The Past In My Future
Last summer was pretty rough for me, so a good friend suggested that I should take some time to dream about what I would do with my life if I could do whatever I wanted to. It didn't take long for me to decide that I would study the Ancient Near East. For many people this may sound like a dull and boring subject. However, I think it is fascinating, especially so when you attempt to sort out how the different cultures are interconnected and how out of this amazing time in history the great book of books we call the Bible was formed. As I child, I'll admit, I too thought that history was boring. The reason for this is that history was never put together as a story, but as a list of dates and people who were never shown in my classes as part of a greater context. There was no logical order, no sense of meaning in the history of my school years. Just dates and names. But, when you look at history as the great story of our ancestors whose lives changed the world, sometimes for good, and othertimes not so good, then history becomes a grand epic. Suddenly, we can understand why the Jews, Christians and Muslims, just can't seem to get along (something I couldn't understand when the subject came up in school). Many other issues can be comprehended by looking into the past. Maybe if we spent a little more time understanding our past, we would be better equipped for the future.
Anyway, my friend's advise was good advise. However, for me to do that which I would most like to, I would need to return to the college world, and my family would also have to go with me to that world. Such a life change at the age of thirty and with three young children to care for seems almost too challenging to achieve. I am certain that if I am to pursue an education or eventual career in this field that I need to start right away. I would need to learn at least four foreign languages, some of which are out of use. I could make life easier and stick with a particular language family, but in doing so I would limit my ability to research the things I want to study. So, I'll probably learn not only four (or more) other languages, but also four very different languages. I know that my ability to learn languages will diminish the older I get, so I shouldn't delay in doing so. The first obstacle however is to simply move to and get into college. Along with that obstacle is another: money. Will I need to both work and take classes? Then, could I balance work, school and family? Would I be able to keep up with the young minds of classmates who can devote as much time as they please to their studies?
I know which university I would probably enter, if they would even accept me. I have no idea what the criteria are for admissions of continuing education students. I do know that I would need to take undergrad courses to acquire the qualifications for post graduate studies. The university has good financial aid programs, but I don't know if they are only for undergraduates, or if they apply to post graduate students as well. I should meet with a continuing ed advisor at the university, but it is a four hour drive from here and I am afraid that I'll travel all that way and spend money for lodging just to have them tell me that the costs are too high. But if I don't go, then I've failed already.
Meanwhile, I have been watching for job openings in the university museum. Such a position seems to be an ideal starting point. I would be working for the university which means I would have a large discount on tuition (as would my family). Also, I would be working in the area of my interest and perhaps could learn quite a lot outside of the classroom setting. I would also have easier access to the resources that are so mysteriously locked away in the back rooms and archives. And, we would have a stable source of income to help us transition to a new location. My resume however isn't terribly exciting. I have spent the last five years as a stay at home mom and occasionally volunteering for things. I am sure that the five year gap in my resume is unappealing to most employers. I think I'd be better off just sending an essay on why they should hire me and offer to send a resume on request, lol. Unfortunately, most universities have online application systems which apparently weed out anyone whose resume does not fit certain criteria; so it may take a miracle just to be considered.
For now, I'll continue to study independantly, learning from the few resources I can get my hands on.