If I could, I would be a professional student. I loved my undergraduate years at UGA and my masters program at Piedmont College. I wasn't always the top student, but I loved the atmosphere on a campus. I love classrooms and I love learning new things.
Maybe that's why it's been such an easy transition into teaching and photography. Both careers involve constantly learning new things in an environment that is dynamic and evolving. Both jobs involve large amounts of self-teaching, individual investigation, and self-propelled learning. And I've done pretty well on both counts. I feel like I've come very far as both a teacher and photographer, and my portfolios have shown that. But every year I've had a gnawing hunger to take a class or get another degree. I'm already doing it as a teacher, taking classes in English Language Learner certification to become a better academic teacher for students who are learning both English and curriculum content. I know that in a few years, once my student loans are paid off (woot!) I will be finally making the decision on whether or not to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology.
I also want to study photography as both art and a profession. I love this career and I love what it gives me. I've always had the mentality of seeing what I can do better, and where that leads me is wanting to go back to school for this as well. I've been looking at various degrees and programs, from the Professional Photographers of America certification to Art Institute of Atlanta to bachelors and masters programs at SCAD and UGA. But I'm not sure where to go from here.
I want to go back to school. I want hands-on instruction in core art topics, art history, design. I want real-time instruction on both advanced photography and post-process technique. I want to learn the full depth of advanced Photoshop. I want to learn how to work in a real darkroom, and not from the small dark space I've put together to develop films when I have the time. I want to learn the business practice systems crucial to making all of it come together. And I want a real program, not a BS 'certification' or a for-profit 'degree' from a degree mill. I want real education, real challenge, real experience.
But I don't know what's appropriate for me. I don't need basics on how to work a camera. I don't need to waste my time. And I don't know if already having both a bachelors and a masters degree affects my options.
What I'd love is to hear comments, suggestions, thoughts about the options. What should I do? And what do you want to accomplish this year?