Monday, October 22, 2012

Sometimes I wonder...

Sometimes I wonder if this whole grad school thing is worth it.

Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it's hard....

...and in all honesty, Bryan's going to get a PhD and so there's a pretty good chance that  I won't "need" my degree to support our family or anything...

...I mean, I already have a degree, I have a teaching license, and could get a "real" job if I wanted to.

I sometimes wonder because  I could be doing many other things right now...

... I could be working a "real" job, making a lot more money, saving up for a down payment on a house or something... I had a job offer you know... I turned it down...

... I could be starting a family, tutoring on the side or teaching at Sylvan or something...

... I could be doing lots of things.

So why am I still in school?

...sometimes I wonder because after a week of 18 hour days, the grass looks greener...

...but deep down I know why.

In the Doctrine and Covenants we are taught that

"The glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth." (Doc & Cov 93: 36)

and that

"...if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (Doc & Cov 130:19)

and that we are to

"seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith;  organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." (Doc & Cov 109:7-8)

I believe that we all have the potential to become like God. But, if we are to become like Him, we must learn the things that he knows. 

The Creator of the Universe must, by necessity, be an expert scientist, an expert mathematician, a Master of life sciences, and an amazing artist. 

He knows everything...and so we need to strive to always be learning too.

I don't think this means that I have to be in college forever, but the harder I work now and the more I learn now, I will have "so much the advantage in the world to come" when I need to learn everything else.

Now, that covers that... but what about for now? Why is this degree so important for my life now? 

Well, among other things, I don't think it's very wise to intentionally put off an opportunity like this... living in a country where education is so widely accessible, I feel like I need to take advantage of every bit of it that I can.

Another reason? Because I want my children to value an education. I want them to see that their mom has a masters degree and their dad has a PhD and understand that getting a good education is one of the most valuable things you can possibly do. I want them to be surrounded by learning and books and intelligent conversation and high expectations.

Another reason? Because becoming a competent participant in the field of Mathematics Education Research is stretching me in ways that are so good for me. I'm not only getting the opportunity to teach while I go to school, I'm pushing myself harder than I ever have before, and I'm becoming better... a better learner, a better teacher, a better writer, a better professional, and a better person... and it's one of the most satisfying things in the world. I believe that our souls long for progression and improvement... and this delivers.

Another reason? Because I can. Because I can do hard things... and to prove that to myself day after day is awesome.

Another reason? Because we have all been given gifts and talents, and it is our responsibility to develop them and use them to build the Kingdom of God on the earth. I teach math. I have that to offer, so I have a responsibility to use that to do the Lord's work. If right now that means that I need to teach Calculus 2 to 130 students at BYU? I will.

Another reason? Because it is important to the Lord that we be competent participants in the comings and goings of the world in these last days before the Savior comes again. We are to be in the world but not of it... that means we are to be in the world, preparing it for when the Savior comes again. If I don't come up with a way to participate in the betterment of our society and the future generations, I'm not doing my part.

...and so, I'm in grad school... I work long days, weeks go by way too fast to get everything done, my brain is constantly being stuffed with more than it can possibly take in at once...

... and I'm happy.

1 comment:

  1. You inspire me! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... :)