I wanted to go to grad school, I wanted to further my degrees, but I didn't want either of those specialties. While perhaps prestigious and money-making, these paths didn't interest me in the least. So as Robb and I ebbed and flowed in our conversations about grad school, I held off. It didn't seem smart to begin a degree I really didn't want.
(There were a few other factors in place: Robb was nearly finished with his MBA, we couldn't afford simultaneous tuitions for two, and a couple little boys came along to offer an education of their own. Oh, and Robb didn't love being in school, but he also didn't want his leapfrog wife to jump the gun. He often teased, "No, our address labels will not read Dr. and Mr.)
Then I read Love Walked In.
On the back cover, I found this bio:
"An award-winning poet with a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing, Marisa de los Santos lives in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband and two children. Love Walked In is her first novel."
Okay, first of all, when a book says "New York Times Bestseller" on the front and "This is her first novel" on the back, I am instantly intrigued. This is someone I want to know better.
I remember running my fingers over those words, as if I were reading braille. I thought, "I could write! I could get a masters and doctorate in creative writing, and I could write forever. I wonder if I could really do that. Do people really do that? Look at that -- Marisa did."
(Sidenote: If I fall in love with your writing, you'll work your way into my head, and that means I'll take the liberty to call you by your first name. It's a natural progression for me, since we've had many coffee dates together, even if you perhaps don't recall being there.)
I began to think that this path was really quite noble, that it thumbs the nose at a culture that says a degree must pay for itself, that you've got to be sure you can succeed before you make the investment, and that learning is only valuable if it promises a salary.
An artist's degree says to the naysayers, "Well, yes, I could have a more linear path if I choose what you say I should do. And if my gifts matched that professional path, then I hope I wouldn't hesitate. But my heart loves something else, and I only get one go at this. I choose what I love. A Ph.D. in creating."
So I am taking the plunge.
January 2012. Grad School: Here I come.