Thursday, April 12, 2007

Overheard at the Y

On Wednesdays I do a chest workout. I end by doing three sets of push ups to failure. That isn't important, but you should know this is why I overheard the following conversation. (While I was resting, and resting, and resting....)

Next to me, on a floor mat was a woman, mid-late 40's, I guess, stretching and contorting in some crazy fashion after pilates or yoga or some combination thereof. An acquaintance of hers, on the other end of the exercise mat asked her this:

"So do you miss teaching at State?"
Yoga woman: "I didn't at first but I've been missing it more and more lately."
Friend: "Are you a doctor?"
Yoga woman: "I have my Ph. D., yeah."
Friend: "What's it in?"
Yoga woman: "Thermodynamics"

So I haven't been able to get that conversation out of my mind. I wonder what it would be like to have a Ph. D. and then, for some reason, decide not to use it. It sounded like she took some time off (several years) to be with her kids while they were young.

I sometimes think about getting a Ph. D. but for me it would likely be more for the experience and growth rather than actually using it the way most people do. Both UNC and Duke offer Ph. D. degrees in musicology, but I'm scared to death of the language requirements. (German or French just to get in, plus two other languages by completion (Italian, German/French, Latin)). The actual course work would probably seem easy compared to the languages.

A Composition degree doesn't really interest me. The admission requirements are difficult, as they should be, and though I enjoy trying out an orchestration every once in a while, my passion is not composition.

The other question of earning another degree is the "what for" question. I want to learn more, and I guess if I'm going to go to the trouble I might as well earn something along the way. Oh, maybe some day.