Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

masters options

My college published next semester's schedule of courses and it looks awful. Basically, there are two courses I was looking for... if I could fit them both in, I'd be qualified to take the exit exam. I've heard the exam isn't so terrible, and even if it was, I could take it again next semester... I'd have to stick around and take one more course to fulfil the hours requirement anyway.

Unfortunately one of the courses is offered in the evening (nice) and the other is in the middle of the morning, THREE DAYS A WEEK, which means I'll be stuck in the office until 6-6:30 every night making up time. Could not be worse.

So here are my options:

  1. Suck it up and take both courses. Sure my schedule will almost kill me, but the knowledge that it'll be practically over afterwards will keep me going. I mean, it take more than four months of torture to kill Spacefem.
  2. Take the evening class, since it's four hours, focus on it and relax. There's another class planned for the next semester that will finish qualifying me for the exit exam, so just hope/pray that it's offered at the right time and that I don't need more than one chance to pass the test.
  3. Quit. This looks better every day.
  4. Switch to the thesis option and let the complex begin.

If I switch to thesis, I'll take one laid-back evening class next semester and be done with classes. I'll also work on the thesis for a year, hopefully. The scariest thing about that is the horror stories I've heard re: thesis students taking longer than expected. One professor said it was rare for engineering students to fail the exit exam and have to take it the next time around, but very common for thesis students to require an extra semester or two to complete their programs.

On top of that the thesis scares the bejeebus out of me, because it will require talking to professors a lot more, and every time that happens I risk them finding out that I'm really not that smart. Yeah, I know some of you think I'm smart, but trust me, it's just because I'm good at faking it. If you were to go to the mall in Wichita and interview 20 random people plus yours truly, I would probably seem very smart. School is totally different though; when talking to a PhD who expects every one of his graduate students to be on the PhD track, while assisting him with cutting-edge research and papers, I basically question my entire existance as an engineer and wonder why I didn't just stick with my job at the shoe store that I got when I was 17. I always felt smart at that job.

I'm also good at taking tests. I can't explain it, but there's this competitive streak that takes over when I'm faced with a sheet of questions in a quiet room. This has also helped me get far without ever really knowing too much.

But I'm good at writing too, so if that can make up for some stupidity maybe a thesis wouldn't be a horrible idea. The schedule would work out a lot better, and I have to admit that I've always felt sort of bad for not writing a thesis... I'd like to have something concrete to show people, bring to job interviews, that sort of thing. And I'd like to have a brilliant topic to discuss with you all... I'll probably chose a topic related to information theory, it'll be math-y, it'll be fun. If it doesn't kill me.

So that's what's in my mind today... I might try to go see a professor about this tomorrow, to ask him if a thesis-in-a-year is possible, because the more I look at the options the more I think I should just suck it up and write it.
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