Saturday, 16 February 2013

PhD Plans

My vacation is hastening to an end, yet I feel like I have done very little vacationing. Usually this time of year I go to South Africa to thaw from Korea's cold weather. The South African sun and greenery do me good. But this year I just stayed in Korea, saving money. I've saved enough, I am happy to report, to pay for the tuition of my first PhD semester, and for buying a laptop for my studies. This past Friday I had to pay half of my class fees. However, most of the week I was still in a state of uncertainty about what to do.

Last year I was going to study something else here in Korea. I enrolled into a master's degree program in Public Health (Natural Therapies)--with promises that they are planning a PhD in the same field. Now I already have a master's degree so I really do not need another, but I needed some prerequisites for the PhD that I had my sights on, so I was willing to enroll and carry the credits towards the PhD. Then, suddenly, I was informed that the PhD will not be offered in English and that they will not be accommodating to foreigners. I promptly quit and started looking for alternatives.

I eventually found a PhD in Physical Education at a pretty elite school and with some hiccups and regardless of an interview that I really thought I messed up on, I got accepted to start this coming semester. I've been saving hard for it, did the paper work, and was happy with my plans.

Then, suddenly, I got a phone call to tell me that the PhD in Public Health will be offered in English after all, would I like to enroll again? This left me quite distraught. Should I take up the Public Health option that I originally wanted to do, or should I follow the Physical Education option?

I decided that since I'm already excepted into the Physical Education program I will give it a try for at least one semester. If it is not to my liking I could always just quit after a semester and pursue the Public Health path next year.

I'm very much interested in Public Health, particularly the natural remedies side of it, but I figure that I can make Physical Education work for me in a similar fashion. After all, both fields of study are concerned with physical health and once I have the PhD I can focus my research in which ever related direction I'm most interested in. Or, once I'm finished with the Physical Education PhD I could take up that master's in Public Health to supplement my field of knowledge if natural remedies is still my interest. We'll see what the future holds.

In the meantime I'm still an assistant professor in Humanities and enjoying teaching English Lit.

By the way, I did end up buying the laptop of my choice -- the Samsung's Smart PC which I have been eyeing for probably a year.

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