Folks, I am married to an education addict. My husband is in the middle of his second round of grad school and can sometimes be found daydreaming about a postdoc. The passion, energy, and diligence required for his academic journey is somewhat akin to that of an athlete—at least, that’s what he likes to tell me.
We are both in our late twenties, have two small children, and while most of our off-campus friends are planting roots and building their homes, we are still in what I like to call “the great transition.” Contrary to what you might believe, I am not bitter about this extensive transitional period. I know my husband will be successful and realize his goal of being a professor of philosophy. This transition, though lengthy, is merely a transition.
Sometimes, though, it is good for me to get a little “refresher course” on why we’re not yet planting those roots and signing a mortgage. Here’s our recent refresher dialogue.
Me: Darling, could you remind me again why we’re still in school.
Him: Because school is so fun! I’d be in school forever if I could.
Me: Not an option. Try again.
Him: Ok, it’s not necessarily ‘education’ that I am addicted to. What I’m addicted to is asking questions and finding answers. As Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I want to live that examined life.
Me: You have been in school too long. Try again.
Him: I want to spend the rest of my life doing what I love. Getting to talk philosophy and igniting that passion in others is what this is all about.
Me: You know, you will have been in school long enough to be a doctor.
Him: Well, I am going to be a doctor. Doctor of philosophy. Boom!
Me: I meant, like, you know a medical doctor. The kind that drives a BMW and has a lake house. Oh, and heals people.
Him: I don’t recommend this career choice for everybody, but for me it just makes sense. Honestly, can you see me doing anything else?? I know I won’t be rich, but I see the perks as loving my job, getting to wear a tweed jacket, and having summers off. It’s a pretty sweet gig.
Actions speak louder than words, right? Even without all the words from our discussion, one thing was clear to me: my husband LOVES what he is doing right now, and if he can stay within the realm of education for the rest of his life he will be a very happy man.
This passion for education does not belong to him alone. I actually had both my kids while in grad school. That’s right. I did grad school, too. Unfortunately, I have yet to finish my degree.
I have taken all of the coursework for an MA in English Literature. I loved going to class and being part of a community of fellow learners. Grad school is way more fun than undergrad because everyone is passionate about their studies.
Why haven’t I finished?
Well, its actually quite difficult to have TWO people in school when you have small children. My plan is to finish my thesis when I have both kids in school. Finishing strong is a huge priority for me–one that I think about often. I come from a family where education is highly valued, and now I want to instill that passion in our children. Shouldn’t be too hard considering how hyped up their daddy is about learning.
If there is one thing I want my kids to take away from this part of their childhood its that education is a sacrifice, but it is also exciting.
Living on a university campus is a very inspiring place to be. I get to see people work towards their dreams, and sometimes, I get to see those dreams come true. I remember when we first moved here watching a husband come home from defending his dissertation. His wife met him on the playground with a bottle of champagne.
Just yesterday I watched as another one of my neighbors ran out of her house to tell her husband some good news. She could barely get the words out, she was so full of emotion. After much sacrifice, she has finished her Ph.D. program and got her dream job as a tenure track professor at a UC school.
My eyes filled with tears as I watched the two of them hug and cry on our weathered playground. They have both worked so very hard for this dream. Being married to someone with the same dream, it was extremely encouraging to get to see them shine.
I’d love to hear from you and learn how education has given you the power to change! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a $100 VISA gift card!
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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This sweepstakes runs from 3/7/2013-3/31/2013
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education has given me the self-confidence to try for the top
Education is a must to get a good paying job in this job market these day. I want to thank you for this awesome sweep and hope to win ???? Thanks !!!
Education gives me the power to do whatever I want and be confident
Education gave me the options for my future. Although I didn’t use it the way I intended.
dolniaks at consolidated dot net
I work in an industry (insurance) that is constantly changing and unless you keep yourself educated about those changes, you will be left behind.
Knowledge is something that cannot be taken away from you!
tweet: https://twitter.com/akronugurl/status/309768044589244416 .
Education has given me the power to have a long career doing a job I love and has supported my family.
Education is the best. I would love to get degrees in several
areas but don’t have the time.
Me too! I have so many interests and when you get in a great class it is the best! I’ll settle for some good books though ????
education has empowered me to think outside the box
My education has given me the power to change because I’m not afraid to take risks.
It’s also given me the self-confidence to know that I will be making educated decisions.
Education has given me the power to change by learning how to interact with co-workers, agents, and clients due to my job. I’ve had the pleasure to work in the insurance industry for over 20 years. In fact my first professional job paid for my college degree in Business Management.
Tweet – https://twitter.com/ilovetoclap/status/318484192562397189
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com
Hi, Hil. Just dropping by as always– I check you out every week, and it’s fun to see someone still heaving through the uphill climb of grad education. GUESS WHAT???? This very day, I mailed off my MA thesis. That’s right. I’m done. Actually, I’ve been done since January, but I had to get signatures and all that jazz. Know what? I miss it. I miss long hours of studying something I love, writing so much that I can’t remember what I’ve discussed and what is still in existence only on post-its around my house. I miss interrupting my husband to write something down because his phrasing was better than mine. I miss the books. I miss rubbing elbows with the people who love what I love.
I was pregnant with my third son while finishing my first semester of college courses. I thought it was important to finish no matter how hard it was at the time. It helped me get a good job afterward getting my degree and give my kids a better life.
My education taught me that people who think, feel and behave differently are not wrong.
Amen to that! That in itself is a huge chunk of wisdom.
My social work degree gives me the power to help others change their lives.
Thanks! Janna JOhnson email@example.com janna@feedyourpig on gfc
songyueyu at gmail
I tweeted! https://twitter.com/BoonieSooze/status/310189641846366209
Education gave me the opportunity to get a higher paying job when I got out of school
it gave me the ability to walk into job interviews knowing i know my stuff and have a degree to back it and that i can aim high
Good for you!
Education has given me the confidence to look for a better job.
I graduated high school. I’m 35 and working at a gas station . failure in life
It helped my self-esteem and to value the power of education while passing that down to my daughters.
At age 64 I enjoy taking all kinds of classes. Right now it’s essential oils and gardening classes.
Thanks for the contest.
education has opened the door to many unexpected opportunities for me.
Having an education took me from being a secretary to an accountant! It really gives you a chance to boost your career and definitely gave me more options.
Education introduced me to world history and taught me that we all live in our own reality based on this history. Everything is relative to that. That was a huge change in thinking for me.
Education (and putting myself through undergrad at UC Berkeley and graduate school) is the whole reason I have a career, am confident and diverse, and can lead my family and career in forward motions — to change whenever life demands it!
tvollowitz at aol dot com
Good for you! That is inspiring to hear ????
My education has lead me to my current job where I help thousands of college students finance their educations.
Education has given me power to be a veterinary technician. I am a stay at home mom now but attended college for a vet tech, so if i choose to go back I can!
I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/317678641679060992
My education has sent me to the next level at my career.
I love your blog! I come from a family where higher education was not at all encouraged or discouraged. There was this sort of apathy towards it that I could never understand. I lived at poverty level with a single mom who made a lot of poor choices financially, romantically and even as a parent. It was the father of my best friend who lovingly told me “Shauna, do whatever it takes to get a college degree. Take out student loans, but you need to get a degree.” So that is what I did. At seventeen I took the initiative and found my own school, filled out all my own forms for financial aid, had my boyfriend (who is now my husband) drive me to Nashville from Georgia to my interviews and like Nike says, I just did it. It took me multiple schools and ten years to finally settle on a major and get my degree, but now I am a successful Certified Emergency Room Nurse with a Bachelor Degree in Nursing Sciences who works as a Charge Nurse for a busy Level II Trauma Center in Boise, Idaho. Yep. I’m super proud of what I do because statistically I should be so different from what I am today. Education is such a powerful gift. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or the fact that I changed from an art major to a science major. What matters is I did it. I broke out of the statistic and have a life where I can contribute back to the community around me.
You go girl! Your story is truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing it here. I love hearing how people make a path for themselves and rise above the status quo.
Education has given me the power to adapt to the changing landscape of the workforce which is less manufacturing and more computer know how.
My education allowed me to be able to help other people and make a difference
Education has given me the power to change I attained my MBA several years again & many doors were opened in the workplace. This allowed me to move up within my career (which I will eventually return to) and have my ideas and opinions heard.
I like that I can be a role model for my children so that they can go farther than I.
Education is so so valuable. And you will have tons of time to finish yours!! But ya know what I love best about this post? Your unconditional support of your husband’s dream. You’re right. Your roots are firmly planted right where you grow… ???? Embrace it all my friend!! ( having a medical doctor hubs wouldn’t be so bad though!!! Right?!)
Even though I’m a stay at home mom now, I am really proud of the undergraduate and graduate degrees I earned. I think it sets a good example for my children to follow.
Exactly! And it opens doors in the future as well!
My master’s has opened up new doors for me professionally. I get 40 hours of continuing professional education a year to keep up my CPA.
my education has gotten me inspired to go into a field i love and have been extremely successful at!!!
Education gives me the power to realize that I have talent and that I can stick to something so I’m not afraid to try new things. ???? Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
Getting an education has given me the opportunity to have a satisfying lifetime career that has provided well for me and my family.
That’s really something to be proud of. And what an exciting life! I still throw around whether I want to go back and get my masters in English, so huge props to you for working on that while you were pregnant!
Education has give me power to change by teaching me skills I can apply to everyday problems (budgeting, taxes, problem solving) and providing me the opportunity to get a better job based on the knowledge I have learned.
Education has opened many doors for me. It also gave me the confidence to strike out on my own and know that I will always be able to support myself.
dolniaks at consolidated dot net
I was the first in my family to get a college education, and I am so glad I did. I was formerly a spec. ed. teacher and now a school psychologist. Without higher education, I would not have the opportunity to work at a job I love. I get to inspire kids everyday. Life is good.
Thats incredible! Good for you!
I would totally put the money towards the trip we have coming up in June – My daughter gets to meet her grandpa for the first time.
Aww! That is so sweet! Good luck to yoU!
Higher education, and my business degree, opened many doors for me and opportunities, which allowed me much personal growth and change.
jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com
im hoping to go back to school-
hoping it opensmany doors!!
It definitely will! Good luck to you ????
Education gave me a career rather than a job
get a degree so i can succeed
Higher education has given me more choices of life and work, I am able to do what I love while earning the living.
education gave me the skills I need to succeed in my career.
My education has given me flexibility – because I had two majors and a minor in college, I’ve been able to take advantage of many varied opportunities!
Thanks for the chance to win!
email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Education has given me the ability to change my direction if I have an epiphany! Those are awesome, by the way.
im a stay at home mom but i like to go back to school!!
Optional 2nd entry here! https://twitter.com/kytah00/status/318212587013672961
Whether it’s on a college campus or not, continuous learning is so important and wonderful thing to model for our children. Good luck to your husband, and your family!
Education has empowered me to be my own boss and succeed.
Obtaining my degrees has greatly improved my feelings of self worth
Education has opened many doors and opportunities for me. It has also helped me boost my self-esteem and become more dependent.
It helped me gain marketable job skills which enabled me to get a great job
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com
i tweeted here:
My education and GPA specifically helped me land a great job…Granted I got laid off less than a year later but it was a good experience before that
it helps me to run the house
education has given me a great job!
2nd entry tweet – https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/311243029803589634
jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com
I didn’t want to go to college at all when I was in high school, but I am SO glad I did!! I feel like I have a starting point to do anything I want to do. Thanks for the chance to win! ????
Now a sophomore in college, I’ve learned an immeasurable amount about the world in the past two years. My college education has given me the power to change by challenging me to really THINK about my views and listen to why others might see it differently. I’ve learned that intelligence comes in many forms and that is a beautiful thing.
Wonderful to hear! Especially from someone who is still in the midst of college education!
my education has given me a great foundation. i feel strong and able to make great decisions, as well as make persuasive arguments if i need to convince others along my path to change
Education gave me a surprising change. Completing my second undergraduate degree left me without a position so I’m a stay at home mom now. While it’s not what I expected, it’s better than I could have wished for. ????
Education allowed me to expand my horizon, change cities, change careers, and achieve every dream I longed for. I thank God for all the doors it has opened to me.
Lovely! As Victor Hugo said, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”
In my culture, academic and education is the most important part of raising our next generation. I’m proud to say I’m a college graduate and my husband is current in Grad school. I think it’s important that we set a good example for our kids how important education is.
This is fascinating! THank you so much for contributing.
It’s given me the knowledge I need to make smart life decisions.
I didn’t take the easy way of obtaining my college education, but my company was really supportive, paid most of my tuition and allowed me to attend toward the end during work hours. It’s allowed me the ability to get some increases in pay and promotions into management positions. As a single mom, it’s great knowing that I can support my family on my own.
It allows me to be able to run my own business successfully.
My education empowered me to make choices, which definitely changed my life. I have chosen to stay home with my children now and when they are older and in school I can choose to work part or full time. I have more choices with the education I have.
Best of luck to you and your husband!
Both of my parents are immigrants. I am a first generation college student studying healthcare. I hope to change the world by helping patients get better and providing for my parents so they can have the retirement they deserve.
Ok, this is seriously the most inspirational comment on here. Thank you so much for sharing with us. And best of luck to you as well!
It has given me reason, goals, something to look forward to!!!
It has given me the ability to pursue a dream I had since I was 7.
Education gives you the confidence to change. I changed many things over the years and I plan to keep growing and change in the future.
Amen, sista! I love that I have been able to change things about myself that I didn’t have the confidence to tackle before.
Change? For me, I say defined me. The first time I traveled back to Riverside after completing my BA I couldn’t help but weep (and I am not a crying person). I could write forever about all the experiences in those 4.5 years. Just getting to college was a challenge, as a ADHD kid I was always told how slow I was and wasn’t expected to do much (education was). It was SO tough, especially being married my hubby would knock out a paper in one hour and there I was planning an all nighter (geez). But I finished. I graduated. I finished in 4.5 years and had a baby girl half way through. I finished. I can’t say it enough, and forever I know how hard I can push myself. Forever I know I can finish whatever task put in front of me. Not that I am perfect but I know I can work hard and I learned how to ask for help when I’m struggling. Above all, I learned to rely on Christ. He provided that peace the surpasses all understanding, provision when rent was due and we were out if food, and strength when research papers were due, baby was crying, and I didn’t remember the last time I had slept.
Way to go, girl! I had no idea you had ADHD. That is a huge accomplishment and you should always be so proud. Just having a baby in school is huge but when you add the added challenge of ADHD I’m just in awe. You rock.
A career in Information Technology.
my engineer degree helped me find a better job
Btw, here’s my tweet…;) https://twitter.com/PaigeKellerman/status/309854994004312064
it teaches you so many things and gives you a better job and life
My higher education has allowed me to provide for my son and I in a way I couldn’t without it.
My education has given me the power to have choices at many different jobs
I got my job from a campus recruiting event at my school, for the degree I was studying, and moved to the us because of my job, I like my job and I’m grateful for the education that got me this job.
songyueyu at gmail
So the giveaway is cool and all, but I really just had to comment Hillary!! I still haven’t finished that dang 1unit either. Muuuhahahaha!! It’s nice to not be alone in that, so I hope you feel better too ???? it’s so hard with little kids and busy husbands. I wish we could have just finished it in that dang research class ???? it was time consuming enough!! But as a wife who’s husband just graduated and realized his dream recently, I gotta say its soooo worth it!! Hang in there mama. And I miss those classes with you!! It was fun in a nerdy way ????
I am SO encouraged by you, Alison! Because even though you haven’t finished yet either, you HAVE had four babies, moved twice, broken bones, and homeschooled throughout the whole thing. And your kids are your number one priority. The thesis can wait. Our kids cannot. And you know, I’m sort of already realizing my dream as a writer in this blog and supporting my family this way. So take that, MA thesis! hehe
I’m going to school now to be a rad tech. It’s a two year program and its hard, I’m not going to lie. Thankfully I graduate in May but I’ve gotten to know myself better during this program than I ever have before and I think its made me stronger and a little more confident.
It helped me be more organized.
I tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/317035489490251776
I hated school but am so glad it wasn’t an option in my house growing up to not go to college or not do well & not graduate! Good luck to you guys!
Thank you! Even if its not a pleasant experience, education is always going to make you better in some way.
Having an education allows me to provide for my future family.