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Fathers that went back

  1. May 9, 2005 #1
    Hello all!

    I'm a first time poster on the forums. Been reading them for a while and never got the courage to post. I have a few questions, but not too many.

    First of all, let me give you some history. I went to school (College) for about a year or so. I should have around 18 credits, maybe 24. Right now my fiance is pregnant with our baby girl/boy (Not sure which yet). Currently I am working for an electrical company doing electrical work. Its good, honest work, but its not what I want todo with my life.

    Right now I am 23 years old, turning 24 in December and I want to go back to school. My fiance supports me going back to school for my physics degree. I would be going to a local college (www.ccsu.edu) and then going to another school for my graduate degree. But I am worried. Its not about the work, or studying (although I know its going to be very rough), I am worried about landing a job. My goal is to teach college level one day. And I just feel like I have waited too long in my life.

    And now for my question, are there any fathers out there that decided to go back to school? How hard was it? Did you land a good job after? Was getting your masters just as rough?

    To anyone that answers, thank you.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2005 #2


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    I returned to school when my stepchildren were 7 and 10. I rode on Unemployment Insurance, who financed my 10 week "college-equivalent" education.

    It really turned my life around. Went from dead-end McJobs in photo-processing industry, making $10 an hour, to a career in programming, which immediately doubled and eventually more than tripled my salary.
  4. May 9, 2005 #3


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    I was a little different. I was in grad school until age 28, but bouncing around from influence of the vietnam war, hence actually going backwards academically while treading water in school.

    I supported myself as a meat lugger.

    At 28 I left to teach in college, but only as a temp. I got married and had a child at 30. I went back to grad school at 32, on leave from my job, and found it the hardest thing i had ever done. Then i lost my teaching job. Had another child at 34, while still in school, and finished up at 35.

    The year before I could have finished up without losing my job, but had only a weak PhD and did not like that job anyway, so stayed in hopes of doing better work and getting a better job.

    Since I had a good PhD degree I found a decent job, and eventually had a bit of success. I am now a full professor at a state university, and have been a visiting scholar at some ivy league schools and in europe. Hard work goes a long way.

    23 is pretty young, and you are not going to get any moreso by waiting.

    I am glad I retired from meat lugging as it gets very hard to do as you age, harder than teaching thats for sure. besides about one out of 20 guys was a homicide victim each year I was there.

    as to salary, i made $8,000 a year as a lugger and only $14,000 7 years later as an assistant professor with a phd, so maybe teaching is a poor choice for salary reasons.
    Last edited: May 9, 2005
  5. May 18, 2005 #4
    Valseki, that's a tough one. If you are worried about having a good-paying job, as you should be with a child, teaching is not a good choice. There is also the cost of school plus the cost of not generating income while learning; both will be hard to make up with a paltry teacher's income. If you are capable of learning physics then you might consider computer programming; it generally pays well as DaveC426913 notes. You can learn physics on your own or maybe with night classes. If you still want to teach, you could do it unofficially, like here.
  6. May 21, 2005 #5
    First off, I want to thank all of you for responding.

    I have a few goals in life. One is to get a degree in physics. Another is to teach. Right now I am an electrician. I will be making ~50,000 in roughly 2 to 3 years. The pay is great, and being able to provide for my family is my main concern. When I go back to school, I will be taking night classes. I will still work full time, thus, income will still be coming in. Teachers don't make millions of dollars, and I understand that. Even if I teach 1-2 night classes a week and work as an electrician during the day, I will be fine.

    I must thank everyone again for taking time to post in my thread. I still have alot to think about with school, work and how it will affect my family. Without a doubt, my family, wife and child, will come first. my needs are last. But being last does not mean they cannot come true.

    Thank you again.

  7. May 21, 2005 #6
    Gah, I wish my dad was more like you guys. He's a smart man, I get ALL my math/logic smarts from him, but he's just SO AFRAID of taking risks. Seriously. He works as a welder/fitter right now. TOTALLY content that we (me, him, mom, 2 other kids) are slowly going bankrupt. Has his crappy $20/hour job, having to wear layers of clothing to protect himself, works outside. He could EASILY go to school and get an engineering degree, or at least take some extra courses and become a supervisor or something. But nope, he decided he wants to be in pain until he has to quit working.

    Sorry for the rant, it's just that if you guys could do it, he has no excuse. I would help him with homework, he would definately get financial aid, etc. He's just afraid. =/

  8. May 22, 2005 #7


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    "honor thy father and mother." parents are smarter than they seem at the time.
  9. May 28, 2005 #8
    He is smart, just scared of risks.

  10. May 28, 2005 #9
    "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." Of Marriage and Single Life. Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

    If you cannot understand why your father is risk averse, ponder this quotation from Francis Bacon. When you understand what Bacon meant, perhaps you can understand your father.
    Good luck,
    bill black
  11. May 28, 2005 #10
    When you understand that we are slowly going bankrupt anyway, you'll understand that there is no other choice.


    EDIT: And it's not even the risks. He works part time for a friend making 12/hour. He works on houses, making fences, etc. New houses were just built right by us. Those people want fences built and are willing to pay $2000+. But he didn't take the job. He'd rather take $12/hour.
    Last edited: May 28, 2005
  12. May 28, 2005 #11


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    in 20 years tell us how you did it all better. then we and probably also your father will say: good work. for now, take advantage of what you have, and be thankful. maybe you are more courageous than your father, that is evolution. congratuations. but he has helped you to the best of his ability. that is way above average.
  13. May 28, 2005 #12
    I can't believe you're siding with someone who a) is content in knowing we are going bankrupt and b) would rather work for $12/hour instead of making $2k a weekend for the exact same job

  14. May 30, 2005 #13
    How about you employ your dad for $12/hour to make the neighbors' fences?
  15. May 30, 2005 #14
    First off, $20 an hour isn't exactly a "crappy" job. As for "slowly going bankrupt", perhaps you should consider the fact that such a description currently applies to a very large segment of our society as corporations continue to hand out 2-3% raises per year, while cost of living/expenses continue to increase at faster rates than that.

    A lot of people in the past, particularly "children", have had to give up higher education in order to help support their families by getting jobs rather than being able to attend school after high school, and in some cases, even having had to give up high school educations. Rather than sounding so ungrateful, perhaps you should be doing more to help out?
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