Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

January 26, 2005

Can I get smart?

Filed under: Education,International — Bunker @ 9:51 am

I have looked at getting some more education several times in the last few years. I love to learn. I know a lot already, but most of my knowledge is stuff that is of no real value to anybody for anything. I did one semester trying to get myself started in golf course design by getting a masters degree in environmental engineering. I’m too far behind in biology and chemistry to make a solid go of it. I have also considered getting teacher certification, but can’t bear the thought of taking elementary-level education theory courses after having taught for so many years–especially 27 hours of those courses.

I have a masters in international relations, and I enjoy the subject. Texas A&M has a program that interests me–the George Bush School of Government offers an Advanced International Affairs Certificate Program.

Many careers as well as personal interests demand a more advanced understanding of the various dimensions of international relations. The Bush School’s Advanced International Affairs Certificate Program is designed to provide individuals with both meaningful frameworks with which to interpret global interactions, but also practical and useable knowledge on such matters as cross-cultural communications and negotiations.

The courses are taught by some very high-level, experienced people. These aren’t your standard academics. They include names you’ve heard and read about in the actual workings of international affairs. Seminar lecturers include folks who are making policy today.

A shortened list of course offerings whets my appetite:

  • Technical Collection Systems
  • World Cultural Geography
  • Homeland Security and America’s New Long War
  • Terrorism in Today’s World
  • International Economic Development
  • Fundamentals of the Global Economy
  • National Security Policy
  • The Role of Intelligence in Security Affairs
  • Technical Collection Systems
  • International Energy Policy

These are distance-learning courses. I can do that. I need four to get my certificate, but the piece of paper isn’t why I would take them. They interest me. Especially the ones in bold. I’m almost drooling on my keyboard.

At $1400 per course, I have to ponder this for a while. That’s a hobby more expensive than golf!


  1. The piece of paper and the classroom don’t make you smart. You already are smart. But if you want to keep it up…

    The only reason to get an advanced degree is because you want it for yourself. You shouldn’t do it because some one else expects it of you or because you think it will improve your chances at something. You have to want it. It sounds like you are in that position. That personal goal makes it much easier to put up with the teeny flaming hoops that stand between you and your piece of paper. If you want the education degree go for it. You can do what so many middle of the road and conservative students have been doing for years. You sit in class, you smile, you repeat what you are told and you wait until you are among friends in the privacy of your home before you rant about the crap and drivel. It is ridiculously easy to figure out what they want. It is harder to keep your mouth shut, but if you can make it through the classes without worrying about the 20 or so mushbrains you can make it into a classroom where you can have a real effect on a lot more minds. Whatever you decide… All the best.

    Comment by punctilious — January 26, 2005 @ 10:47 pm

  2. At this point, taking the classes would only be a hobby–it offers no “career enhancement” in my case. And the nice thing about the Bush School is that it is intellectually honest, and offers some perspectives from every direction.

    I’d jump on it except for the cost. I downloaded one of the “texts” last night and intend to read it to see how much energy I think I have to get through it all!

    Comment by Bunker — January 27, 2005 @ 5:47 am

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