As usual, I panicked over the wrong thing, this time, it was continuing education, of all things!
Earlier this year, as I contemplated job changes and whatnot, continuing ed was far away on my back burner. But when I had to get a license in a new state, I had different, more confusing rules to learn. The main, biggest, worst difference in the 2 states is that you cannot "roll over" CE hours in Maryland. But in February, that was not my concern. The worry was how I would manage to fill in the hours well, and options seemed limited. I did get 2 hours from my jurisprudence exam (required for license) and had a coupon from AOTA for a free CE article (1 hour, but not as of yet cashed) and prospects for further ed looked bleak. I am saving my monies for the 2010 AOTA conference as a dual education/reunion opportunity with some of my classmates and know that I can pull a whole year's worth (and some) of CEUs at that event. So knowing that, and knowing that I get no roll over (Grr grr grr) that just left me with 10 hours to figure out for this year.
My main difficulty was balancing educational benefit and financial cost. I attended a seminar on stroke at the facility (couldn't beat the rates and a friend wanted to go) which was good. I will be presenting at a local state conference as well, so I will get credit to attend and to prepare, but I have to look into the rules to see how that will shake out. So everything appeared to be taken care of... however...
That's when cool offers started pouring in. First was the guilt that I should attend 1 state conference and not another. That would be an extra event in November. Then our NICU therapist introduced me to the Developmental Therapists in the NICU conference which would be in Phoenix this year. I got an offer for 13 hours to learn therapy Spanish over 2 days... I got another NICU conference pamphlet in the mail today (16 hours w/ optional pre-conferences) which also advertises an online CE library... enticing. The quality of solicitations that I am getting is improving, which is bad, since there's already too many choices!
The 2 NICU conferences are tempting... one since it comes recommended by a coworker who has NICU-know-how, the other since it is close by. But as to be expected with a conference that earns you so many hours, they are each quite expensive. It's also a bit prohibitory in my mind, since there are only so many things I can keep in my head at once and I don't know if it's worthwhile to expend a lot of effort on NICU learning when I probably won't get to practice it much.
Therapy Spanish hits me in a sore spot... I feel like languages are one of my strong suits, however, my language skills (other than English) are really underdeveloped. 2 years of concurrent Latin and Spanish in high school was fun, but didn't give me a strong basis in either language, and college Latin proved even more futile. ASL was fun, and I can still sign Journey songs, but I don't have a functional usage. While I can cheat while reading Latin/Spanish and decipher somewhat, there's no way to do that in sign. And there's no way to learn any language without a lot of practice... which I just haven't set aside the full time for.
It's hard thinking about all the things you could learn, all that you could use, all that you could grow to be... especially on days when time seems limited even for the daily mundane tasks. So much potential, and too many other things in the way. Sigh.
(by the way, I have no experience w/ any of these CE companies or the specific courses, so I can't offer any comment on their overall worth. I have no relationship with any of them, monetary or otherwise and this is not an endorsement.)