Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to School?

This time of year when I see my teacher daughter setting up her classroom and my student son-in-law buying textbooks I get a little nostalgic for my own college days. Since then I have taken a couple of classes here and there, but now that both my children are grown I could go back to school more permanently. The obvious choice would be to get a degree in translation studies. Since I already have a BA, I'd want to go for an MA. The only such programs for German translation, however, are in California and Ohio. Plus, they are full time, so I would have to somehow put my current business on hold for a couple of years and then resurrect it after I have my masters. I'm not sure that would even be an option.

Translating various technical documents I do get an impromptu education in different areas of science and technology simply by researching terminology for a given job. I find Wikipedia particularly helpful for providing a quick overview of, say, electrical heating systems - my most recent project. That project, as well as several others over the years that involved electrical circuits, has piked my interest in electrical engineering.

At age 52 it seems a little late to start a new career - particularly one that would involve several years of study first. But I wouldn't necessarily have to become a full-fledged engineer. An introduction to electrical engineering might be enough to satisfy my curiosity - or spurn me on to learn more about the subject. Starting this Fall wouldn't really work since I'll be in Europe for two weeks in the middle of the semester to speak at the tekom conference in Germany. But there's always the Spring semester.

Meanwhile there is no shortage of one-night lectures on various topics here in New York. These are frequently held in bars. While that is problematic for young people who are interested in science, I'm certainly old enough to attend. Time to start researching ...