Today started the official MSE classes. (hooorray!!)
The whole computer department with room for thousands is empty as we're still on the middle of the summer, and we, the proud 14 students along with a few hand picked teachers fill these halls with the classes that will later on build and shape my personal view of the software world. (crossing my fingers)
So far, so good. Having classes exclusively in english language when all students are portuguese is not something new as I've spent last year passing through a similar experience with the CCNA.
The biggest difference is the fact that studying become (finally) a full time experience to me.
Over the past decade it wasn't nowhere easy to consolidate new knowledge while fighting with professional constraints or hostile study environments.
This time I'm really having fun while living a long waited goal and yet quite nervous to some extent about the quality of my work as everyone is reviewed constantly by people that are beyond doubt experts on this craft.
The MSE is seen as the crown jewel that represents the people who teach computer science in Coimbra's University and they uphold the professionalism and devotion to this goal at an incredibly impressive level. Students are expected no less commitment and I'm really happy to work in this environment.
At this moment I'm not so worried about the complexity or costs of this demanding course but my mind is troubled because of my contract work terms with the military.
If I cut my ties, then I'll breach the permanent staff contract terms that expect a minimum of 8 years under their roof. I still had 3 more years to reach this timeline, and breaking early gives them legal basis to request a compensatory indemnization for the 3 missing years.
Guess that some negotiation needs to take place or at least a (significant) source of income needs to be retrieved as the penalty can easily reach between 10k~20k euros. Perhaps a new bank loan can be drafted or the some distributed payments be agreed but freedom comes with a price.
The question that bothers my sleep: What is the price tag to gain back my freedom?