Saturday, July 13, 2013

Education Motivation

I was recently talking with our new Chief who is really down to earth and not really involved in any programs at work yet to be super busy yet.  Most people who are higher ranking than you usually have some pretty standard questions they ask their sailors to get to know them better.  Are you married?  Do you have kids?  Are you from the South (to me since I still seem to talk like a hick)?  Are you working on your degree?

To the last question, I usually catch folks off-guard because I've already completed my bachelor's degree.  Then the conversation goes a different route.  1-  Why aren't you an officer?  2-  Are you working on your Master's?

1.  Well, honestly, I'm not an officer because I had a particularly shitty officer recruiter who covered the entire western side of NC.  He didn't seem to be in need of recruits, so he didn't bother with me because my graduation gpa was 2.968.  It wasn't a 3.0, so it wasn't good enough for him and he acted like even meeting me for 15 minutes was a waste of his time.  There's some other stuff that went down, but lets also add the fact that working as a server at Texas Roadhouse wasn't really covering the bills and I needed a job, uhhh yesterday, so the pressure was on.

2.  No.  When I graduated Teh Mom asked me if I was going to get my Master's.  I looked her straight in the eye and asked her if she was paying for it.  She said, "no."  To which I responded, "Me either."  Well folks, that's not a valid excuse anymore.  I have the GI Bill AND I could use Tuition Assistance ((TA) remember that program that the DoD threatened to cut and every servicemember using TA and all the dependents of the DoD got up in arms about?), the money is there.

But guess what isn't... my motivation.  I have absolutely no motivation to come home every day and do homework.  I enjoy my evenings sitting on FB and reading through Reader Feedly and getting to take Phil out for a walk and having time to do a good workout in the evenings and make dinner and be lazy.  That Chief asked me how long it had been since I graduated from college.  I had to count...  on two hands how long it had been since I graduated college (Dec 2007).

For a long time, I had a valid excuse.  I don't want to do more school work so soon after graduating (pre-Navy).  Once I joined the Navy, I was busy with bootcamp and A school and C school.  Then I went to GTMO and I already had my degree so I didn't care.  Also, the internet was barely real internet.  I wasn't worried about getting a Master's degree.  Then I was in Bahrain, working 12 hour days.  Master's homework + 12 hour days?  Ain't nobody got time for that.  Then I came to S.MD and I just wanted to enjoy being in the US again, not having the stress of 12 hour days, of not being brand new at my job (which is only partically true), and I already had my degree.

Then that Chief looked at me and said, "Every year you don't use TA, you're taking over $4,500 that the Navy is willing to give you, for free, and throwing it away.  It's the dumbest thing ever.  I've been doing random certifications since I realized what I was wasting.  Even if they aren't huge accomplishments.  They are FREE!"

So with less than 2 years left in the Navy (probably), I'm strongly considering starting my Master's.  Not only will this move make me potentially more marketable when I do (probably) get out of the Navy, but then people will stop harassing me about why I'm not working on my education.

My other options for education are to get my Enlisted Air Warfare Specialization (EAWS) pin (which I am supposedly required to get before leaving VX-1) and getting promoted to E-6.

The test to promote to E-6 happens every 6 months, and I am required to take it, so really, the focus there is just studying my pants off to actually do well on the exam and pass...  Since this exam rolls around every 6 months, I try to start studying a few months in advance.  I've already started studying for my September exam since I will be in school in DC for 2 weeks in August (woot!), which will definitely cut into my normal study time.

For my EAWS pin, I'd have to learn about an aircraft (since I'm at a squadron and all) and someone talking to me about aircraft is like me talking to someone who has never heard of WoW about guilds and raids and levels and experience points and character races and talent points and armor scores.  It is overwhelming.  I've yet to actually find someone that is willing to sit down and literally teach me the material.  They want me to read over the provided materials and regurgitate the information back to them.  Sadly, I don't learn well that way, which is really why I have no motivation to complete the program.  At least with the IDW program, there were briefs you could attend and ask questions, even if it was just someone reading a slide, I was hearing the information.  There is no training given on these subjects, so it really starts to feel like a self-taught thing.

I'm definitely not comfortable teaching myself something about which I have absolutely NO knowledge on at all.  Gentle Readers, I didn't even know what FOD was, and FOD walkdown is so important it happens everyday, first thing in the morning.  BTW, FOD stands for Foreign Object Debris.  It's the crap that could potentially get sucked into an aircraft's intake/engine and cause problems to the aircraft or potentially injure personnel.

So yeah, I'm not sure where this motivation is coming from..  but I should probably follow through on this before I lose the momentum....  Anyone know any good (online) graduate schools/programs for me?

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