It’s September. That is just wild to me. 2009 has had it’s slow moments but I can’t believe fall is knocking on the door (even though a step outdoors in NY will smack you in the face with autumn). August/September always reminds me of back to school time. Except for maybe two or three years, I’ve been in school my entire post-pre-school life. How could I NOT associate this time of the year with hitting the books? This year is no different. Although I got my law degree this past May, I am once again on the degree-seeking path; this time I’m getting a Master of Public Administration degree. What is different this time is that I’m not going to school. I’m taking the online classroom option so that I don’t have to be tied to a classroom every week. Instead, I’ll be completing assignments with classmates spread around the country and meeting my professor for e-office hours. While I feel like not having to show up to class at a particular time and place is freeing, I know it is going to require more self-discipline to complete assignments by deadline and factor in time to study. The program is geared toward working professionals as well so there’s peace of mind in the fact that the professor knows we will all be doing classwork after a 9-5 gig.
So why am I getting this degree anyway? There isn’t just one answer to that question. I guess I just like the idea of going to school for some reason. I’ve always been the kind of person who used grades and educational accolades as a measuring stick for their life. While I might not always enjoy doing the work, I do like getting rewarded for what I’ve accomplished with my mind. Another reason for an MPA in particular is because I’ve always been involved in nonprofit and public sector work, in and outside of the legal field. It’s what I want to do but I know that I would like to take on high-level responsibilities in national and international types of organizations. While a JD is a great background, I have realized this summer that there are some other skills I want to add to my toolbox which should help in the future when I go after those lofty nonprofit/NGO positions. Finally, I just want a bunch of annoying letters after my name.
My mom joked that I should just go on ahead and get my Ph.D. if I was going to just stay in school forever. I laughed but DID go online and check out a few programs on international affairs, the field I’d be interested in getting a doctorate in if I were to torture myself that way. I saw a pretty cool program at Princeton that didn’t take too long but is obviously super competitive. But I thought to myself, “Self, you ALREADY have a doctorate! A Juris Doctorate! Chill out!” So for now I’ll listen to my inner reason and chill on the Ph.D. plans. Things will happen if and as they’re supposed to. Hell, I still have to work on finishing this MPA and taking the NY State Bar (yeah, I’m still going to do that).
August/September is always back to school time, but it’s also a popular time for people to move. I’m on that wagon as well as I am preparing for a move this month to Brooklyn. I’m excited to give it a second go. I lived in BK briefly after college in ’03/’04 but it was not a happy time. I had a job I hated, a relationship beginning to fall apart, a friendship on the brink of destruction and an apartment all the way at the end of the 4 in East Flatbush. I knew the going was getting tough so I got out and headed back to NC. I think that was a very sound decision for that time but now I’m feeling better about hitting the city. I’m planning some big things on the low and I’m confident that NYC is where I need to be to make them happen. I think it’ll make for some interesting blogging as well, huh?
Keep ya posted,
Bourgie J.D., M.P.A. (oh boy)