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Graduation
CheshireKat
#1 Print Post
Posted on May 05 2012 02:05 PM
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I did it!

I have officially graduated from my four-year university with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology. It was a long, bumpy, crazy road during which I took more math classes than an Anthropology student even needed (because my major was Psychology for a while).

I eventually decided to stick with Anthropology for myriad reasons, but honestly, I'm still glad that I took those extra math classes anyway. I ended up taking Pre-Calculus Algebra, Trigonometry, and Stats 1. I had to repeat the first two classes, but I did, and I got A's and B's in all of them.

I learned more about myself in the past 4 years than I ever have in my entire life up to now. I learned, for one thing, that I have a learning disability. I also learned that I was not about to let that learning disability, or anything else, stand between me and my goals. No matter what, I was going to get my degree. No matter what, I would succeed.

And I did. So here I am, now, with my Bachelor's degree. My tassel is hanging from my rear-view mirror, and every time I see it I just start laughing because I'm so happy that I DID IT. I really did it! Math didn't stop me, foreign language didn't stop me, ADHD didn't stop me, nothing. Nothing stopped me.

And as I look towards the future, nothing will stop me. I have been quiet about it on the forum, but I was accepted to graduate school starting in the fall. It is a Master's degree program in Community Sciences. Basically the program is geared towards social development in the areas of education, health, family programming, etc.

My particular focus is in non-profit management, so that I can eventually work in the non-profit sector providing health awareness and access to low-income populations. That's the dream, anyway! I hope you are all willing to support me through this whole new set of challenges.

Anyway, this is me taking my big bow, because I know you all understand how much hard work it took to get to this point. But this is also me thanking you, profusely. I would not have made it through these last four years without the support of the great people on this forum.

Through the highs and lows, through all of the math disasters, throughout everything, I have always been able to come here and vent, seek advice, give advice, commiserate, and just generally enjoy this community. So thank you. You were part of the support group that got me here, and I couldn't have done it without you.

So now, onward, to grad school. Smile
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer
 
justfoundout
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Posted on May 06 2012 06:46 PM
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Location: Texas USA
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5/6/12
Amazing that I get to be the first to congratulate you. So happy for you, Kat! I hadn't known that an Anthropology degree could be so useful. I really like the 'non-profit management' idea. It borders on Social Work, doesn't it?

Colleges will only be giving Pell Grant for a maximum of 9 semesters now, not 12 as before. This will impact the LD people more than the general population, since we have a harder time choosing a Major and completing some of the classes. My 9th semester with Pell Grant is this coming Fall semester. By the skin of my teeth, I'll still have the Federal funding to finish my degree. If I fail one of those last classes, I'll have to pay to re-take it out of my own (empty) pocket. This is new. The law was passed last year, but it is just now going into effect this Fall.

Again, Kat. I'm so glad that you made it, and that you'll have a rewarding career. Best wishes for grad school. - jus'
 
CheshireKat
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Posted on May 06 2012 07:54 PM
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Jus,

Thank you so much!

And to be honest, I didn't realize Anthropology was so useful either! If college has taught me one thing more than anything, it's that your degree totally doesn't box you in to one particular field. You just have to figure out how to make the skills you learned in your degree applicable to a broader spectrum of job fields.

For example, in my grad application essay I wrote about how having a degree in Anthropology has taught me a lot about utilizing a holistic point of view when assessing a social problem, versus just focusing myopically on one particular aspect of it. Anthropology is a holistic field more so than any other social science, it requires you to view ALL aspects of an issue, not just the business side, or the psychological side, or the political side, etc.

It also teaches cultural relativity and sensitivity to people of different cultural backgrounds, and facilitates understanding between people with different points of view (very important in any workplace). A degree in the social sciences also teaches critical thinking skills and develops writing skills, both important skills to have no matter what you do with your career after college.

I could go on, but basically I had a meeting with one of my favorite professors and she really showed me just how versatile and useful a degree in Anthropology can be. (That was refreshing to hear, considering how our state governor has in recent months slammed the field of Anthropology, as well as other liberal arts fields, for not being "useful" in the workforce in his opinion.)

This is really true of any liberal arts degree. In fact, I might collect my thoughts/things my advisor taught me and make a whole separate post about it in the education section of the forum.

Anyway, yes, my Master's program is essentially in the field of social work/human services, without being a degree in Social Work. I won't be trained in clinical services (which I don't really want to do anyway!), it will focus more on managing and developing social outreach programs such as non-profit organizations, government-funded education/extension programs, etc.

I sincerely hope that you are able to finish up your degree in the last semester of your Pell Grant funding! I know how tight funds have been for you throughout your educational experience, and it would just be awesome if you could finish up without having to pay any tuition fees out of pocket.
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer
 
Ladyhawke
#4 Print Post
Posted on May 06 2012 08:14 PM
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CONGRATULATIONS, CheshireKat! Smile

Your post left me in tears. I'm SO happy for you. More than anyone, people on this forum know how tough it is to overcome a learning disability in order to finish your studies the way you did. You have every right to be proud of your accomplishment.

Wishing you only the best in all your future endeavours. Smile

Ladyhawke
Algebra? When I learn decimals and fractions, you're welcome to try teaching me, but unless you have the patience of a saint and are very long-lived, good luck with that... Grin
 
justfoundout
#5 Print Post
Posted on May 06 2012 10:02 PM
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5/6/12
Yes, a post about how to use an anthropology degree would be well-received here, Kat. Go ahead with this. It may start a trend.

I'm seeing that there is a ruling called WEP. To prevent 'double dipping', the governement fixed it so that if a person is a teacher, that person can't receive both social security and draw from the teacher's retirement fund. In times past, people used to start with a career and keep it their entire lifetime. But nowadays, people go back and forth between careers. Some people have lost up to half of their Social Security by working a short time as a teacher. Yet, may not work enough as a teacher to make up for what they lost in Social Security money.

In short, I may be better off getting a job teaching at a Charter school, rather than getting teacher certification and working in the Public School system.

Thanks for the support with finishing my BA in Spanish, Kat. Should I walk in graduation? - jus'
 
CheshireKat
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Posted on May 06 2012 10:19 PM
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Jus, I absolutely think you should walk at commencement, you deserve to stand up in front of everyone and be celebrated for how hard you've worked over the past few years to get to where you are now! It's obviously a personal choice, some people don't feel like it's a big deal, some do. I think with as hard as you've worked (arguably harder than most people do for their degrees) you ought to stand up and celebrate it. Smile

I think I will write that post about liberal arts degrees and their under-appreciated value. Might be good for people to stumble across in the future and help them not feel so disheartened about not being able to pursue a "lucrative" or "more useful" degree due to math requirements. I know it definitely made me feel much better about the trajectory of my future career when I had that talk with my professor!

Ladyhawke, thank you very much! I am so happy that after the past four years of struggle, I finally have a degree to my name. Smile
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer
 
heathermomster
#7 Print Post
Posted on May 07 2012 02:31 PM
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Awesome, awesome, awesome...Congratulations!
 
justfoundout
#8 Print Post
Posted on May 07 2012 08:38 PM
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Location: Texas USA
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5/7/12
Thanks, Kat. I'll get to work on getting my 'honors' scarf in that case. ;) - jus'
 
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