I’m officially two weeks into nail school, and I thought it might be time to talk a little bit about it. Well that, and I haven’t blogged in over two weeks so it’s time for an update, and since I have nothing else to talk about, I figured this subject was as good as any.
I’ve had a lot of people ask both John and myself why I’m going to school for Nail Technology. It doesn’t jibe in most people’s brains for many reasons. First, like I said in a previous post, I’ve been an unrepentant nail biter since I got my first teeth. Second, I’m completely capable of going back to college to get a real degree (I did pull a 4.0 at Marquette for nearly two years, until an essay question on an Archaeology final tripped me up and pulled me down to a 3.98; and yes, I’m still miffed about it). And finally, I’ve been a Graphic Designer for the last ten years.
Nail school just doesn’t fit in with any of the above.
Well, my nail gnawing habit is actually what started my interest in Nail Technology. Not only do I bite my nails, but I also chew up my cuticle (actually called the Eponychium), and all of the skin surrounding my nails (the Perionychium). I chew it so savagely that it’s rare for me not to have an area that’s either bleeding or badly infected. I’ve tried just about everything to stop the habit, but nothing has worked for me. Until, one day when a friend needed to decompress and I said we should go get our nails done just for fun. I had a set of acrylics put on, and low and behold I couldn’t bite my nails anymore. Not only that, but the new thickness on my fingernails made it impossible to reach the skin around them with my snapping teeth. In two weeks my hands were healed and for the first time in my life they were actually pretty! I was instantly enamored with what a good set of enhancements or even just a good manicure could do for a person. It stopped a habit I had struggled with my entire life, it made me feel pretty and good about myself. To put it simply, I wanted to be able to do that for other people.
As for real college… I loved Marquette when I went back to school eight years ago. It was an amazing experience for me, and I will go back someday to finish my Anthropology degree. That day isn’t today though. You see, when I was going to school, John was working for Marquette, so my tuition was paid for as a part of his benefits package. He doesn’t work there anymore, so if I were to go back I’d have to actually shell out money for my education… A lot of money. Since I now have a child who will be starting her own college career in less than six months, it’s just not in the household budget.
Additionally, I can only go to school part time. It didn’t take me long to learn the first time around that between the kids and my obsession with getting straight A’s (translated to mean: a lot of time spent with a textbook in my lap), part time is about all I can handle and still remember my own name.
Now, it took me two years to complete my freshman year attending part time at Marquette, and since I haven’t been a student for over five years, I’d have to re-take several of my credits. So I’d be looking at six to eight years spent in a classroom, before I had a piece of paper allowing me to work in my chosen field.
Call me silly, but I want to start drawing a salary before I’m fifty.
With Nail Technology, I’ll have my certificate in fourteen weeks, and there’s a good chance I’ll start out making more money than I would with a bachelors in Anthropology. Also, when the economy tanked, people with Anthropology degrees found themselves down-sized (AKA unemployed) while the beauty industry continued to grow. After all, you have to look good for job interviews. So the program had everything I was looking for at this moment in my life. It was quick and would provide a job in a stable market, that draws a decent paycheck.
Now I’m not very good at math, but that one seemed like a pretty easy equation.
Lastly we have the “But you’re already a Graphic Designer” argument. The thing is though… I’m not. I’m completely self taught in Photoshop and Web Design, so even though I have ten years of experience under my belt, I couldn’t go and get a traditional job with a company that cuts regular paychecks. I have no degree, no certificate, nothing to make what I do a legitimate career. Sure, I could go get a degree or certificate, but they’re expensive (quite a bit more than my current tuition); and to be completely honest, when I think about what I want to do with the rest of my life, Graphic Design doesn’t even make the top twenty list. Sure, it was a great way for me to make some extra cash while I was at home with the kids, but as career choice it’s just not appealing.
I’ve also had people tell me that I’m a great writer and should consider writing a book. The problem there lies in the fact that I don’t have the attention span to write much more than one of these blog posts. Well, that and I’d have to come up with something to write about. I’m not even good at bedtime stories and you want me to write a book? That’s like three-hundred pages filled with people doing things. Can people even do that much stuff? I’m pretty sure they can’t.
So anyway… What I wanted at this moment in my life is something that interested me, was quick, inexpensive, and would start drawing a return on my investment pretty quickly. Nail Technology fit all of those requirements. I may stay with it for the rest of my life, or I may not. I haven’t given up on my dream of getting a doctorate of Anthropology yet, but that’s something that can wait for now. Because, you see, that dream isn’t about money, career, or status, it’s about my desire to know as much as I can in a field I love. There’s plenty of time for learning left in my life, so I can put that on hold until the need for a steady paycheck isn’t quite so pressing.
Until then, I’m happy with my decision. The school? Not so much, but that’s a story for another day (as I’ve hit the limit of my attention span).