One of the best aspects of being in a master’s degree program is that I get to learn! I have always known that my undergraduate degree was a bit of a waste, because I was more concerned with boys (men? were they “men” at that age?) and running on the track team. Those were my priorities, not “Feminism is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.”
Now, however, I have to spend time researching: I have to cull through journal articles and anything “peer reviewed.” So far, I am allowed to research what interests me as long as it’s education-related (I know that will change and I will be more restricted in what I am supposed to research), so I have spent a great deal of time researching the problems in the common core state standards (CC$$). I won’t go into details here, because it will bore most readers, but it’s been of great interest to me.
I am not going to lie: I am getting my master’s degree because it’s the only way to protect my job. Yes, after 22 years of teaching, I am near the bottom of the proverbial totem pole at my school. (This is because the state legislature took away teacher senority, which is a problem for a different posting, but suffice it to say that what they decided still won’t get rid of bad teachers and makes good ones have to jump through hoops that they might otherwise not have to jump through. Yes, I am considering myself a “good” teacher in this scenario).
But I digress….
I am getting my master’s degree because I have to; however, I am determined to A) enjoy; B) learn a great deal from it; and C) make new connections with people I wouldn’t otherwise have met.
I want to learn something. If I am going to jump through these particular hoops, I am going to make sure I get something out of it: something that will benefit my teaching or will benefit me as a human being.
It makes me want to somehow tell all those 18-22 year old college students to learn something! I squandered my education. Most people do, I think. Looking back, I know that I would love my undergraduate classes (c’m on…”Sexuality in Shakespeare’s Poems”…what’s not to love? “Contemporary American Fiction”…I’d love that class now. Even “Paleontology” would be interesting to me now).
Our worlds are narrow at 20 years of age: they just are, and maybe they’re supposed to be. However, at this age (no, I’m not saying my age in cyberspace), time constraints and responsibilities narrow things for us.
And with that, I have to get back to annotating “Considering the CCSS Nonfiction Literature Exemplars as Cultural Artifacts: What Do They Represent?”
Which–frighteningly–is actually interesting and exciting to me. When I was 20, it probably would have made me nuts.
Education might be wasted on the youth…but good teachers make a world of difference: Chris Marsh, Conrad Davis, Ken VanBuren, Ann Hammersly and Kate Petersen…you guys made a big difference for me when I was in grade school and high school! Thank you! 🙂