Sunday, April 28, 2013

30b430 Goal #12: Get my Master's degree

It's been a few months since my last post, but I've been busy working on finishing this goal:
Teachers don't make a big enough deal when they get advanced degrees. It's a big effing deal. 
Since January of 2008, I've taken a class every Fall and Spring semester at Western Michigan University in the Socio-Cultural Studies of Education program. In the summers, I traveled for school or work, wrote curriculum, read for school, and planned future writings. It's been hard, but rewarding. How people do this when they have kids is beyond me. Seriously. I applaud those people. When I finally turned in my final paper, I felt like I'd birthed a mind baby:
My bulky final paper manuscript
My program made me a better thinker and teacher. It made me see the possibilities of my intellect. It helped me articulate my social justice lens on life and teaching. I've read thousands of pages, written more papers than I can count, and presented at national conferences... all in addition to teaching middle and high school English full time. Do you guys know what it's like to try and grade 130 research papers while writing your own? If you're an English teacher trying to be awesome at grad school and your job you know how much it sucks. I feel relieved and excited for what comes next. 

One of the many reasons I walked at graduation was because my little sister was graduating with her Bachelor's. The timing happened to work out perfectly-- I was supposed to finish in December, but I dragged my feet and ended up going for one more semester. Throughout the day I felt like a proud mama... I kept looking at her and tearing up, remembering when I took her to Freshman orientation, when she moved into her first apartment and asked me how to make a hamburger, when she told me she wanted to be a teacher, when she first observed me in my classroom, when she asked me for help on lesson plans... it was so emotional! What a beautiful moment. Our Dad would be so proud.
I don't know what's next for me besides teaching, but I've got some tricks up my sleeve. I wouldn't be so ambitious, driven, and motivated if it wasn't for my mom and the Hubs:
I'm a lucky lady.

After the ceremony, we got ready for a chill backyard celebration. The weather was perfect-- we had the best day we've had in months, the Hubs built me a beautiful fire pit for graduation, and Ranger IPA was on sale. 
It was an amazing night with my favorite people and a warm fire. I'm glad we made it a big effing deal.

It feels good to be done. 
Now it's time to lose the ten pounds I put on this semester from sitting in front of books and the computer and eating my feelings. Back to triathlon training! It's been too long!!!! 

5. Play the piano in front of people.
6. Visit my family in the Philippines (or at least have tickets booked by my 30th birthday).
7. Have a conversation with a dear Senegalese friend in French or Wolof (preferably Wolof).
8. Visit my grandparents in California.
9. Pop a champagne cork with no fear.
10. Make leche flan (it's Filipino, it's amazing, and I'm makin' it).
11. Jar or can veggies, pickles, sauce... something.
12. Revised 5/1/12 because I remembered that I'm supposed to graduate in December and my Master's degree is really important to me!!! Get my Master's degree and submit some of my academic writing and then, maybe, you know... get it published.
13. Travel out of the country with Nate.
14. Pay off at least 50% of my remaining undergraduate credit card debt.
15. Sing karaoke by myself in Kalamazoo in front of all of my friends.
16. Eat clean for one month.
18. Write at least one chapter of the novel that I write in my mind while I'm walking the dogs.
19. Thank my mom for everything she's done for me.
20. Go further into the UP than the Mystery Spot tourist trap and jump into Lake Superior.
21. Get chosen for one more summer fellowship in another country where I am able to work with youth.
22. Go on a police ride along.
23. Get to 200 blog posts.
25. Attend roller derby training so I can learn the moves.
28. Learn how to drive a stick.
29. Go horseback riding.8/8/12

30. Poach an egg perfectly.


CDuyba said...

YAY. i'm so proud of you! and i know you've done number 10, because i ate some!!

webberd said...

Pretty sure #30 is also completed. :)

erica said...

Congratulations Jen! I'm sure it feels wonderful to check that off your list. I'm inspired by your ambition!

do_it_ajen said...

Thanks ladies! I KNOW the other ones are done too... I just have to write about them! :)

Dusty said...

You are awesome!

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