I am horribly tired of doing my schoolwork tonight so I decided to write about my decision and how it came about. if you remember I was trying to decide between a Master’s in Public Health Policy or a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, you can read about it here. For quite a few weeks, I was leaning towards PHP, and thinking about moving closer to the school. With that in mind the husband, littles and I drove down to look at the outside of a house that we had seen on the internet and to get a feel for the city close to the school. The drive was perfect, we didn’t get lost and it was pretty short considering. The closer we got to the house though, the more uncomfortable I became with the city. The best way to describe it is as something out of a redneck horror story. I fully accept the fact that I am a city girl but that city was creepy! We found the house and it did not look much like the house in the 14 photos at all! The garage was not a real garage, but a shed made of out cinder blocks that were so old they were mud brown with discoloration and I envisioned a dirt floor with dead bodies buried underneath it. Ok, so my imagination is vivid I am after all a bibliophile, what do you expect? the husband bravely got out of the van and walked around the house, while I stayed safe with the littles inside the van. He said it needed tons of work and it smelled like old rotting wood……ewwwww!!!
So we left and I told him there was no way that I would sell our house we have now for a house in worse condition even if it meant my continued commute! We also talked about how creepy the neighborhood was and how unhappy we would be. I was a bit freaked out by the experience and started wondering just what I should do, after all I was leaning towards this program but worried about the commute, being gone from my kids like now. Over the last few weeks, I have come to realize that in spite of how hard it is to homeschool while I am in college that I know that I am doing what is best for my children! I also realized that I couldn’t stop and send them to school, and that means that whatever program I decided on hinged upon my being able to continue to home school my children until the Peanut graduates from high school and goes off to college! Another 10 years worth of homeschooling!!!! I cannot put into words the deepness of commitment I feel towards my children and how necessary I feel it is to do what is best for them.
After we returned home, I was a bit stressed and went back to the school’s website about the MPH program and the first thing I see is a child receiving a vaccine. I had seen it before but somehow I kept it out of my mind but that night, it hit home to my brain that in a MPH field I could be writing up protocols for all the things that the medical profession stands for that I have spent the last 27 years of my life actively avoiding to the point of being involved in grassroots organization to change policies. Yet another hard hitting reality for me! The next few days revolved in my going back and forth and researching programs/times etc.
Finally after a great deal of soul searching I finally decided to go with getting my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I only have to take 9 credits a semester, which translates to 3 nights a week from 6-8:40pm!!! and the nights are Tues, Weds, and Thursday!!! Summer classes are not mandatory but I hope to take at least one class every summer so that I can graduate in three years! This particular program is 60 credits and will qualify me to take both levels of state boards, the initial one for licensing as a counselor and then after 3000 of supervision, I can take the PCC exam allowing me to work independently!!! Giving me a chance to fulfill my dream of having my own office one day! The best things is that I should have the opportunity to work afternoons/evenings allowing me to continue to homeschool the children and work.
I have made a tentative appointment to see my assigned advisor for next Monday at 4pm to register for classes and I will stop by financial aid while I am there to make sure they have my FAFSA and that I get everything in order for the fall. John Carroll is a great school and one of the best for counseling! In that regards, I am very happy. I can’t tell if I will have the opportunity to get an Ed.D yet but the fact that I could work independently one day may just suffice for me. One other very nice thing about JC is that it is close!!!! My commute will be so much shorter, less time away form my kids, more time for schooling them and getting my work done without so much stress about how to find the time for it all.
I feel so relieved about having finally made a decision and feel like this one is the best for everyone in my family, not just for me. I doubt that I would be happy if I had made a decision that negatively impacted my children even if the end result was a better paying job. I have never really wanted to be rich, just comfortable enough to travel a bit and not have to worry about how to pay for living expenses! I was also very worried about feeling as if I had compromised all of my beliefs in alternative medicine and my natural way of life. Sometime over the weekend I realized that a career means nothing if I have compromised all of my morals, beliefs and ethics. So I will do the career that allows me to maintain my standards and be happy with that.
So if you made it thus far, you are a trooper! I hope this all makes sense to you, right now I’m getting very tired and not sure of my coherence at this point!