On Becoming a Graduate Student (Again!)

school-books-woodsy-sxchu.jpgPlease excuse my sporadic blogging here at the Studio. Things have been really hectic on my side of the sky over the last few weeks.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been going through a lot of decision-making processes in various areas of my life. And, as some of you may have already read through my Tweets/Plurks/FB updates, one of the things that I’ve ended up deciding on recently is going back to University.

Yes, today marks my first day back as a Student. This time, I’m doing a Master of Teaching in Special Education. And yes, this is the second postgraduate degree that I’ve enrolled in.

You see, in 2004, I was awarded a Master of Social Science in Applied Psychology. This was a few years after I finished my four-year Bachelor of Science in Psychology undergraduate degree. And, while these qualifications enabled me to become a psychologist while I was living in Singapore, there are other requirements here in Australia to become a registered psychologist. In fact, I was actually doing an approved psych registration programme through my work as a Graduate Officer in Psychology a couple of years ago in a local organisation for people with disabilities.

But, due to a “crazy opportunity” that I’ve come across online, that plan was put aside to pursue another dream. πŸ˜‰

However, now that that opportunity has shifted gears, I knew that I’ll be happiest* if I go back to my “occupational roots” — of doing Values-Based Work that I’ve always loved. Something that is more than “just a job”. Something that’s not all about the “bottomline” or rankings or titles. Something that can really make a difference.

Sure, I know I’ll always have my entrepreneurial side. I can’t help it. My parents raised me with business on the brain. After all, I did start making money through business since I was 10 years old. So, no matter what I do, I’ll always come up with some business idea that I can tie in to my passion. That’s why even now, I already have some projects-in-the-making that relate to my current interest in kids and education.

I mean, money’s great, right? Having money is even more wonderful, of course. It’s no use pretending that it’s not important. It is. Very much so. But, money’s not everything.

Yeah, to me, the key element in a Life’s Work is this: Passion.

I love being able to pursue work that empowers me to carry out such passion. And creativity. And meaning. And joy.

That’s why as I sang and drummed to the beat of some silly poem (as well as marched and carried out hysterical movements to fun sounds) during my “Music + Movement Teaching” workshop today, I felt right at home.

This is something that I need to do. Right here, right now.

And, while the thought of doing assignments, presentations, and exams scare me, I’m also really, really excited as I peruse my Topic Information Booklets, Readings, and Text Books.

Will I be able to complete this graduate degree? Well, we all have 2+ years to find that out! Wish me luck.

*Bliss, being my word-of-the-year, was a good guide to my decision-making!

Image courtesy of: Steve Woods (sxc.hu)

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  1. says

    It’s been really interesting going back to the academic world I think. It is such a different experience this time around, and I mean that in a good way!

    What you said about passion being the key element in life work, I could not agree more which is why I returned when I did. Life is too short to spend it doing something I have no passion for. I want a career, not a job. I want to wake up in the morning with enthusiasm, and fall asleep at night excited about things.

    Sounds like you are getting settled in okay. I understand all to well how difficult it is to blog while attending university. I can’t even write a decent post because my mind is always racing a million miles a minute. Good luck with your studies Shai!

    • says

      Yes, Kari. I know you can empathise with my blog posting schedule right now. :-) And, you’re right about Uni being different this time around. I’m experiencing a different thing altogether – studying as an older student (with kids!) + new environment/culture, etc. Really, really different. But, very interesting anyway! I wish you all the best with your studies too!

  2. says

    Shai, best to you on this journey! I’ve found it both scary and exciting being in school. Took me a bit to get my bearings, but I’m loving it these days. Except when I’m overwhelmed. Like I am now…which is why I’m here instead of finishing my psych. homework πŸ˜€

    You can do it!

    • says

      LOL, Angela. I think I understand what you mean about being both scared and excited. AND overwhelmed. I was scared/excited to start with too. Then, elated. Now, I’m in the overwhelmed category. But, hopefully, will get past that too at some stage. What comes next, I wonder? Good luck with your foray in to the academic life too! :-) So glad I’m sharing the experience with friends like you. :-)

  3. says

    Shai it’s great that you made the decision to follow your passion. You’ll do really well I’m sure. Now get back to study!

    • says

      Ooops, yes, ma’am! πŸ˜‰ No, seriously, thanks Jen. I’m not sure how well I’d do – but I’ll be happy just to finish the whole thing and graduate in 2 years’ time with the same passion (or deepened one!). Hehe.

  4. says

    “But, money’s not everything… the key element in a Life’s Work is this: Passion”

    – It takes a tad longer for today’s youth to finally embrace this ideal. I for one would like to think that it’s that easy. It takes courage and and a lot of patience to finally decide to traverse a road that was once but a dream.

    I hope I’d get to enroll in my MS of choice this year. Sacrifices would have to be made though. Thanks a bunch for this post. Made me think, really. πŸ˜›

    Peace out from the toilet’s room… !

    • says

      Thanks, TT. And yes, I know such a sentiment is a bit idealistic. But hey, how are we go to live a more exception life if we don’t set some idealistic values, hey? πŸ˜‰ I wish you all the best with your MS application too. Keep us posted!

  5. says

    congrats on being a student again, Shai! I wish I could go back. I don’t know if I have enough brain power left to become a student again but I did love my student life!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your projects

    C xx

    PS See you in June!

    • says

      You have more than enough brainpower, Christine, I’m sure. You’ll be great with it, if you ever decide to go back. And thanks again for the encouraging words. Really, really appreciate your friendship. *hugs* Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  6. says

    All the best to you, Shai! I know you’ll do a wonderful job as a student, and will continue to excel when put you that new knowledge to use in the future. Following your passion is so important, and you’re a great example of that constant renewal, rebirth, redirection that is such an important part of life. May you continue to grow and find fulfillment in your new passions.
    Much love.

    • says

      Ah, thanks so much for that, Nenette. That’s wonderful to read. I’m really, really grateful for people like you who make my life a lot richer. I wish you all the best too!

  7. says

    I’m glad it’s fun as well as learning! My course certainly doesn’t involve a lot of fun and joy- especially this Semester with the nursing research stuff! There a lot of cranky students in the group- we’ll just have to keep our noses down and tails up! All the best with the course!

    • says

      Thanks, Kay! That’s the beauty of this programme, I find. It has a lot of fun bits in it – even if it does ask for a lot of work to be put in too. And yikes on cranky students. Wouldn’t want to be next to anything/anyone cranky right now. πŸ˜€ Good luck this semester too! Looking forward to hearing about more distinctions and honours. πŸ˜‰

  8. says

    Congratulations Shai on returning to school. Graduate school will no doubt be exciting, and of course time consuming, but I think you will juggle it all well. I hope you will keep us all posted on your studies. Kudos.

    • says

      Hi, Michelle. Thanks so much for that. While I do enjoy grad school, I am finding that TIME is what I don’t have enough of. So, that’s the biggest challenge. But, learning to work it out is part of the whole thing. :-) I appreciate your well wishes!

  9. OC Glyzie says

    Hi Shai! Congratulations for the right decision you have chosen. I also want to go back to study. Yesterday, I graduated from a 7-day post graduate course in University of the Philippines. And now I am missing a lot of stuff that reminded me of being in college. I still have a hang-over of our course evaluation reporting and graduation yesterday. If only I can stop the clock; i’ll do it! Just to be in that school forever. My experiences from UP made me decide to continue my masterals in Nursing. It is so exciting to learn new things. Just cant hardly wait for the enrollment! Cheers! =) Good luck to your journey! Your post is so inspiring!