Friday, January 13, 2012

Back to School-Part Deux

Next Tuesday will be the first class of the spring semester. Yes, folks, I am wandering down the path of lifetime learning again.  Some may remember my frustrations with my first semester of school.  I felt that there was not enough time in my life for the many things I enjoy, nor was there enough time to commit to my little income stream.  At that time, my intention was to take a course or two from then out.

Sometimes we need a step back in order to rethink strategy. In this particular case, that's what happened to me. I really wanted to continue in school. At the same time though, I wanted more time than I have had this last semester.  Finally, I was not sure in which direction said education was taking me.  I really did want to have it all.  What to do, what to do............

I think I've come up with both a future plan and a workable retirement schedule in the process.  In terms of timing and schedule, I've planned two at home (on my own time) type of classes and two traditional classroom forays.  I like being in a school environment and neither art nor German classes take well to a web format, I expect.  My two on campus classes are on the same day, with a reasonable time in between. This gives me five fully free days (at least free to choose my own path), and only one half day, twice a week with an actual physical commitment.  this is much more workable for me.

On the goals front, after a month or so of thinking and planning (and lots of brainstorming with friends and family), I've come to a conclusion. I need to blend reality with my desires and interests.  To that end, my new goal is first an associates and then a bachelor's degree in art. I know, in theory the employment outlook in this area is probably not stellar.  In my case, though, I currently make (a little) money working in fabric and paper (quilting, sewing and card making). My goal is to expand those areas both for personal enrichment and in a business sense.  Courses such as drawing, painting and printing will allow me to expand into the areas of fabric design and the like-not only that but I will be studying something I love.  At this point in life, that's equally important. I'll keep a minor in German.  Again, I love the language.  While no one may hire me to go to Germany and be a translator at this late stage, it allows me to offer tutoring and translation locally.

I did have to think long and hard about this, but I believe it will work out. I have a few weeks to evaluate, and if I need to lower my "load" I can do so.  I've enjoyed the break from school, but really need and enjoy the brain food. I just need said stimulation in lower amounts with more time to myself. I think I've managed that. In addition to school, I'm looking forward to a spring that includes many things.  Landscaping the yard and spring planting, arts and craft fairs (and their preparation), lots of reading, and travel.  These are but a few of the things I plan to enjoy this spring-all while learning about German syntax, line and perspective, ad how to cut a linoleum print.

Life as an adventure, after all.


  1. A good balance- one that I think will serve you better in the long run. You might add a few classes in business along the way. I took some to supplement my education courses and they have always served me well.

    Enjoy the semester. I hope your art business continues to grow and grow. Who knows- maybe you will end up selling art to Germans on EBay! Last I heard US items from the 80's are very "hot" over there.

  2. Another thought - my artist friends all teach through adult education programs at art centers and other venues of various kinds. One even teaches sewing/quilting classes for children at a quilt fabric store. Some also work at galleries or non-profit arts organizations. You might find part time employment and additional income that way even without a degree.

  3. Janette, I would like some classes. Most of the small business classes are "continuing education" classes offered elsewhere....but they are on my list as well.

  4. Juhli I am surely open to all options at this point.


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