I’m sure you think this post is going to be about the kids. After all, it’s back to school time for the kiddos – it would only make sense. But, no. This one is about me because I’m the one going back to school.
A little background on me for those that don’t know. I have a B.S. in Anthropology from Michigan State University. My concentration was Classical Archaeology (this means Rome/Greece). I did a Field School while in college so I actually know how to do the physical work and science of archaeology. I still love my chosen field of study.
But I didn’t go to graduate school. When I got out of undergrad, I just didn’t have the dedication of continue school, I wasn’t focused enough, and I wasn’t willing to put up with politics in academia. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can DO in my field without graduate school. So, I went out and got a job in the clerical field. I moved around a lot for a few years after college and worked a number of different jobs. I eventually landed in Pittsburgh when Scot proposed to me and I got a job as a faculty assistant at Carnegie Mellon. I worked there for 4 years until they laid me off when I was 7 weeks pregnant with Liam.
I’ve been a stay at home mother ever since. I’ve made a couple of attempts to go back to work but they haven’t worked out at all. It just made more sense for me to be home with the kids. It’s not always been the easy path but it felt like the right one.
Now, I am looking toward the time when I will have both kids in school. I’ve made it through those difficult early years when I wanted to be home with the kids as much as possible but I will soon be exiting that portion of my life. In addition, I feel like I’m finally on top of this whole Domestic Diva thing. Given those things, what the hell am I going to do with myself when they’re gone at school all day?
Plus, let me be honest – my brain is bored. Not to be uppity but I’m not stupid. I graduated college With Honors. After all these years at home I’m starting to feel like I need to feed my brain again. Part of that is because my kids are older and more independent. They don’t suck me dry like little vampires of need anymore. (Adorable vampires of need, don’t get me wrong, but certainly energy sucking.) Because of that, I can now focus on more than just getting from one end of the day to the other.
To that end, I’ve decided to go back to school to get certified in medical coding. I can do the entire program online at my own pace. There are a lot of things about this that make sense for my life. I know I can do school without the structure of a traditional classroom. With Jamie in preschool, I will have set time alone that I can work on schooling. Once I’m certified, there are a lot of jobs available in this area – many of which allow you to work from home. Also, there is a transition to a new coding system coming up in October of 2014 and there is a huge lack of people qualified in the new system. So I’m going to make myself qualified.
Even if my life doesn’t allow me to work full time, I’m getting to a point where I *could* work part time and still be home to get my kids off the bus. Ideally, I would like to work from home but I recognize that this may be something I have to earn with experience in the field first.
My first step in the process is to complete a basic Anatomy and Physiology course. Given that I’ve worked in medical offices, have a background in Latin (thanks, archaeology!), and grew up with two veterinarians who discussed surgery over the dinner table, I’m hoping that this will be fairly easy for me so that I can ease into the way that online schooling works. I ordered the book for the class and it should be here tomorrow; once Jamie starts school after Labor Day, I’ll register and get started.
I find that I’m excited about this and that shocks me just a little. It’s not like medical coding is a subject that engrosses me the way that archaeology does. But I’m detail-oriented enough to find the intricacies of the subject to be interesting. I never thought I’d want to deal with school again – class, and studying and tests, UGH! – but I’m ready. I wish I didn’t have to wait another couple of weeks to begin.
So, as I begin the process of school again, I take with me my father’s oft-shared advice on school: RTPT – Read The Problem Twice – and take no prisoners. I plan to do just that.