Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Trilemma

Ok, so it's not really a "trilemma"; it is three related, but very different, decisions. With only two weeks of "freedom" left, and knowing that I can't do everything I want to, I'm hoping I can make a decision, set a path, and follow it to its completion. Is that even possible? 1. Pursuit of a Senior Honors Thesis I'm trying to figure out if I have it in me to pursue an undergraduate thesis project that will earn me University Honors. The program takes the committment of a year, and requires more work than a typical Senior Project. If I decide to pursue this, the first thing I have to do is apply for the program. Next, I have to decide on and complete a very detailed prospectus and timeframe for completion of the thesis. All of this must be completed 30 days before the start of the next semester, and I must remain committed to successful completion of the project for the next full year. Yikes! 2. Acceptance into the University of Texas' Master of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization Program Oh yes, it's a little more than just acceptance...it's the matter of finding the $42,000 tuition as well. Then there's the little matter of studying for, taking and ranking high on the entrance exams. Oh, there's also that bit about driving to Austin every other weekend for a YEAR, with only one 3-week break at Christmas. Do you think I can survive this? Is it worth it? 3. Pursuit of a Microsoft Certification for MCDBA This little item is the "iffiest" of the three, as it is NOT part of an official college curriculum, but it has the potential for the greatest return on investment ($2,500 if I choose self-study or $4,500 if I choose to attend a class). Not only will this teach me more about the pieces I am missing in my view of SQL database administration, but it will also give me a marketable certification. However, it will be VERY difficult to complete if I am left to my own timeline (self-study option) since it will be competing with my other projects. So, now you see my trilemma...three questions, three paths, three decisions. Yikes! So, as I sit here in the college library, researching past theses, and look around to discover that I am one of about 20 students in the entire building, I just have to wonder, "what the heck am I doing?!?"

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