Sunday, July 20, 2008


... or, in this case, Allie needs YOU. [See poll on the right hand side of webpage.]

Despite having had two of the most horrible weeks yet this year (feeling completely overworked, as well as dealing with family worries, annoying people whom I have to persuade to work together, and sickness), a persistent problem has been ringing in my head.

What am I going to do next year?

It's not just that. It's more like, What am I going to do with my future?

Here are the options. I could:

a) do a Masters (in History, of course). This has the bonus that I am almost definitely, barring death/destruction, intending to do a masters degree in History sometime in the next five years. A Masters will give me much more of an edge if I end up wanting to get into a government department such as Foreign Affairs. And I just really want to do one! I love History!
On the other hand, if I do a Masters next year, I will be pretty much limited to studying something in the English-speaking world. I'm doing Russian history at the moment; it's okay not to know Russian at Honours level, but at Masters and beyond, it's a must to be able to understand the language of the society you're looking at.
But if I'm simply doing a Masters to give me a edge in careers outside History, there's not a whole lot of point in spending all that time on a language just so I can do a Masters in it.

b) go to Russia. Teach English for a living and try and immerse myself in Russian. Bonuses: an adventure! And useful for my History in the long run.
On the other hand: scary, and apparently not an easy destination. Culture shock, et al. As above, unnecessary if I'm not going forward with History as a career.

c) go to France. Teach English in French high schools and immerse myself in French. Bonuses: a very easy way to travel, and good for furthering my French language skills. A good gap year experience.
On the other hand: Unnecessary for History. Of course, learning another language is never pointless - still, this would be simply a gap year and nothing more.

d) do some other thing that hasn't occurred to me yet (suggestions welcomed).

Basically, it comes down to this: Do I want to do a PhD in History? Do I want to go on to be a historian? If so, I'm going to Russia next year. If not... I don't know.

Help me! Make up my mind for me by voting on my poll!

Oh, and by the way: family worries culminated in a new nephew on Friday night. :) He's called Daniel and he was very, very stubborn about the eviction date.


JenKneeBee said...

Congrats on the new nephew! I can't tell you what you should choose about your future obviously, but before you decide to go to Russia, make sure you talk to people who have actually done the teaching program you would do. I have a few friends who went to teach in China, Mexico, and Korea, but I don't think any of them got to really learn the language. On the other hand they did get great exposure to the people and culture.

Good luck making you decision though! Scary and exciting all at the same time!

the captain said...

france - U2 holiday there. decision made.

ps - welcome daniel! :-)

~Virginia~ said...

congratulations on the nephew! :)

i vote for russia because there's a lot to be said for life experience, plus you could always visit france. :)

Stacy said...

The commune option was appealing and France sounds like fun, but Russia sounds like quite the adventure and it'll help your career.

Post lots of pictures next year if you end up in Europe. ;)

Beck said...

France. Not TOO different, lots of history and culture and yummy food and a great adventure.
Any other decisions you want me to make for you? I am GREAT at making decisions for other people.

cheresherri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cheresherri said...

Firstly, I would decide upon whether or not I would continue in pursuing history as my ultimate career choice, and if so, which subset to specialize in.

It sounds like you thoroughly enjoy history and want to make it your life's career. If traveling to Russia would further this and you want to go to Russia, by all means take the necessary precautions and if you can manage the cost and logistics - go there!

As far as wanting to be an author, as you know, there are endless opportunities in writing for historical fiction and non-fiction. Just think of all the great writing you would be inspired to create by taking a trip to Russia!

I have found (in my old age) that it was not what I did that I regret, but that which I did NOT do that I regret the most in life....

Good luck!

LEstes65 said...

I am horribly behind in reading blogs. But I'm thinking, do the one that doesn't involve you going to a war torn country. Or is that just me being a total chicken?