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What to do with my life

  1. Sep 16, 2005 #1
    I finished a bachelors degree in Geology 3 years ago, but haven't used it yet. In fact, after 4 years of it I'm happy to never look at another rock again. I've been thinking about going back to school when my wife finishes her Ph.D. but I'm not sure what to go in to.

    I've always enjoyed physics and math, but didn't take much of either in college and was thinking about getting some textbooks and doing some self-taught work for awhile while I think about whether or not I want to go back to school.

    My career is currently doing ethical reviews of doctoral students research, and it's interesting, but probably not lifelong interesting.

    Anyway, any advice on books to read in physics, mathematics, or the philosophy of science would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Jeff
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2005 #2
  4. Sep 16, 2005 #3

    JasonRox

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    Gold Member

    You can find plenty of books online for free.

    I'm currently going through...

    Basic Concepts of Mathematics by Elias Zakon.

    Get the book here.

    I'm writing a journal about it too. Here is the link to the journal...

    View my journal.

    You can follow along with me. I just started not too long ago.

    You might want to search for a text on Calculus and Linear Algebra. If you can't find any, let me know. I'll spot some for you.

    As for Physics, they can be found the same way online, but your best bet is to buy one at a used bookstore. Get the Halliday/Resnick text, which I got mine for like $10CDN or less.
     
  5. Sep 16, 2005 #4
  6. Sep 16, 2005 #5
    Damn. I hope I'm more excited about my career once I graduate. If it is not a problem could you tell me how did you decide to study something you hate so much now?

    Good luck man!!!

    Don't give up!!!
     
  7. Sep 16, 2005 #6
    How about you go to teach high school geography? Teachers have a very good Collective Agreements= excellent salaries and a very good Pension Plan.
    Good Luck and do not give up. You can do it. It is never 2 late.
     
  8. Sep 16, 2005 #7
    He said Geology.
     
  9. Sep 17, 2005 #8
    YES! and Geologists are the most suitable to teach Geography since there are no geology courses in high school and Geologists are well trained in geography too.
     
  10. Sep 17, 2005 #9
    Geology was interesting for about the first two years. Then I ran out of paleontology courses and was stuck with subjects I didn't enjoy and I prof I couldn't stand until I got to my senior thesis. At the time I had a serious back injury and didn't have the grades to get into grad school. Without a grad degree in geology all you do is pick up rocks. Not an option with my bad back so I went into academics instead.

    Serbian - I looked into teaching, but most schools don't offer geology or geography at the high school level. They lump it in with things like general science or social studies. I'd need to go back to school full time for at least a year and part time for another 2 to get the degree needed to teach.

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I picked up a few texts at Half Price books last night and I'll check out some of the online sites when I get back from a trip I have to take today.

    I've now got texts on physics, calculus, chinese, psychology and ethics. I just need to find something good on the philosophy of science and I think I'll be equipped to make an informed decision about a future career.
     
  11. Sep 21, 2005 #10
    I've started reading some of the texts I bought and feel like I have a renewed vigor to learn. It took me awhile, but I think I'm at the point in my life where I could stay dedicated do well in school. At 18 I was a little too into beer, and was not emotionally mature enough to take learning seriously.

    What I wondering is, if I go back to school in a few years, what will my options be? Without a strong undergrad basis in mathematics or physics, will I be able to get into grad school with high GRE subject scores from being self-taught? Or will I need to get some undergrad classes in before applying?
     
  12. Sep 21, 2005 #11
    Your best bet here is to contact the school's graduate program and ask. It may be that you won't have to before but they may require you to once you are in the program. Truly the best course of action here is to directly contact the departments you are interested in and ask them. Good luck.
    Cheers,
    Ryan
     
  13. Sep 21, 2005 #12
    hello, Jeff

    I feel it's a very interesting thing, for I'm facing exactly same condition just as you: I also graduated 4 years ago with bachelor degree and now want to study in maths & physics after working for 4 years.(similiar with you, I graduated from China University of Geosciences, which is a school famous in Geology, except I'm a chinese and you probably be a native english speaker, and you have a wife and I'm alone :)
    there's my previous thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=82702
    what ever, I strongly feel it's interesting and worth thinking: two men with different background and in different places far away between, but they choose geology in their 18 and now want to turn to maths and physics...
    your opinion?
     
  14. Sep 22, 2005 #13
    We sound like kindred spirits. I'm also interested in learning to speak Mandarin.
     
  15. Sep 22, 2005 #14

    ZapperZ

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    Rather than repeat everything that was said, let me just point out to an older thread on here:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=64966&highlight=so-and-so+degree

    Zz.
     
  16. Sep 22, 2005 #15
    Thanks Zz! That's very helpful. It will be a few years before I am ready to start and at that time I'll have to see where I'm living, as it's based on where the wife finds work. She wants to go into teaching, so I'll definitely be at a university. In the meantime I'll probably ask the math and physics departments at the U of M for old qualifying exams, just to see what I'm in for.
     
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