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  1. #11
    jovo's Avatar
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    I commute by driving 50 miles each way to where I work. I get up at 4:30AM to be there by 7:00AM to prepare for a rehearsal half an hour later. On at least 2, but more often 3 or 4 days a week I have to stop at a rest area on the way home in the afternoon to take a nap because I can't keep my eyes open and drive safely. It can be very scary!

    I've also decided not to continue one of the orchestral situations I've been in for 24 years as assistant principal cellist because, after the day I just described, a three hour rehearsal at night and then an hour and fifteen minute drive home was becoming just too much and waaaay too dangerous.

    I completely agree with Roger....learn on your own until you can move a lot closer. Check with the school to determine how long they will honor the credits you've already earned, and finish the degree later.

    And keep in mind that neither musicians, nor photographers attract an audience with their credentials. It's their work that matters.
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  2. #12

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    If there are ANY requirements you can knock out locally, do that. 5 hours a day driving is insane and unsafe. Imagine if you could study for 5 hours a day...

  3. #13
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    Picking up on Andy K's idea - have you looked into whether you can attend a lot of the UMo/StL classes on-line?

    My niece attends UConn and fell behind in credit hours in her Freshman year (some poor advice put her in an advanced MicroEcon course that she had to drop late in the semester). In order to pick up some credits she decided to take a Summer Semester course but also wanted to work. There was an amazing number of course offerings available on-line.

    Usually these courses are constructed around being put on a "team" and then preparing assignments via on-line collaboration with feedback from the instructor to queries etc.

    I would think that certain photography courses would be ideal for on-line learning.

    Anyway, it's a thought. I agree with others here that a 2-1/2 hour commute each way after working all day is beyond reason.

  4. #14

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    Roger,
    I'll be brief, as I'm home for lunch and will expand later. Basically, 20 or so years ago, I worked (rather successfully) as a product/commercial shooter. I left the field and started working as a graphic artist/designer, ultimately owning my own sign shop, which my wife and I made the decision to close late last year.

    I've been applying for positions as a designer/art director/photographer, the gist of it is that everybody loves my work, very talented, blah, blah, but the job requires a BA or BFA, sorry.

    In fact, after meeting with the head of the photo department, I'll be testing out of all the photo requirements for the Associates degree, he told me that if I see a class that interests me, take it, otherwise, a portfolio review and paying for the classes would grant me the credits.

    I'll write more when I get home this evening, but basically, I need the letters after my name, there is no commercial work to speak of in this area, and I sure can't afford a digital back for the 4x5 or the hassy and/or RB. Right now I'm working at a job for 12.00 an hour, about the going rate here, for somebody that is very familiar with my work, and knows that whether it's design work, running the printing presses, etc. I can handle it, un supervised and it will come out right, the first time.

    erie

  5. #15

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    I would look at a compromise and commute for the all day friday courses but skip the evenings. It gets you further along with credits but only involves one return trip per week instead of as many as 4. Investigate whether any of the evening courses you miss could be taken remotely or a local substitute. You might find a sympathetic instructor who can be flexible about attendance and open to teleconference if you dial in to the speaker phone.

    It may not get you where you want to be a quickly as you would like but it does move you along. Additionally, if you need to keep working then you are only away from town on Fridays.

    Another possibility is to get the degree from an open university. There are a lot of remote options that may be outside your state or even country that may be worth investigating.

    I encourage you to persue further education if that is what you want to do. Just choose your courses wisely since you are sacrificing to take them. Take courses that challenge you intellectually and leave the filler courses (if any) for those you can take locally or remotely. Even if the degree does not lead directly to employment, if you have studied subjects you are interested in it will be worthwhile.

    I commuted for a 4 year undergraduate degree when I was 30. An hour and a half each way (125 km) for four years = 150,000 km in a diesel VW Golf. It was not as bad as some of the other posters have speculated but you need to know your limits and not push too hard. Most days were fine but there were times when I was too tired to make it all the way and had to pull over at a rest stop for a couple hours sleep. Even opening the window at -25 C could not keep me awake! (we have real winter driving here)

    good luck with whatever you decide.

  6. #16

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    Dear Erie,

    Fair enough, and thanks very much indeed for replying: as I say, I was hesitant even to make the suggestions I did. I am hearing this from more and more 'young' people (bear in mind that when I was an assistant in 1974 you were a young schoolboy, though today the difference in age is hardly significant).

    If this is the case, I can't argue with your logic -- but I'd still be VERY hesitant to do all that driving, and Option 2 would be my choice: get the credits locally; work EVEN HARDER on the photography in the time you save; and before you go oir the letters after your name, apply for more jobs, explaining what you've been doing, and why, and challenging them (as politely as possible) to tell you what more they think they will get by waiting for the letters after your name. Pile it on shamelessly: 'freshness of vision', whatever you like. Put a lot of effort into being published in print, even in magazines: most people see that as being as impressive as a degree.

    As Frances said, "Life is too short for that sort of commute..." -- this from someone who was spendng up to 2 hours each way on the LA freeways when I met her -- "...especially when there are no guarantees." I'd add "And likely to get shorter with a schedule like that."

    Cheers,

    Roger

  7. #17
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epatsellis View Post
    One of the biggest is that I can't move to St. Louis right away, and it's a 2 1/2 hour drive (each way). As I see it I have two choices:

    Suck it up, work part time and commute 3 nights a week/1 day (3 of my classes are taught eves and two comprise all day Fri) get reall friendly with my local caffeine pusher and try to do it. (admittedly, I'm not 20 anymore, and at 44, the day just seems awfully short)

    Take a class or two (Eng. Comp. other humanities requirements) locally for a semester, while I get everything in place to move either midwinter or late spring, then pick up at St. Louis CC.
    The commute time you're describing is pretty much what the people living in the Ottawa-Montreal corridor experience. Based on what I've seen, the easiest solution is to commute once, sleep for two nights in town (find a roomate, crash on someone's couch, pay for the uni rez, get a motel, etc), and then commute back.

    I'm not sure if you have kids and whether this will affect them, but if you need to make a sacrifice, I would suggest you do it wisely. Wasting 5h of your day commuting is not going to help. Otherwise the next best solution is to wait until everything works together.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  8. #18
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I still think checking into a motel after class is the best way to go. No lost credits; not transfer of credit problems. I taught at the university senior and graduate level as a professor for nine years and I have seen it all. This is not forever, it is a temporary inconveince to reach your goal. Once you have the degree and you derive more income, your spouse will forgive.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stever View Post
    Once you have the degree and you derive more income, your spouse will forgive.
    Dear Steve,

    More income?

    From photography?

    Well, it's possible, but I'd not bet on it.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  10. #20
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Roger,

    This is about him being himself. He was this way before he got married and his spouse will not respect that.

    Guess what happens.
    The winter before I got married, I skied 42 days [and had a full time professional job]. After I got married, she thought one weekend a year was enough for me. [People get married thinking that they can change someone. Well you can't make someone change.] When I had enough of the crap, I declared myself a free agent.
    **** I ended up with full custody for the two children and three out of four people in the family were much happier.

    Moral: He is what he is. He needs to be himself or he will never be happy. She needs to get over herself. She either will get with the program or he will DTB.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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