Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Decision Made

This morning, I went to eat breakfast and took the novel Bee Season with me. I started it a couple of days ago, and I thought at first that the main character's point of view was very cute, and the book was funny. However, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to sustain my interest in it. I am easily bored by coming of age novels, and I'm sure that's what this novel will end up being one. (When I read books like this, I wish I could read as quickly as Valerie. She would probably have already finished the book by now.) Anyway, I was enjoying it while I ate breakfast, but periodically I had thoughts of wishing I was reading something else, something different. So after I finished eating, I gave in to my desire to go to the bookstore.

I had fought that temptation all week. I really can't afford to buy any new books until my next payday, nor do I need more books to read. I have over twenty books on my bookshelves that I plan to read some day. However, I love to buy books, so I will still go buy more when I can afford it. Today, I was good and didn't buy anything, but I really wanted several books and really wanted to read several books I already have but was reminded of them when I saw copies on the shelves. Walking the bookstore aisles, picking out book after book that I would love to have time to read before work starts back, I realized once again that I can't bear the thought of having to go back to work. I hate not having time to read and study for myself. Scanning the shelves for new books, I kept noticing the books that I teach. Seeing A Prayer for Owen Meany almost gave me an anxiety attack. My AP students are reading that this summer , and I haven't even begun to reread it, which I must do before school starts. However, I don't want to reread it; I would rather read something that I've never read before. I want to read for myself, not for my students.

For a while now, I have said I will teach one more year, and spend the year working toward leaving the classroom for good. I thought this was a good plan, but I knew that I had to make some decision about what I would do once I left the classroom. I kept vacillating between becoming a librarian and teaching at a community college/university and anything else that didn't involve teaching. I knew that I had to have a real plan and put it into action, but I just kept talking about it and doing nothing. Recently Valerie pointed out to me that I can't work toward a negative, that I have to work toward something. I admitted that I had been thinking the same thing and that I knew that I needed a concrete plan, or I would drift along and be in the same position next summer.

So I have decided to pursue a Master's of Library Science from University of North Texas. Also, I have almost decided that I can give up finishing my thesis for a Master's of Literature without feeling too much guilt. I really am just not interested in the topic right now. It's too stale for me, I think. Finishing that thesis really wouldn't open any new doors for me anyway. I can't afford to pursue a Ph. D., nor do I believe that I have the ambition to do so. Of course, as my friend Penny said, "...there is something to be said for just muscling through and to hell with any insecurities about 'how good it is'--how many master theses are even read anyway? Just get it over with." So this part of my decision is not definite yet. However, if I can afford to start working on the library science degree in the fall, then I think the literature thesis will be put away forever. I certainly won't be able to pay to work on it and the library science degree at the same time at two different universities.

Now, if I can just not feel guilty about quitting on the literature degree then I think I will be okay. And, of course, I have to cope with the depressing prospect of teaching for another year. Damn, I hate it when I make what should be a positive decision and end up still being depressed by it. Well, maybe I'll feel better in the morning--not likely since I will have more guilt for not finishing my short story today. Sometimes, I think I will never do anything but sit around and whine and complain about me not doing anything. I better to go to bed now so I don't sit here and become morose.


Valerie said...

Honestly, I think you gave up on doing your thesis a long time ago. While I ultimately agree with Penny, I think perhaps it is best that you just let it go. Put it all away. Go 100% toward the library degree and don't look back.

And yes, you will have to teach another year, but in the meantime you will be working toward your goal. I think that will make the year better.

This isn't as smooth as I would like, but it's too late for me to be eloquent. :-(

Kim said...

Don't worry about lack of eloquence, it was late--you must have had a really good time out last night. Of course, you're right about my thesis. I should have said that I will finally admit to giving up on it. I guess I should return that overdue library book that I've never looked at this summer. :-)