Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm already planning a party

I think I'm bored. I know I posted a list a few weeks back of all the things I did during a fairly busy day, but not all days are like that. Some are crazier than that one, but the past few days I feel like I've just been passing time.

The things I do do are so varied and scattered that they don't seem to add up to much. I baked at the bakery on Saturday. I've had some library business to attend to. I've had to plan ahead my Sunday School lesson and find a sub since I'll be in St. Louis. I've done some housework. That's all well and good, but you put it all together and you have....what?

My plan has been to wait until all the kids have been in school for year before I make a life change. It's been hard to imagine what it will be like when they are all out in the world. But, three months in to Ollie gone half days and Phoebe and Moses gone all day....and I can't foresee another year of staying at home without some sort of outside action.

So, I went online to look at the Masters of Arts in Teaching program here at Hastings College. It's a good school. That program is just what I want. But it's expensive. There's the University of Nebraska Kearney, but it's an hour away. There's an online program through Doane College (here in NE) that I have some friends going through, but I don't like the idea of online.

HC really would be my first choice. It's a beautiful campus right across town. I could ride my bike. I have several friends who are professors or work there in some capacity (though none in this program)--it would just be a nice place to study, a nice community to be a part of.

I filled out an online form to request info because there wasn't much on the website about the graduate programs. About 12 hours later the phone rang and it was my friend Darcy. She goes to our church. Her daughter and Phoebe are good friends. I knew Darcy worked at HC, but I didn't realize that she was the Graduate School Coordinator and when I filled out that form it went directly to her!

So, Darcy said if I can get a Graduate Assistant position my tutition is waived and I get a stipened. She looked up all the graduate assistant positions and the one for the learning center (where you go get help on papers) will be open come May.

I would have to apply, get two letters of reccommendation and take this Praxis test (in lieu of the GRE). Filling out the application itself is easy. And I can round of some letters of rec from good folks in the community with whom I've worked on various committees and things (which initially I was nervous about because I don't know that any of my college profs would remember me--I was a transfer and I graduated early--I was only at Valpo for 2-1/2 years). I wondered how hard the Praxis would be until I looked at practice questions. It's basically reading (basic comprehension), writing (they give you a topic and you write an essay) and math.

Ah, math. The practice questions looked hard to me. Most of them I knew how to figure out. I just don't know if I can do it within the time limit. There were a few geometry questions that were compltely outside my realm of knowledge. So, I will have to study math...but so what? I can learn math. I might not like it, but I can do it.

I'm really excited. I know that really it's just the first wave of excitement--the I HEARD ABOUT THIS YESTERDAY AND I'M GOING TO CHANGE MY LIFE Excitement. But, euphoria aside, it looks like a really smart move. Especially if I can be a graduate assistant.

Ollie can start kindergarten the same day I start graduate school. And then when he's in third grade (and Phoebe's in sixth and Moses is in fourth) I can start teaching. That seems like a pretty good plan....?

And then I just skip on ahead to my graduation party. I remember my friend Rachel saying she threw a graduation party with a tent outside for Kyle when he completed his phD and I always thought that sounded fabulous. So, in three years you are invited to my graduation party...that is, if I acutally apply to graduate school.


Hope said...

I liked that post a great deal. I was reminded I my start in grad school and how exciting it all is. It still is exciting. In fact, if you don't think it starts up that quickly, just remember that every summer i've gone to Spain it has been about four weeks from decision that I want to go to actually going, so you could be enrolling after Christmas for all you know! Just let me know what the date is for the party and I'll save it.

Melanie said...

o, em, i think that sounds FABULOUS!! i think you would be an incredible teacher, and that you would love it, too. i want you to teach my kiddos, whenever they are old enough to have you as a teacher. and how cool if you could go to school right there in hastings? i'm excited for you...can't wait to hear if/how it unfolds! and i definitely want to come to your tented party.

emdunbar said...

Darcy did ask if I was looking to start in January. That's way too soon for me to wrap my brain around, plus I've still got Ollie half days. So, I definately thinking August.
Teaching has always been what I thought I would eventually do.'s exciting to think about. Mel, if you guys just move to Hastings I'd love to teach Annie & Lucy.

Angela said...

I think that teaching sounds great! It almost is af it is meant to be the way everything is falling into place, and to have the same schedule as your children would be wonderful. What area are you interested in teachin? Count me in for the party as well! I have never been to Nebraska.

Carey said...

I'll bet John Ruff remembers you... :) Heck, I think it would be fun to find out. Traveling mercies back to St. Louis. I'm sure that your dad will be thrilled to see you!


emdunbar said...

Carey, John Ruff might remember me! His class changed my life...doesn't that sound dramatic? But he was the first prof who made me feel smart and like it was okay to take chances and write creatively and outside the box. He really gave me confidence as a student and my attitude and grade did a giant turn around that sememester. Good old John Ruff. Molly Sandock maybe would too...nothing academic, but because, when we were reading the awful/wonderful novel "Pamela: Virtue Rewarded" (in which Pamela is rewarded for fending off her potential rapist by getting to marry him), Jill and I used to send her emails assuring her we'd preserved our virtue through another weekend. Ha!

Angela, my plan has been to teach high school English...I just read your comment asking me that question in email form, but now I don't see the comment on the blog? Mysterious!

emdunbar said...

There it is!