air. That’s where things float now? Whatever. More importantly, how on Earth is it even possible that I’m 36 years old and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?