Posted by: thewoobdog | June 9, 2007

Dangerously Overeducated

Hmm.  So, as many of you (not that there are that many of you who read my blog… and most of you who do would already know this… but allow me my fictitious pretense of large readership) may or may not know, I grew up swearing I would never be an accountant.  Especially not a CPA.  I mean, talk about the most boring job on the face of the planet (no, this is not a challenge for you to come up with more boring jobs – allow me my little exaggerations, would you?) (wait – on second thought, leave me your idea of the most boring job… in the comment section…) (did I mention I’m a comment-piggy?  Is it obvious that I’m shamelessly plugging for comments?).  Anyway, swore I’d never do it.  So I got my degree in Biology and Spanish – Biology because I decided in 6th grade that I was going to be a vet, and Spanish because I love languages and it was easy (unlike German, which was fascinating but required more thought, and French, while easy, just isn’t that useful in the States).  After five years of undergrad, though, I decided to take my bachelors degree and be happy, rather wisely deciding there was no freaking way I’d be able to jump right into another four or five years of vet school.  I figured I’d take a break and, you know, eventually get back to it.  Uh huh.  And during said break, the most lucrative position I could get was – you guessed it – working in accounting. 

It could be pertinent at this point to mention that my dad is a CPA, and my mom works with him, and they have their own CPA/full-service accounting firm, by which I was sporadically employed through much of high school.  So I went to work for my dad.  That was 8 years ago, and somehow (this should be a lesson to any of you who may think that God does not have a sense of humor) I am still there.  More skilled and making more money, I should add, but still… doing… accounting.  Fascinating stuff.  (For those of you who are perhaps less perceptive than others, what just dripped from that sentence was sarcasm.)  I readily admit, however, that, as a button or bumper sticker or something once said, ‘I thought I wanted a career – turns out all I really wanted was a paycheck.’ 

I have decided to gracefully (um, or not…) accept the inevitable and at least turn my paycheck into a career.  After all, any career is made better by having the level of education and/or skill to allow you to choose to work on mostly the aspects of it that you have the most interest in, right?  So I have decided to go back to school (not full-time – still have to pay the bills, after all) and get my CPA license.  Sounds difficult enough, but when I actually went to take classes again (at my alma mater, which you would think would be easier to work with), I discovered that unless I wanted to enroll in a(nother) degree program, I would be treated much like a caste-less peasant in India.  Non-degree students get nothing – regardless of whether they already GOT a degree from said university.  I am the last to register (meaning, at this point, the classes I need – being upper-level – are full long before I get the chance to get in), and every time I register I have to get an override from the college of business AND an override from the accounting department, just to take a single.  blasted.  class.  And they told me I can only get overrides for five classes.  Which really stinks because that leaves me several short.  Enter the Dean, who happens to be a friend of my dad’s – who knew?  He did manage to grease a few wheels, but most of the obstacles still remain.  THEN, to add insult to injury, the head of advising helpfully (no, really, she was very, very helpful and I am very grateful to her for pointing this out – my irritation is solely with the situation) notifies me that the State Board of CPAs has changed their education requirements since last I looked, meaning that I have to take yet more classes.

I could have given up here.  Yes, I could.  I could have sent nasty irate letters to the various institutions responsible for creating this mess and probably gotten banned from ever practicing accounting in any previously-confederate state in the union.  Yes, I could have.  And I would most certainly have derived a certain amount of perverse pleasure from it.  Okay, a great amount of perverse pleasure.  It would not, however, have actually solved anything, so (like an adult – go, me!), I am pursuing alternate paths (to get what I want – which is ultimately the important thing, right?).   

I think I am going to get my masters.  Yes, you heard me – I plan to become even more overeducated than I already am.  I’m meeting with the head of the graduate program Tuesday to discuss it and make sure it is actually the viable option that I think it is – a MS automatically overrides all education requirements of the State Board, and I have a much better variety of classes to choose from – classes that will actually be pertinent to my future career (my dad would like me to someday take over so he can retire) in a small-size-big-money-resort-town CPA firm.  I (and the clients) really don’t care about accounting for big, crooked, publicly-traded corporations, which is what the undergrad classes pummel you with.  Instead, I could do the taxation concentration of the MS program and actually learn something… useful!  (what a concept)   So… I’ll keep you posted.  Sorry for the boring monologue on my educational aspirations.  Feel free to leave me comments about the excruciatingly detailed journey to the end of this blog (shameless plug for comments).  I don’t think even I will go back and proof-read this one – if you find an error, leave me a comment about it.

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