Robert,

I can fully understand where you are coming from. There is something energizing about the "educational" atmosphere which is unique unto itsself. Doing an apprenticeship will probably give you more "practical" real-world knowledge, but again, it's not to be compared to the university environment, neither better or worse, just different.

I would go for the BA. Because of your limited darkroom knowledge, you would be under pressure to both learn the information yourself, and then pass it on to your students. This would most certainly affect your other areas of study, and do an injustice to the students as well. After all, don't we all expect the teachers to be knowledgable in their fields of expertise?

Go for the BA, have some fun re-capturing your youth, and we all know the co-eds find "oler men" VERY interesting :-)