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In another thread, I mentioned my education. I'm moving my answer here, since it had nothing at all to do with the other topic:

 

(So a psychology degree? Not Music or English Lit? Have you ever thought of getting into the field? Or was this just a college exploration thing?)

 

I hold two degrees: I have a bachelor's degree in psychology from UC Berkeley, and a masters degree in English from California State University, Long Beach.

 

As are most things in life, my path was circuitous. I applied to UC Berkeley as an English major, because I wanted to write the American Lord of the Rings. However, by the time I was in UC Berkeley, I was convinced that my "life path" was to become a rock star. So whatever degree I got was irrelevant, for I was to be in music. I didn't like the English program in Berkeley (not enough creative writing, mostly critical theory) so I opted for a degree in psychology.

 

I returned to Orange County (itself interesting, I was informally voted "Least Likely to Return to Orange County" by my senior AP classmates) and looked for work in the psych field, even got some interviews at mental health facilities. However, this was 1991; President Bush the First had cut all mental health funds, so there were few jobs available, and after six months, I decided to go back to school. I was deciding between getting my MFC license (Marriage and Family Counseling) or teaching. My half-sister is a shrink, and I decided I didn't want to do that. So I went for my teaching credential in high school--double credential in English and psychology. However, in the middle of that program, I decided I wanted to teach college instead, and changed one more time, ending with a Masters in English.

 

Ultimately, it didn't matter. I was going to be a rock star anyway, right? :P

 

My English degree was something that I used occupationally, both for teaching positions and writing/editing positions. I think the psych degree helped me become a more aware and educated person, but I never used it directly.

 

How about others here? Have you found your college degrees to be directly linked to your current career path?

 

Orren

 

PS—If anyone in high school is reading this, go to college! Regardless of your degree, you will learn to problem solve and see issues in more advanced ways. And it helps you write better! End of public service announcement. :P

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Wow Orren, that is quite impressive (to me anyway). How long did all that take you?

 

As for me, I was homeschooled for highschool, except for 9th grade when I attended a cyber charter school. I then went to Hallmark Institute of Photography, a 10 month long technical school. You live, eat, and breathe photography there. The classroom hours in 10 months are equivalent to the 1400 clock hours of two years of college and that isn't including the after hours work. It was great.

 

After that, I went to some writing workshops and was in a writing group. Then after moving back to my home state, I've been attending a university part time and taking fine art classes. It's on hold right now due to circumstances, but I'm hoping to continue with art classes. I am not built for traditional college, so I don't know if I will ever end up getting a degree of sorts, but we'll see.

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Thanks Orren.

Jules — home schooled? I might have guessed. You're a class act.

 

I spent my life climbing a mountain. When I reached the top and looked around, I realized that I was on the wrong mountain.

- Some business guy whose name I forgot.

The point is that it's a long and winding road, and the only wrong turns are the ones that lead to dead ends.

 

Me? I went to a JHS that required white shirts and ties for the boys. Skirts for all the girls (but not the boys). Very strict. Very conventional. After being assigned, first a saxophone and then a clarinet, and discovering I had no musical talent (and I am so jealous of those who do) I was assigned to what today would be called The Glee Club. Very little actual glee there. After that, four forgettable years of High School. I left High School wanting to be a Civil Engineer, believe it or not. Somehow, during the summer, my artistic side took over (mom was an artist) and Civil Engineering morphed into Architecture. But when I went to declare my major I was told that the School of Architecture program was five years long and required a double language speciality. Being basically lazy at eighteen I signed up for the easiest major there: Computer Science. Remember, this was 1972 so don't be too impressed. They barely knew how to teach Comp. Sci. back then. But it turned out that I loved the math, especially the freaky non-Euclidean stuff. I loved the Logic courses and won an award for my work in predicate calculus. But I took art courses too. One of my art professors has serious connections with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and some of us got to hang our I-Love-NY banners there. Great fun. Mom was so proud. But eventually I dropped the art to pursue a masters in Comp Sci, then a doctorate (Ph.D actually). I taught for a while (very gratifying) and then took a job in software product design in Connecticut. The money was good (way better than teaching) and I thought I could use both my science and art training. I was wrong. All they wanted us to do was to crank out product as fast as we could. We were then purchased by Dun & Bradstreet and I figured that if I was going to work for Wall Street than I might as well work on Wall Street. The money was amazing. The only down side was that I had to wear a pinstripe suit and a collar bar under my tie to work every day (ah, the '80s). I managed a small data requirements analysis group and did data modeling for people that simply did not understand data models. I even wrote a bit on the subject for a very exclusive audience of Wall Streeters. Eventually I decided that if people are going to pay me for this, and I could now do everything on computer from home, I'd trash the suit and tie and start my own company. That's where I am now, more or less. But a few years ago my artistic side started screaming at me again and demanded that I write. So I started looking for novel writing software. That's how I found this crazy group.

 

Whew. That's a lot to get off my chest.

- Thoth

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Thanks Orren.

Jules — home schooled? I might have guessed. You're a class act.

 

 

The point is that it's a long and winding road, and the only wrong turns are the ones that lead to dead ends.

 

Me? I went to a JHS that required white shirts and ties for the boys. Skirts for all the girls (but not the boys). Very strict. Very conventional. After being assigned, first a saxophone and then a clarinet, and discovering I had no musical talent (and I am so jealous of those who do) I was assigned to what today would be called The Glee Club. Very little actual glee there. After that, four forgettable years of High School. I left High School wanting to be a Civil Engineer, believe it or not. Somehow, during the summer, my artistic side took over (mom was an artist) and Civil Engineering morphed into Architecture. But when I went to declare my major I was told that the School of Architecture program was five years long and required a double language speciality. Being basically lazy at eighteen I signed up for the easiest major there: Computer Science. Remember, this was 1972 so don't be too impressed. They barely knew how to teach Comp. Sci. back then. But it turned out that I loved the math, especially the freaky non-Euclidean stuff. I loved the Logic courses and won an award for my work in predicate calculus. But I took art courses too. One of my art professors has serious connections with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and some of us got to hang our I-Love-NY banners there. Great fun. Mom was so proud. But eventually I dropped the art to pursue a masters in Comp Sci, then a doctorate (Ph.D actually). I taught for a while (very gratifying) and then took a job in software product design in Connecticut. The money was good (way better than teaching) and I thought I could use both my science and art training. I was wrong. All they wanted us to do was to crank out product as fast as we could. We were then purchased by Dun & Bradstreet and I figured that if I was going to work for Wall Street than I might as well work on Wall Street. The money was amazing. The only down side was that I had to wear a pinstripe suit and a collar bar under my tie to work every day (ah, the '80s). I managed a small data requirements analysis group and did data modeling for people that simply did not understand data models. I even wrote a bit on the subject for a very exclusive audience of Wall Streeters. Eventually I decided that if people are going to pay me for this, and I could now do everything on computer from home, I'd trash the suit and tie and start my own company. That's where I am now, more or less. But a few years ago my artistic side stated screaming at me again and demanded that I write. So I started looking for novel writing software. That's how I found this crazy group.

 

Whew. That's a lot to get off my chest.

- Thoth

 

Your forum member #3 though, so how is it you were around so early on with Storyist?

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Only have a High School diploma at 33.

I'm trying to go back to school soon though.

 

My best with that! It's a tough road, the more time one is out of school, the harder it is to get back into it. When I taught English (basic composition) at community college I always had a ton of respect for the folks who were 30-60, sitting in class with 18 year olds. It's not easy, especially when in a few cases, 50+ year old students had daughters older than their classmates! But I can tell you that its worthwhile. Especially now, with the unemployment rate so high, it's only half (or less?) the national rate for college educated people. A degree doesn't mean you get into a job, but it gives employers one less reason to keep you out of a job.

 

And besides, as a writer, you've got an edge! :P

 

Orren

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Wow Orren, that is quite impressive (to me anyway). How long did all that take you?

 

Thank you :P I actually graduated early from UC Berkeley, because I came in with college credits from taking AP ("Advanced Placement") classes in high school. So I earned my undergraduate degree in 3.5 years, then my masters degree in 3 years. So about 6.5 years, or 1988-1995, with six months off in early 1992 to try and find work.

 

As for me, I was homeschooled for highschool, except for 9th grade when I attended a cyber charter school.

 

I was in 9th grade in 1984. No cyber-anything. :P

 

I have a distant cousin in MA who is home schooling her two boys. :) Question about home schooling—were you required to check into field trips, etc. with other home schooled kids? I believe that's the law here in CA, to try and get some of that peer-group interaction going, which more isolated home schooled kids don't get (it's an issue because home schooled kids in CA are sometimes quite rural, and that's not always easy...). I wasn't a particularly social kid, but I must admit I did find the social environment of high school as engaging as I did frustrating. And I enjoyed being a copy editor for our senior yearbook, in student government, and my senior class voted me "Class Brain." Not because I was the smartest guy in school—I knew who was smarter than I. But I was the most widely known of the geeky smart kids.

 

After that, I went to some writing workshops and was in a writing group. Then after moving back to my home state, I've been attending a university part time and taking fine art classes. It's on hold right now due to circumstances, but I'm hoping to continue with art classes. I am not built for traditional college, so I don't know if I will ever end up getting a degree of sorts, but we'll see.

 

It's worth it if you have the opportunity and can manage it, I know it's tough. As I said to TAS, it definitely helps you get in the door, and looks good on a resume. My wife doesn't have more than an AA degree due to financial circumstances, and that has unfortunately kept her from certain positions she would love. The truth (as we all know) is that whatever job you have, you learn the job on the job, not in the classroom, but that degree still matters to enough people to be worth the time and trouble.

 

Take care,

Orren

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But eventually I dropped the art to pursue a masters in Comp Sci, then a doctorate (Ph.D actually).

 

 

Wow, perhaps I should call you Dr. Thoth? Just don't call me Master Orren. It makes me sound like I'm five. :P Although very occasionally when I've written really pissed off letters and felt I needed some extra "ammunition," I have sometimes signed them "Orren Merton, M.A Eng." Appeals to the ego. :P

 

Orren

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Your forum member #3 though, so how is it you were around so early on with Storyist?

Storyist predates the Forum, obviously. In fact, I was a Beta for Storyist before the Forums existed.

- Thoth.

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Wow, perhaps I should call you Dr. Thoth?

Thoth is the god of writing (among other things). "Doctor" is a huge step down. :P

 

Just don't call me Master Orren. It makes me sound like I'm five. :)

:P

 

Although very occasionally when I've written really pissed off letters and felt I needed some extra "ammunition," I have sometimes signed them "Orren Merton, M.A Eng." Appeals to the ego. :)

Yep. My "pissed off" letters end with "Real Name, M.S., Ph.D." However, I've found it doesn't really help anything but the ego.

 

-Thoth, MS, Ph.D. Writing God.

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Jules — home schooled? I might have guessed. You're a class act.

Why Thank You. You have quite the impressive story as well. I am jealous of your experience with the Met!

 

My best with that! It's a tough road, the more time one is out of school, the harder it is to get back into it. When I taught English (basic composition) at community college I always had a ton of respect for the folks who were 30-60, sitting in class with 18 year olds. It's not easy, especially when in a few cases, 50+ year old students had daughters older than their classmates! But I can tell you that its worthwhile. Especially now, with the unemployment rate so high, it's only half (or less?) the national rate for college educated people. A degree doesn't mean you get into a job, but it gives employers one less reason to keep you out of a job.

I agree with that TAS. In my Photography school and my college art classes I enjoyed hanging out with the career changers. They are usually more focused on school and less focused on going out partying. They also bring a lot of life experience as well. It does take courage though.

 

I have a distant cousin in MA who is home schooling her two boys. :) Question about home schooling—were you required to check into field trips, etc. with other home schooled kids? I believe that's the law here in CA, to try and get some of that peer-group interaction going, which more isolated home schooled kids don't get (it's an issue because home schooled kids in CA are sometimes quite rural, and that's not always easy...). I wasn't a particularly social kid, but I must admit I did find the social environment of high school as engaging as I did frustrating. And I enjoyed being a copy editor for our senior yearbook, in student government, and my senior class voted me "Class Brain." Not because I was the smartest guy in school—I knew who was smarter than I. But I was the most widely known of the geeky smart kids.

Hey, HIP was in MA, about two hours west of Boston. I also have cousins in MA, but they don't homeschool.

 

As for your question, I'm not sure what the laws here in PA are, but there are plenty of homeschooling groups around. There are also homeschooling programs that give out diplomas, and they have their own requirements, which may possibly be what you are thinking of. I wasn't a participant in one, so I couldn't tell you for sure. I am definitely not the poster child for homeschooling, probably the opposite, but I knew other kids who were homeschooled/cyber schooled. We're not and anti-social, unsocialized, little monsters some people would have everyone think we are. (Not that you were saying that, but there's a lot of anti-homeschoolers out there.)

 

It's worth it if you have the opportunity and can manage it, I know it's tough. As I said to TAS, it definitely helps you get in the door, and looks good on a resume. My wife doesn't have more than an AA degree due to financial circumstances, and that has unfortunately kept her from certain positions she would love. The truth (as we all know) is that whatever job you have, you learn the job on the job, not in the classroom, but that degree still matters to enough people to be worth the time and trouble.

I'm not counting anything out, but it maybe a particularly long journey. People think I'm strange that I can go to a photography school where you literally stay up for days on end to get your work done and do absolutely nothing else for 10 months, risk divorce if your married (happened more than once) or nervous breakdown (also happened), etc. etc. and like it, but find typical college almost unbearable and hugely difficult. I've also been told to stop caring so much, I tend to drive myself insane if I don't get As. ^_^ We'll see what happens. Personally I would rather audit classes without grades or due dates, just to learn the information. :P Or homeschool myself through college. Now THAT would be interesting!

 

-Thoth, MS, Ph.D. Writing God.

:lol:

 

We know how Thoth Found Storyist, should we add "how we found Storyist" to this thread or start it's own? I'd be interested in hearing, if anyone else remembers!

-Jooli

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We know how Thoth Found Storyist, should we add "how we found Storyist" to this thread or start it's own? I'd be interested in hearing, if anyone else remembers!

-Jooli

 

This should be it's own thread.

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This should be it's own thread.

I am another wildly over-educated type (Ph.D.). I began writing fiction for fun about 15 years ago: really appalling fiction at first, although I didn't know it then—probably a good thing, as I might not have persisted if I had. A little over three years ago, I read a review of Storyist 1.0 in MacWorld and saw that Steve was looking for beta testers. The program looked interesting and I didn't want to pay for something I might not use, so I signed up to beta test.

 

This was before the forums (Thoth, Isaac, and I were all in the original e-mail thread, together with a bunch of folks who dropped out along the way or still participate in the forums, but only occasionally). But as I became familiar with the program I fell in love with it, because it was exactly what I needed to organize my novel (a different novel then, which is now very close to being acceptable, but I need to go through it once more and figure out why no one's picking it up).

 

That novel I ended up keeping mostly in Word; I used Storyist for the sheets and the notebook, but I was still learning the program then, and reimporting 300+ pages over and over got to be a big hassle. But the one I'm working on now has been in Storyist from the beginning—and of course, now we have version 2, which is so much better.

 

It's because of the beta testing that I visit the forums every day and post as often as I do: helping other users is my way of paying for the software.

 

And of course, I'm honor bound to report any insect life I find. :lol:

M

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And of course, I'm honor bound to report any insect life I find. ^_^

M

 

M, our ever helpful Storyist wiz, bug-squasher, and Overlady extraordinaire! :lol:

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