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I'm pretty satisfied with my life right now, but there is one thing that I'd like to have

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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:33 AM
Original message
I'm pretty satisfied with my life right now, but there is one thing that I'd like to have
Edited on Thu Oct-07-10 11:52 AM by Tobin S.
that I do not. That is a college education. I don't really need a career change, although there are times when I wish I could trade my CDL and trucking job for a science degree and a laboratory. I would also love to be able to write for a living and just do trucking gigs at my leisure to spur the creative process. I met a guy like that one time. He was a science fiction writer who had a series of books published. He had a degree in engineering and between that and the books he had done quite well for himself. He owned a truck and drove it basically during the summer when the weather was nice. I asked him why he did that and he said that truckers were a very good source for ideas for the characters in his novels. Who knows? I might be in some science fiction novel now.

I have attempted college twice. Two years into my studies the first time, I became severely mentally ill and could not continue my education. I was 20 years old and doing well before that. I had a 3.6 GPA. I returned to college 10 years later after I got the insanity sorted out, but ended up dropping out after a couple of quarters because of the huge bills I was running up and the lack of money coming in. I also have difficulty in reading quickly now days. I still have the ability to understand complex ideas, I just have to go slower than probably the average college student.

I admire intelligence and respect what it takes to get an advanced education. I go through periods of time when I will surround myself with books and educate myself the best way I know how right now. That's all I can do without going through an upheaval and totally changing everything about my life.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. So, you have approximately 2.5 years of college under your belt already?
With your truckin' lifestyle, is there anyway you could take online classes to finish out your degree? You're over halfway there.
I really enjoy your writing, by the way.
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I really don't know for sure, to be honest
I don't know of any college where I could continue my education 100% online, and that's what I'd need. I've looked into it a little with the universities around my hometown and they require that you at least be physically present to take the tests.
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uncommon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. College credits expire -
this is a major problem for me. I left college in my last year with roughly one semester of credits left to complete. I was then billed improperly and due to my youth and inexperience was unable to have the billing corrected.

I was not allowed to complete my coursework OR transfer my existing credits due to this.

And from what I understand, college credits expire after 5 years unless you graduate.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-10 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
23. I know a woman who went to college for 3 years a LONG time ago.
She called for her transcripts and went to a counselor
who tallied everything up and low and behold:

She was able to receive an Associates Degree!

She's in her late 40's now, went to school in the early eighties...
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Can I tell you something?
Having a science degree and working in a lab can be a bit overrated sometimes..Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my profession its just not where I thought I would be 20 years ago. In some ways I envy you--I love to travel and I really don't get to for my job. :hi:
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well, I guess we all find out things are different than we imagined
once we get out in the real world of practicing our professions. Trucking is radically different than I had first imagined it. I'll tell you what, if you can get a week off, I'll take you out to the west coast trucking style. :hi:
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. That actually sounds like a lot of fun.
Maybe one day soon we could do that.
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Common Sense Party Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-10 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #2
22. I travel extensively for my job. It ain't all it's cracked up to be.
In fact, I hate it.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. you can get a degree online. You should check into Tobin. Something
to do on those layovers and down time. :hi:

I am thinking about going back to school, too :fistbump:
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I will take your and Bunny's advice and look into it a little further
But, like I said, I don't know of an accredited school that I can attend 100% online. They might be out there, though.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. when you are ready ...
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. It would depend upon the major and the program.
Edited on Thu Oct-07-10 12:27 PM by Chan790
Many brick-and-mortar universities offer distance learning programs now. U of MD. here by me has one of the best in the country...it's full tuition though. $900+ per credit hour for out-of-state.

I'm kind of good at finding these things so:

What would you like to study?

What are the limitations? You said 100% online; candidly that might be a problem. It might be work-around-able. Probably not for a science or engineering field though.
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. I came out of high school with a GPA just HUNDREDTHS of a point over "graduation" requirements...
.
.
.
...I just didn't give a shit about pretty much anything back
then (though when told I had the SECOND-lowest GPA to have
graduated that year, I really DID think, "DAMN it... so CLOSE!!!")
.
Six years in the Army worked wonders on me but, even with
the GI Bill, I couldn't afford to go to college for another 5 years
or so.
.
When I DID get there -- I was STARVING for knowledge -- resisted
declaring a major so that I wouldn't be "channeled" or restricted
at all. I wanted EVERYTHING they had.
.
Worked fulltime (for all but two semesters) and went to school
fulltime for six years with a 3.7 GPA -- but never went for nor
got a degree. Tasted everything -- took many grad level courses...
and the experience -- the communal focus, the creativity, the
discussions and debates, the creativity -- WONDERFUL!!!
.
.
.
I also saw a very funny/very disgusting arrogance on both sides
of the college/no college coin.
.
.
.
Some of those with no college experience very derisively and
venomously using "college boy" as an insult.
.
Some of the college students/graduates looking down on those
who did not attend as some sort of subhuman lumpenproletariat.
.
BOTH factions REEKED REEKED REEKED of monumental insecurity.
.
.
Two of the most brilliant and creative and SMART friends that
I have had in my life both had serious dyslexia (I was SHOCKED
when one of them actually left me a "note" once -- there was
no indication of this until I saw that note) and had dropped out
of relatively early highschool.
.
I worked for a time closely with the Watermen of the Chesapeake
Bay -- fishermen, crabbers, clammers, oysterers(???) -- MANY of
whom had dropped out of GRADE SCHOOL to go to work on Daddy's
boat. As a group, they were some of the brightest, most well-read,
conscious and aware people that I have ever known (right this
moment, I'm thinking of them as "Tobin on the Bay").
.
.
And I am ALWAYS shocked and dismayed to see well-educated people
(MEDICAL FUCKING DOCTORS!!!!) who are members of the KKK.
.
.
So college... though marvelous and extremely helpful and
necessary for our society to survive/thrive... is not always
the answer.
.
.
Have you looked into online courses? Is there anyone in the DU
community with experience taking these who can enlighten us
as to their worth/interest?
.
.
.
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Luciferous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. I graduated last year with a degree in Criminal Justice, and
still can't find a job. So right now I'm thinking college is overrated in terms of career advancement. However, I love learning new things and did enjoy my classes. I took every class online and would highly recommend it. I think that you have more of an opportunity to participate in discussions through an online setting, and there are quite a few older students who take online classes because they are easier to handle when you have a job, kids, etc. I am actually considering going back for my MLIS but don't know if I can justify the expense to my husband :)
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kimi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. You make a great point
One of my boys just graduated University of MD with a Criminal Justice degree. The majority of his fellow grads are not going into careers, are going onto grad school cause there are NO jobs for them. My boy is going into the military, had been in ROTC so he does have a job. And won't be going overseas, got into a field where that's not an issue.

But it's sad - another of my boys also graduated this summer - degree in Biology. He recently caught up with 2 people he graduated with - one is working at Kohl's, another at a video store. Not using their degrees at all.

Education is a great thing. Tobin, you'll never regret it. Just, at this time in the economy, it's not necessarily a stepping-stone to a career. You're doing fine now, and are educating yourself. Take care.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. You could have mine because I've never really used it, but I suppose it doesn't work like that.
I was a professional student starting in 1970, to to college on the GI Bill. I was never in the service, but since my father was a 100% disabled vet I was able to go just like he would have been (although he only went to school through the 3rd grade). It was also a good way to stay out of Vietnam.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
15. Distance education might be a better fit than online.
Check this out. It's how I finished my bachelor's degree.

https://www.excelsior.edu /

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excelsior_College
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KittyLover Donating Member (79 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
16. Sending the best of wishes you way.
Right now, I'm out of work, and unemployment is higher for my kind than most. Wish I had a college education, too. Might make things a bit better.

Tried the college thing. The administrators screwed me when it came to getting the textbooks I needed to make it. Still pissed about that, but we neesd to stay strong, I guess.

Here's hoping you get everything you want out of life from this point on, Tobin. If you want to write, go write. Follow your dreams. :)
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IMATB Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. When and if
the time is right, you will get what you want.

Never say never. I know for a fact never sometimes does happen.

Either way, I wish you much luck and happiness whatever you choose to do.
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Dr Morbius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. Good on you, Tobin.
Education is not a step that one "gets through" and then is done with. Education is a process, a process one needs to embrace in youth and never let go of. If, like me, you haven't been able to complete your formal education, informally educating yourself is the next best thing. I taught myself logic and philosophy. Abe Lincoln taught himself law. You are wise to pursue knowledge on your own.

And if you're in a science fiction novel now, I must be Kilgore Trout. And I would much rather be Jubal Harshaw.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
19. If you want it, fine. My opinion worth nothing is that college education is way overrated.
Edited on Thu Oct-07-10 10:58 PM by UTUSN
I got 2 yrs then went into the military for 4 then finished off with the G.I. Bill. Trouble is, the planning and career counseling was not reality based. All lit and history with nary a thought about what was going to happen with those college degrees (2). I said to somebody that back when, 40 yrs ago, the only people I knew doing things with computers were Chinese older students who chain smoked and carried boxes of punch cards, and that if I were to start now I would want somebody to tell me what would be the computer ("Think 'plastics'.") of the future to study. Somebody replied, "Nobody would be able to tell you that."

It's the Wizard of Oz deal, you want a paper or a medal, fine. I hope I'm being very clear that I am not putting down what you said you want. But I'm not saying it has to be like this. If a college education is what you want, as Eleanor ROOSEVELT said, "What a person has or wants to do can usually be done."

As for writing, you do that damn well. And it seems to me that you could fit it right into your current work: You already donate great pieces of work right here. Some ways to organize it are with voice recorders, jump drives for categories of your stories, maybe investing in a transcribing service with a format for submitting to publishers.

My intentions here are NOT negative in ANY way, so I hope I'm not getting into a flame situation.


On Edit: Oh, and in my decrepit age I have discovered that I have permission to read things that are really fun and interesting to me. Just finished the biography of Caesar by Adrian GOLDSWORTHY and Stephan COLL's book on the BIN LADENs. Back when I was in school, a prevailing theory was that schools wasted time talking about "the Egyptians' and didn't prepare people for meaningful stuff. Now what's on the History Channel--the Egyptians and the Nazis.

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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
20. "Tuition-Free Colleges"
I read about this in the magazine Bottom Line and, of course, now I can't find the issue. So, here's the next best thing:

Tuition Free Universities & Colleges Guide

Maybe some of them offer online courses too. Good luck in whatever method you use :D
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cherokeeprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-10 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
21. A degree is one of the things I DON'T fret over. I've done okay without one.
Edited on Fri Oct-08-10 02:09 AM by cherokeeprogressive
I'm 49 and financially set to the point that I don't have to have a full-time job. I work for spending money only, and most of the people I work for tell me they'd gladly trade places. I work for a zipline attraction here in the mountains, outside in the sun, and zip all day long with our customers.

I've known people without degrees that I've found to be the most well-spoken and well-reasoned persons I've ever met. I can also say the same about friends of mine with degrees. In my world though, being able to quote Shakespeare pales in the face of being able to troubleshoot and fix your own car, change the leaky faucet in your sink, or build a deck in your back yard.

I've found that my friends without degrees are generally happier with their lot than those with degrees, who think for some reason that their degree entitles them to a better life than the one they have, or better than the one their neighbor without the degree has. They seem to be more bitter, complain about things more petty, and have more bad feelings for their less educated employers. Me? I'm smilin'. I've got the boat which I keep in a slip at the marina less than a mile from my house, the Harley, the motorhome (dubbed the "Park and Party"), and a view of the lake from the picture window in my living room. I know LOTS of degreed people who can't say that. More than a few of them actually resent the success I've had, and begrudge me my toys.

Truckers are cool. Without them? The world, or at least the United States, would come to a grinding halt. Don't sell yourself short. Having a degree does not make you a better person. It just elevates your status with other people who have degrees, some of which might be struggling to survive more desparately then you or me.
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-10 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
24. Wow. The same thing happened to me.
I was pre-vet med, and doing quite well. I just "lost it" and dropped out of school. I went back a few years later but the student loans were causing me so much anxiety that I dropped out again. Plus, I became really frustrated with the whole "education" process. It felt like there was no "education" happening. I was just memorizing shit from books, taking tests, and paying for a piece of paper. My attitude now is that college is completely overrated. But I would like to learn about mechanical engineering. I'm fascinated by it. I'm taking a physics class for fun, and I've found that without the pressure of grades and long-term outcome, class can be kinda fun.
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-08-10 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
25. Do it. You're a smart guy and a good writer.
I've taught art at a university just a bit and one of the most important things to remember about making a painting is if you just think it needs more, it does. I believe the same holds true for life. You obviously like to write and you're good at it. I'm sure you're a helluva truck driver, but you could do yourself and a lot of others a lot of good if you pursue writing. This world lacks heart, and you've got plenty to spare.
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