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Uncertain but Motivated

randomnamegnr8rrandomnamegnr8r 4 replies2 threads New Member
I am trying to decide, after becoming an expert in the art of being a creative/doing nothing, what to do beyond my Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, concentration in Arts and Literature. If you’re thinking to yourself “that sounds like a degree in a little of everything and not much of anything,” then you’re right. After a liberal arts undergrad degree at Wellesley I decided to take a break from a high stress private academic environment to a less stressful, public, online graduate program. It was a lot of reading—that part I enjoyed, and it was genuinely a pleasure for the two years it took me to complete. It’s been a year or so since I finished and I spent a good 6 months applying to adjunct professorships in community colleges locally to no avail. I am back to freelancing, making things in my kitchen to hopefully sell at farmer’s markets, which keeps me busy but the pay is sporadic and the clients are flaky. I’m thinking if maybe I had a job where I could work with people and reassimilate into 9-5 and/or academic society I’d feel more like a real adult again. I am not 100% confident about this, however!

That being said, I’m interested in a PhD, and I’m interested in a JD. I’ve noticed some joint programs that are very generous with tuition stipends and living expenses, such as Northwestern...I’ve also noticed programs like Syracuse’s JDi program that is mostly online (so cool!) but am unsure about the travel portion, dunno, I have some family on the East coast I could probably crash with for those dates...and I dont know if that works concurrently with a PhD.

So basically I know some things about myself. I know I read a lot and quickly and can process large amounts of information—law school and phD programs don’t so much intimidate as much as excite me. Secondly, the opportunity to publish again is very cool to me. I also want to learn from great minds; but I am not into abuses, micro manipulations, etc., and I faced many of those formerly in a rigorous academic environment. Rutgers was low stress but I felt I could’ve taught the courses (sorry; private school gave me this ego, sadly) which means I’m paying off the thirty grand (such a steal!) with a bit of regret.

I’m also recently married and don’t know how this works when it comes to heavy commitments outside of marriage...since the six years I’ve been in this relationship, I’ve either been in online grad school (part time) or freewheeling freelancing with low amounts of regular clientele. Will going back to school destroy my relationship (he has no intention of getting a degree anytime soon and has a good job here in H town)? Is this something workable? Did I screw up by getting married when we did, LOL (i mean it's not funny, but, it'd definitely be ironic)?

We don’t have children yet. I want kids but I dont want to wait til after they’re older to finish these chapters of *my* life.

Also, hybrid program for the JD/PhD? Or move away for the degree and try to live off of 25k + whatever my husband with little formal post-secondary education can make? I’ve looked at Rice it seems like a school for rich kids (yet again, not sure if I want that again) and it’s about 45 minutes away...not sure if my heart is in that or wants to deal with a drive....also we have a house here in houston, and no we're not renting.

Finally, the other thing I wanted to mention is that I'm more moderate politically, and generally don't like political parties, but hey, I vote. I've found that many "good" college campuses lean FAR left, and I get a little bit uncomfortable by the pressure to think like, ironically, liberals. I am technically a liberal, but I don't like feeling like I'm a part of mob mentality. Would it be possible to get an education at any schools with joint PhD/JD programs or either of those programs and still remain somewhat independent politically without seeming anti-social?

I know this is a complex issue. That's why I say...

Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions,

Erika HZ
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Replies to: Uncertain but Motivated

  • randomnamegnr8rrandomnamegnr8r 4 replies2 threads New Member
    edited April 5
    * I also wanted to parenthetically reply to my previous thread...I did not mean to leave it so open-ended, just ran out of time to post online, please see below if at all confused.

    I think this (my post as a "drive by shooting") is an unfair assessment. When I posted this, I was genuinely curious and genuinely trying to understand better the climate at an academic institution i was considering. The reason I asked, and I read many of these posts years ago, but being that I got accepted into grad school shortly after the post, didn't really have the time to sit down and respond to each thoughtful reply. The advantage of schools like Wellesley (and I don't think there are many) is no one will make any woman feel--at any time-- like her voice is invalid just because they need someone to target that day, nor will they make the assumption that in asking a question she is trying to "stir things up" or commit a "drive by shooting." (Unless that person is projecting their own psychological issues onto someone else.) The disadvantage of such schools is, of course, what certain people in this thread mentioned as a sense of entitlement tied to inherited wealth, as well as people making assumptions about you based on what they presume to be your family situation. I endured more of this than I care to admit publicly, and I wish I had found my voice sooner, so I could have made the school a fairer place for people like me, who had single parents at the time and whose parent(s) was (were) trying their damnedest and STILL managed to get me through school. I paid for the majority of my loans after school was over. What's funny is I worked all throughout college, I held paying jobs, did work-study, and even volunteered quite a bit through the radio station, words on wheels, you name it; and yet they treated me like I had no money! LOL I was definitely earning more of mine than any of them were. But I digress. It is what it is and the experience is what it was, but no one should ever have to take a hiatus from an environment just because the SOCIAL environment feels toxic. Do what you need to in order to survive, I say. The entire system didn't teach me much, except how to be disappointed in human beings occasionally, and how to stubbornly love myself despite feeling real, tangible envy and hatred. But it's a beautiful place (truly) and most people find the degree sought after, so they say, so I did it. I found my peace about it and I found my meaning in it, where I could.

    As for my screen name , to clarify, it's a reference to a Wilco song called Random Name Generator. Sorry, it's a little inside. Ha!

    I've really never been so misunderstood and made to feel unwelcome since, well, Wellesley, haha! On the other hand, I agree with the poster who mentioned checking parking lots AND the poster who mentioned toxicity in the social atmosphere of entitlement. Cheers, everyone.

    Thanks for the help.

    edited April 5
    Post edited by Erin's Dad on
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 Forum Champion Rice 1272 replies27 threads Forum Champion
    edited April 5
    Do you want a career practicing law? If so, go to law school. A PhD will not enhance your credentials as a lawyer. Do you want to be a university professor, then get a PhD. You won't need a law degree for that. Law school is a hard three year slog, and law school is expensive. There are some decent law schools in the Houston area (South Texas and U Of H), but UT in Austin is your best bet in Texas. Rice does not have a law school.
    edited April 5
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 27835 replies196 threads Senior Member
    In the first place, law is not a 9-5 job, neither are typical academic jobs.

    As Houston notes, if you want to be a lawyer go to law school, but takes top grades and test scores to earn merit money from any law school worth attending in this economy.

    Any PhD program worth attending will be fully funded.

    A JD/PhD will only be of value for law school faculty positions which are unicorn jobs. For those you had better target the top 6 law schools, top 3 is even better.

    Politics won't matter in law school as the faculty and students will lean left, but the LS will still have an active Federalist Society. Politics won't much matter in most PhD programs either. The exceptions could be those departments who have a Social Justice bent, as they will have many SJW's as students.

    btw: paragraph breaks are your friend.
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  • RelicAndTypeRelicAndType 200 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I don't know if law school would break your relationship - it seems like it might not - but a PhD program is as likely as not to.
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