Classes don’t start for a couple of months yet but I’m already getting in the back-to-school mental space.
I’m filling out more paperwork for Carnegie Mellon than I ever did for a public school and it’s amazing how much of it is, in fact, paper. Some of it I can do online, including applying for financial aid and course registration, but I still fill out paper forms to prove I have health insurance, my shots, etc. Online registration for courses is one of the best things to happen in the past 20 years — no getting up at o-dark-hundred just to wait in line for hours down at the administration building filling in bubble sheets and getting signatures from admins. (If you’ve only registered online, let me tell you about walking to school uphill in the snow both ways…)
A fair amount of my time in the past few weeks has also been spent researching student loans and other forms of funding. My employer has no sabbatical policy and little in the way of educational programs that I can use to pay for school. They’re good about flex-time and would probably pick up the tab for a specific class required by work, but that’s about it. I’m planning for the worst possible case: quitting my day job, starting school on loans, then picking up consulting work during the academic year as time permits.
Quitting could also be the best case if I can scrounge the cash for the first year and really focus on school. I’m going to school to get my core art and design skills whipped into shape by experts not just get some letters after my name (“BFA, IDSA”). I’d rather go to school for 3-4 intensive years and live cheaply instead of taking a night classes and dragging school out over ~8 years. It took me 7 years to get my first BA, I’d like to not repeat that process again.
Looking back at my last tilt at school, something that I really didn’t understand was money. My family never had much money and my father didn’t know how to manage what we had so I never learned how to manage money. I had no idea how finances worked, how to save or invest, why one should buy a house instead of rent, etc. In retrospect I didn’t have to go to a local city college, I could probably have gotten loans and grants for a much better school had I or my parents known how the system worked.
While I won’t spill the entire financial details of my life here, I think I will occasionally talk about some financial things. I’m probably not the only person so clueless about money that they didn’t even realize how clueless they were (are?) about money.
Ok, enough boring personal details. Next entry is about spimes and security, hope you like it.