I have a fairly long and disappointing history with Towson University. After sitting on my hands regarding finishing my Master's Degree for my first four years here in Baltimore, I finally talked with Towson about it last year. I was lucky enough to find an advisor from my alma mater, and she streamlined the acceptance of twelve transfer credits from Michigan State into Towson's MAT program. I enrolled in two classes last summer and thought I was on my way to getting that Master's done.
However, I showed up on the first day and it became clear that I needed a prerequisite for the course I signed up for. I checked all my paperwork and the catalog, and there was nothing about this prerequisite anywhere. I double-checked afterwards. This made me mad, and I saw it as an example of poor advising. I emailed my advisor, and she ducked the issue and blamed it on me, and it made me sort of put off. And there was no way she could get me into another class at that point in the summer, so it was a wasted summer in terms of gettign on with my Master's.
However, I was enrolled in classes in the fall, and planned on going to them... until I got a notice of disenrollment from Towson in the mail. Apparently, they neded proof of my vaccination from Mumps, Measles, Rubella, and Tetanus. This was the first I'd heard of it, and it made me mad, but there was nothing I could do about it - I was already disenrolled. Later, I received a bill for the courses I was never allowed to attend, and there was some significant hassle in getting those off my record before they went to collections.
It all made me sort of mad at Towson. All my colleagues who have taken graduate courses haven't encountered all this red tape. Even having the proof of vaccinations is something that neither Loyola or Hopkins do. I also was not very excited about taking Education courses; if I get a Master's, I want it to be in Literature or something.
But this spring, I had an epiphany that those twelve transfer credits from Michigan State were a pretty amazing deal. I have 12 credits of a 34-credit degree done! That's quite a bit of time and money. So I decided to go through the red tape of getting a tetanus shot (ouch!) and tests to see if I'm immune to Mumps and Measles (mom couldn't find the records at home) this week, and today finally was able to get into student enrollment.
Unsurprisingly, with the semester starting next week, there weren't a whole lot of options available. However, there were a few. One of my required courses is Mon-Fri from 9-12 from 6/19 - 7/7. Another one is 4:30-7 on Mondays and Wednesdays from May 23 through July 26. That one's in Aberdeen.
If I take these courses, I won't be able to accept this summer job. If I don't take these courses, that will be one more semester behind in my pursuit of my Master's, which I can probably get done by the end of the summer next year. I have seven courses to take, and if I could knock two of them off right now, that gives me quite a dent in it.
It bums me out that I just took up an hour of these people's lives by going in for a job that I probably won't be able to accept. However, I honestly didn't know this issue would bubble up so vehemently. It's partly poor planning on my part, but the hold really did just come off my enrollment account today. I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to do. Can I live eight weeks on $3000? $2066 of that is gone in rent, car, and insurance payments already. I probably wouldn't be able to do things I was hoping to do, like buy Bobby a computer (at least in the summer), fly home for Tiffany's wedding on July 11, or take a summer NYC trip to visit Neil and see a Mets game. However, none of that budgeting is accounting for tips at the restaurant. I've been making at least $100 per shift on Sundays, and will probably pick up a few more shifts in the summer.
Hmmmm. This is a dilemma, but I'm almost sure I know what I have to do. Take courses. It's silly that I'm getting paid a few thousand less than my colleagues who have less experience than I just because of a piece of paper.
Of course, the dilemma could be solved if I don't get the position. However, that would be a blow to the ego and involve a possible awkwardness with a colleague (his sister in law interviewed me). Maybe it's best if I just bow out asap to make it easier for them on their end.
I think I'll sleep on it.
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