Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Getting to know me in 100 days - Day 2

I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology

Yes thats right, I am soooo smart that I graduated with two degrees in four years. I'm incredible, aren't I?

Actually, it was fairly simple - Criminal Justice is a form of sociology so the two degrees overlapped quite a bit. Some classes counted toward requirements for both degrees - like Statistics and Probability and my interim class (which was based on this book).

Lets take a minute to veer off from this subject a tiny bit and discuss Statistics and Probability... Remember yesterday when I said that I'm really horrible at math? I am. Horrible. I was a great student in high school, but I got my first ever C on my report card in senior math/pre-calculus. My dad was pretty upset with me and I can remember standing in my bedroom, tears streaming down my cheeks, yelling to him, "I can't help it, I'm just stupid in math! Its not that I don't care, I just don't get it!" Okay, so I'm really stupid in math - that has been established - but now add in (ha!) statistics and probability and I am really at the bottom of the intelligence food chain. I really, really don't understand these things - and I have no desire or need to understand them.

So the thought of having this class as a requirement for both of my majors was incredibly terrifying. However, I only had to take one class to fulfill both majors' requirements - and I could take either the Psychology course or the Sociology course. Luckily for me, Allen Shoemaker was the Psychology prof teaching stats at the time. Professor Shoemaker's class consisted of 15 minutes of looking at cartoons and Jay Leno quotes on the overhead and 30 minutes of random characters (like letters and numbers) being drawn on the board in some sort of equation type thing. I am severely math disabled so whatever he was writing on the board very well could have been sensical, but for me he might as well have been writing in Arabic. Luckily Professor Shoemaker allowed us to bring full-sized cheat sheets into the exams. So as long as I had every formula in the book written on my cheat sheet I could pass the exam with flying colors. I can put the formulas into pratice, but have no idea what they mean or what I'm trying to do with them. I passed my exams thanks to Professor Shoemaker and his wonderful testing skills.

So anyway... the point is some of the classes overlapped which made if fairly easy to earn a double major in 4 years.

I chose to major in Psychology because I find human behavior and thought processes so incredibly fascinating. I want to know why people make the choices they make. I want to know why they act the way they do. All of it. The classes were awesome - interesting, thought provoking, and I use what I learned even now as I contemplate life. So what if I had no idea what I could or would pursue in the psychology profession after I graduated - I was enjoying my studies and getting good grades because of it. I loved every minute of those classes. I loved the text books, I loved the case studies, I loved the papers, I loved the professors. Isn't that important?

Did I graduate and use my psychology degree? If you consider analyzing why my boss was emotionally abusive to her employees as using my degree... then yes, I did use my degree a lot within my first 3 years out of college. Really, though, by the time it got to the point where I needed to figure out where to put my studies to use I was already in the midst of my CJ major and my internship and planning to pursue that avenue. By the time I decided not to go any further with CJ I was too far into both degrees to turn around and change my majors and graduate within four years. I had no interest in going to graduate school at that time and knew that it was unlikely that I could do anything with a psych degree unless I did, so I graduated with two useless bachelor's degrees;)

Instead I worked for a phone company doing data entry, then after moving to Chicago I worked in human resources for a computer consulting firm. While I may not be using either of my very expensive degrees my college experience was priceless (okay, it was worth approximately $30,000). I became who I am in college. I changed within those four years in ways that I don't believe I could have otherwise. I learned the value of a well-rounded education. I found out that I do enjoy some science. I found out that I still hate any kind of history class. I met my husband. I met BFWW. I became independent. I learned how to pay bills and pay for groceries. I learned how to live with people other than my family. I learned how to be a little more spontaneous. I learned to do some things just for the sake of having the experience. I learned to push myself out of my comfort zone. How can you put a price on any of that?

Have you gone to college? Do you have a degree? Do you work in the field that you majored in? (BTW - Dave got a bachelor's in environmental science and he's an investment advisor - I LOVE writing those checks for our student loans;)

9 comments:

Manic Mom 8:28 PM  

Have you gone to college? Do you have a degree? Do you work in the field that you majored in? --

Yes to college, yes to my degree, journalism major.

I write, so does that mean I work in the field I majored in?

I got my MRS. Degree too!

Jen 8:40 PM  

Calvin was the best thing ever. I learned so much about how to be a grown up and how to be a critical thinker~thank-you Randy Bytwerk!

I have a degree in Communications and am 1 class shy of a degree in Poli Sci. I am at home with 3 little girls but I think I use my degree and my liberal arts educ. lots. Esp. working with the high school and college students.

Jen 8:41 PM  

And I got my MRS too! I always tease my dad about spending $40,000 for Tim and he says, "A bargain at any price."

biermadoc 9:25 PM  

I majored in Chemistry. I was great at it! By beginning of sophomore year I was working at Argonne Nat'l Labs, by the end of sophomore year I was published, by the beginning of junior year was presented at a major Chemistry Symposium and hated every minute of it. I loved the science of chemistry (especially the math)but hated the business of reserarch. So went to medical school instead, everyone needs a backup plan. Someday I tell you how I decided to switch.

JD 10:30 PM  

Chemistry - the only part of chemistry that I understood and enjoyed was organic and everyone else hated it and didn't get it. I was so bad at science, too...

My sister-in-law has her doctorate in immunology. My brother-in-law also has his doctorate in something similar (Michelle - is it immunology or something else?). They obviously love and are passionate about what they do - I, however, couldn't think of a worse death sentence... oh yeah, maybe another trip to the National Archives;)

Mommy Brain 7:43 AM  

I too was born missing the part of my brain that understands math problems. I am so afraid of it that when someone looks at me and says..."What's x + y?" I get that deer in a headlight sort of look. My mom used to tell me to ask more questions in class if I didn't understand...Mom, I'm so lost, I don't even know what questions to ask!

Communications/Business/MRS degreee here. I'm on stage a lot and have done some speaking engagements on different topics so I guess I use my degree? However, I was too afraid to get the degree I truly wanted which was Music...studpid teenager!

kkoois 9:09 AM  

jana, did i go to college? i'm not sure. i have a vague recollection of being somewhere for 4 years that was away from my parents...it's all a little fuzzy...

Carol 9:10 AM  

Would that be a deer in the headlight sort of look or could you compare it to the Indiana blank stare look? Either way, I get your point. I LOVE MATH! Give me a function, and I'll graph it and solve it for x and love doing it. I have no idea why I needed to learn that...like I use that in everyday life, but I loved the challenge! My degrees are AAS - computer programming and I'm certified for early childhood, yet did not earn the degree because I had to do the onsite internship and I already had a preschool teaching job and did not want to "waste" my hours at the college's early childhood learning center, when I could get paid for it elsewhere, and the college would not transfer the time from the other preschool that I was teaching at. Do I use those degrees today? Well, I had three boys, so understanding early childhood development came in handy. I thought I was going to be the 'best mom' because I had all these classes in early childhood. How come mothering is so much harder than I thought it would be? As far as the computer degree, I love computers, but don't actually program anything. Even though I suppose I could if I needed to. I copy html codes and learn how to change the color backgrounds and add pictures and stuff for my friend's blogs.

Amanda 3:01 PM  

Kim, I remember being there when you got home from some of those fuzzy nights...you were there, trust me! LOL!!!
Jana, I had Shoemaker too...he was a great prof.
The only thing that came out of my 1 1/2 yrs. at Calvin was my MRS. I transferred to a comm. college for my dental hygiene degree...and I still use it! :)

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