Tag Archives: Doctor of Philosophy

To PhD or Not to PhD… That is the Question.

It’s been a super crazy week here in Meggan-land. Actually, it’s been a crazy couple of months.

Other people do personal posts really well–they’re poignant or funny or simply deeply honest.

I’m not certain I’m that person. I think my personal posts are… whiny. Which, since I listen to an absurd amount of whining, just makes me go ugh.

So, consider yourself warned.

After a really long week of dealing with bullshit, getting drooled on, being insulted (twice!), being told, essentially, that I’m useless, I’ve come to following conclusions.

I love my job.

I hate all the bullshit. (And Lord, there’s so much of it)

So that got me to thinking: what do I want to do with myself?

I have a couple of options: I could ask to switch locations (don’t want to do that, not really. It’s the same everywhere, and at least now my commute is short). I could look for another job (meh). I could get a PhD.

Uh, what? A PhD?

And the more I thought about it, the more I was like: Yeah! Let’s do that.

Now, if I have one virtue (and I’m pretty sure I only have one), it’s that I am very self-aware. Painfully self-aware. I understand my own motives, even if I think they’re less than honorable. I get me. I’ve learned, over time, that not everyone has this particular skill set.

My reasons for wanting the PhD are multifold:

1. I always wanted a PhD, but it took me about five years to get over my Master’s thesis. And then I had a baby. And then I had another one. And now I have debt.

2. I like academia. No really. I love the research, I liked designing my own study, and I have a bunch of questions I can’t find the answers to.

3. I think it might be fun to teach adults.

(Husband’s question on this point: Do you really think you could teach something you’re really passionate about to a bunch of adults who don’t give a shit?

Me: Sure. Not sure how that’s different from what I’m doing now.)

4. People in my field respect the PhD in a way they don’t respect the MS.

5. I really like being right. I like it even better when people respect my rightness (Like that sentence? Me too). Because, in this country, teachers get very little respect. You know the old adage: Those who can, do. Those who can’t teach. The adage is complete crap, by the way. You can’t teach it if you can’t do it.

6. Oh, and the timing is good. Or, to put it better, it’s the best it’s ever going to be, at least until M can retire.

(Like I said, not all my reasons are honorable).

But I have to weigh my reasons for wanting to get more education against the cons. So here they are:

1. Money

2. Time

3. I don’t want to completely remove myself from the clinical side of things. I actually like the kids. I like the puzzle of figuring out what’s going on with them. It’s my favorite part.

4. I seriously just paid off the Master’s degree last year. Can I really do that to myself again?

5. Money

6. Time.

I’m already super busy with the full-time job, the kids and their various activities, and the writing gig. I know something will have to give. I don’t know what. It can’t be family, because I’m not completely driven by my career. I like it, but I’d give it up in a flat second and work at (Insert local burger joint here) for them if I had to.

The job I need to pay the bills. I have two little mouths to feed. I can’t afford to spend a fortune in loans. I’ll never retire if that’s the case, and God knows I’d retire tomorrow if I could get away with it. With a Master’s degree, I can work just about anywhere (except in academia). We could afford the cost of my tuition if I was working full time–it’s not so different from day care, actually. But I don’t know if I can work full-time and get the PhD. I rather suspect I can’t.

Also:  I don’t need a PhD. I want a PhD.

I want something new and different.

If I had my druthers, I’d be a full-time writer. Alas, there’s a lot that needs to happen for me to be able to do that. For instance, I need to write a book that actually brings in money after I’ve paid for all my stinking advertising.

So, until I am making Stephanie Meyer money, I guess I’ll have to settle for the day job.

I wonder, am I in the middle of a midlife crisis? I think this means I need a Ferrari and a boob job.

Oh, wait, the way my luck operates, if I went in for a boob job, I’d come out with testicles.

I guess I’ll have to continue to contemplate the PhD.


However, I am taking donations for a Ferrari if someone’s buying. Oh, and would you mind paying the student loans? That’d be great.