when i grow up

Image: Coiled Notebook, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from genbug's photostream

In the bio to this blog, I say that I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Most days I still don’t.  My husband has long maintained that I’m destined to be an English professor, whether I accept it or not.  These days, I think he’s probably right. In my last job in Charleston, I worked at a college and had the opportunity to take a few English grad classes as a non-degree student.  I loved every minute of them. I think there may be nothing I enjoy quite so much as reading, writing about, and talking about literature.  So, having still failed to receive a burning bush or singing telegram to tell me my future, I’m taking a step in that direction. Today, I submitted my application to join the English Lit MA program at the University of Central Arkansas, and, if everything works out, I’ll be starting classes this fall. As in, weeks from now.  And I actually have some surety that I’m doing the right thing for a change.

How do I know I’m doing the right thing? Well, while entertaining the possibility that I might start grad school this spring, I tried to tally up how much the degree would cost. When my total came up $30,000, I burst into disappointed tears, convinced I’d never get to go.  As he attempted to calm down the crazy, Jon pointed out that if I was so sad to think I wouldn’t get to go, it surely must be the thing I need to do.  Then, knowing my math skill level, he double checked my calculations and discovered that my total was way off. The real cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of $9,000, provided I could get in-state tuition. This, folks, is why he does the bill paying around here.

At this point, I was still thinking I’d have to start school in the spring, and not sure I’d qualify for in-state tuition.  Though I’m from Arkansas, born and raised, I’ve spent the last 3 years in South Carolina.  I emailed the graduate school office and was surprised to learn that all they ask for is my current address, which is in Arkansas, so I’m in-state.  I was also concerned that I haven’t taken the GRE, but it turns out I don’t need it to start classes this fall– I get a term to submit a score and become a full graduate student eligible for financial aid and assistantships.  So, everything seems to be falling into place!

I still need to find a part-time job, and I still need to take the GRE so I can be eligible for teaching assistantships come springtime, but I’m really, really excited.  Guess I need to go shopping for some school supplies!

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