What if…

August 21, 2009

You’ll recognize these as college campus scenes. One is the University of Iowa, where I spent two summer weeks studying writing about a decade ago. The winter and fall scenes are at Syracuse University, where I first went to college.

The University of Tampa is very different. An urban campus in the Florida heat. Smaller by far. And yet, walking around campus, I always get this frisson of longing. I love the campus environment. The students walking around with books, my knowing just how they feel to be away at school. And I love being around academia: the way everyone works to give students that college experience. To challenge their thinking. To help them grow.

I can’t really explain why I love it. I just know that I always have. Especially a traditional campus with season changes, and all that brings with it.

I left my college career too early, I know, before I was ready. I got married young and finished college as a married student, so I missed some of that college experience. That may be why I physically long for it at times.

Last year I fantasized about trying to find adjunct teaching work at the University of Iowa. I fell in love with the very traditional campus and toyed with the idea of living in a tiny place and just teaching. I even went online periodically to check out teaching jobs in my field.

Today I had a half day training session at UT. Walking through campus to the Sykes Building, I had a new thought: What if I finished my PhD?

It would take 3-4 years to finish. Am I too old to go back to it? Meaning too old to have any meaningful job prospects?

Going back to school is a thought I’ve always rejected. But today, for the very first time, it’s come up.

Hmmm. A thought I need to sit with a while.

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