Saturday, October 17, 2015

Staying in...

My husband Bill is enrolled in an online master's degree program with Regis University and is nearing the end of his studies.  He's at the end of one course and has one more to go before he's finally finished after three years of work.  Last weekend, he was heavily engaged in a major project that counts for 60% of his final grade.  He stressed over it all weekend and we didn't get a chance to go anywhere exciting.  Imagine his disappointment on Monday when he got a failing grade on the project.

He was very confused about the grade until he realized that there were six pages of instructions and he had only read the first two.  Fortunately, the professor is allowing him to resubmit the project, though the most he can get on it is 75 points.  He can still get a B in the class, his only one since he started.  The rest of his grades have been As.  In the midst of the redo, he also has a final exam to take.  And he's already getting emails about his final class, the "capstone", which is a major hurdle to clear before he finishes master's degree number two.

Of course, what this means for me is that I'm staying in this weekend.  I lack local girlfriends I can hang out with and there's no place I want to go on my own.  Even if I had girlfriends nearby, the weather is misty, cold, and depressing.  I don't necessarily feel like getting dressed and going out anyway.

The stress of my husband's schooling affects me in an oblique way, though I am the one who encouraged him to keep going, after he finished his three certification courses at the National Defense University, and get the master's degree in cybersecurity.  I figured he might as well invest the extra year of study since the Post 9/11 Bill is paying for it.  I sure as hell don't want to go back to school, and since his adult daughters haven't spoken to him since 2004, we see no reason why he should transfer those valuable education benefits to them.  For all we know, their mother has gotten them adopted by her third husband, anyway.  I figure after holding a commission for 30 years, Bill should get another degree.

As I mentioned, this will be my husband's second master's degree.  He earned his first one in 2003, a few months after we got married.  It was a Master of Arts in Information Management from Webster University.  That program was sort of an executive program with classes that met in person in various places around Washington, DC.  I remember we lived in Fredericksburg, VA at the time and he'd get up at 4:00am to take the train to work at the Pentagon.  Then one or two nights a week, he'd come home after 7:00pm after being in class.   He was chronically exhausted and didn't have much time for fun.  In fact, he also didn't have much money, since he had child support to pay, a disastrous first marriage to recover from, and that degree wasn't entirely free of charge for him.  He still managed to graduate with honors.

By contrast, when I was in grad school, I lived on the campus at the University of South Carolina and went to school full time for three solid years, summers included.  I had neither family obligations nor a full time job.  I had an assistantship and a part time job, as well as an internship.  I was busy, but school was my main focus.  I did fine, but I didn't graduate with honors in either of my degree programs, nor am I getting to use them in the way I'd hoped.  Bill, on the other hand, will not be "overeducated" like I am.  I feel pretty sure his new degree and the accompanying skills will come in handy.

I am very proud of Bill, although these dull weekends at home are pretty boring.  I'm just glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Bill says when he's done with his degree, he's getting some Champagne.  Maybe then, it'll be time for another boozy related trip somewhere.  I'm thinking Ireland or Belgium... and hopefully before March, when we plan to visit Scotland for the second time.  That trip will be whisky heavy.

For today, I have plans to bake a chicken pot pie... and perhaps I will have an impromptu beer tasting all by my lonesome.  It's tough to be a graduate school widow.  ;-)  If you learned anything from this post, I hope it was to make sure you read all the directions before submission...

ETA:  Pot pie



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