I think I know now why I sometimes have a hard time talking to my mother: she is eminently practical. She insists that you know exactly what you want to do, make decisions quickly and stick with them, think about the consequences, make money, get a good job, and be a worthwhile part of society.
The problem is that I'm not like that. I can be practical when necessary, but I'm not a decision-maker, and I'm not terribly interested in goals. I'm an "enjoy the journey" sort of person. I'd be fine with spending the rest of my life at various schools, racking up enormous amounts of debt while learning everything in the whole world.
This makes conversations about my education difficult. She was hoping I'd be done with college in four years. No matter how many times I told her that it would take me five, she kept insisting that I could be done in four. I went through it with her tonight and showed her that it just wasn't possible. She's a bit disappointed. And then I mentioned grad school, and all she can think about is how much debt I'll be in after I graduate. Which I admit is a valid concern, but how am I supposed to get around it? My calling is writing and language, and for better or for worse, the good jobs in that field all require a graduate degree. If I want to be an editor, or a professor, I need at least a masters', if not a doctorate. And those cost money. Lots of money. Some people choose to buy big houses and fancy cars and get themselves into debt. I choose to go into debt for an education. See? When I put it that way, it seems almost... noble.