Friday, May 13, 2011

Done with the semester!

I haven't been able to access Blogger for a few days now, and based on the fact that Lauren hasn't posted her Friday blanks yet, I'm assuming this is a blogosphere-wide issue. Yuck. I'll play along with fill-in-the-blank-friday later then, but now....

I'm done with my class!!! A little background: I have wanted to earn a PhD in English lit since undergrad. Fear of a crappy academic market, as well as cute little monthly reminders that I owe (what feels like) a bajillion dollars in student loans made me hold off and get a high school teaching job. There have been so many things I loved about it-- it gave me strengths and skills I never thought I'd possess, I had the pleasure of influencing scores of young people, etc.

But I have worked with a LOT of assholes. And man, I don't know where all the money that goes into education ends up, because teachers do not see it, either in salary or resources (see exhibit A, a frighteningly regular sight).

Exhibit A

So, having the amazing and supportive partner I have, I applied in the fall of 09 for a master's degree... and chickened out of finishing the final steps. "It's too much money!" I moaned-- I didn't want to drag him into a life of debt, you know? Somehow, though, this past year, there was a computer glitch at University on the Lake, and I was reminded that my application (which should have automatically been discarded) was incomplete. I went in on a whim to meet with the director of graduate admissions, and she is so lovely. She was kind and realistic and reassuring, and she loved my letter of intent so much that she said she's be happy if I joined their program! On the spot like that! I couldn't *technically* start until the fall of '11, but I could get started as a non-degree students, and transfer my credits, so in January I began an early modern (Shakespeare-era) literature class.

It was HARD. Harder than anything I'd ever experienced. My new acquaintances said that it was 3x the work of any of their other classes. I was teaching full time, and was floundering. Sometime in the spring though, things got so awful at work that I was a depressed, angry, too-touchy monster all the time, and I left teaching in March. It was the new hardest thing I'd ever done, but it was so freeing. And I had time to devote everything to this class. (I still waited until the last minute to finish my 20-page final paper though. See pathetic post below). But it's done now! Tuesday the other 8 students and I went to my professor's apartment for dinner and drinks, and it was such a relief. We talked about our papers for a minute, but then just chatted for 5 HOURS. And played with his great dane puppy (one of my classmates said it was the smallest horse he'd ever seen, haha) and his monstrously huge cat. I'm sorry about the picture quality, but you had to see this cat. It weighs 31 pounds of solid muscle-- he felt like a basketball, I kid you not.
And then, after several bottles of wine disappeared, he got out his guitars. I was kind of laughing inside-- I don't think I've seen too many people whip out guitars and get their friends to jam since college. His partner even passed out CDs of his band to us! The hubs was like, "how cliche is that?" and I have to agree... but I had a great time. I am just so happy to be in an academic community again, and the people I'm around are really great.

(prof on the right, with hair just long enough to cover his face while he plays... i'm still kind of giggling.)

And to make this week even better, I scored an awesome PAID internship at a community college in the suburbs for the fall! I'm going to be crazy busy come September, but I am so excited for that! I won't forget to procrastinate though, I'm sure :)

See you soon for fitbf!

No comments:

Post a Comment