for jackie

from my updates post, in reference to my contemplating a PhD, jackie asks:

“what would you get a PhD in, then? thinking about what degrees I would get if not for the Trinity of Crap we’ve already mentioned is one of my favorite mental exercises lately.

how have you been liking teaching?”

as far as what degree i would get if i won the lottery (how sad that the persuit of information and academic scholarship, has to often be hinged on whether or not one can afford it!) the IS degree is always up there. programs @ UCLA & SUNY albany, as well as UNC look good. i’ve also thought of public policy, women’s/gender studies, history with a women’s studies focus, or social work.

on a totally different, and non-PhD note, i’ve been seriously considering a teaching degree as well for secondary school (i’d want to teach computer skills & english), or a master’s degree in nursing. there are 2-3 year programs which will allow you to get your RN w/no prior nursing background. with the push to get medical records on-line securely, i really think the role of nursing is going to change a bit, having a position as a technical training nurse – showing everyone how to use the system, would be great.

which leads me to teaching. as an undergrad i was a TA for the intro to women’s studies class. i didn’t do a whole lot, but sat in on every class, prompted discussion, was available for questions from the students, and read all the papers and gave my opinion on what their grade should be. i taught 1 class on women’s comtemporary autobiography using sandra cisneros’ house on mango street, bell hooks’ bone black, & maxine hong kingston’s the woman warrior. it was an incredible experience.

now, teaching these short, 3 week modules on computer basics, i’m finding that i really enjoy this too. it’s frustrating when it’s obvious you’re students are paying no kind of attention, but that seems rare. the payoff for me is when the technophobic students informs me that they downloaded and installed a program on their home computer the other night and it wasn’t that bad. or when they see how quick pine is. it’s my hope that when they go out in the professional world they’ll understand that when they have a technical problem, they can usually find the information they need to fix it on their own. essentially that they feel empowered to take these technical issues that they may have been afraid of and try to fix them on their own. i’m realizing that so far, these little teaching jobs are my favorite so far at slis. the thought of giving up instruction in general once i graduate bums me out, hence the lean towards a PhD program, i think on some level.

  1. Anonymous said:

    Fight the urge! You’ll be good for one thing — the ever-shrinking number of full-time academic posts.


  2. jackie said:

    so, it seems like definitely something in the social sciences, then? even the WMST programs I’ve seen are very social-sciencey.

    if I did go back, i would want American Studies, with English as my disciplinary filed, and some kind of emphasis/certificate/focus in WMST and/or multicultural education.

    sigh. it’s a frustrating debate, figuring out your career plans, but interesting, too. it’ll be nice to see what you wrestle with as i do my own wanderings as well.

  3. Anonymous said:

    I’ve had the urge the last couple of weeks myself. I think there might be something in the drinking fountains or the Coke machine. I’m wicked bi-po on the topic though. -Dan

  4. Anonymous said:

    If you want to take a look at Penn State’s program and need someone to give you a tour, let me know.


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