A Little Bit of Wonder is where I journal about the somewhat roundabout way that I have been working to establish a career and a strong sense of self--I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about "direction" and "identity." I have a Master's Degree in Literature, but I'm no longer working as an English Professor; I'm starting the next step in my life as I work to establish a career as a writer in the non-profit sector.
At my companion blog, Little Wonder's Recommended Reading, you will find reviews for both books and other blogs that I enjoy. The two blogs are inter-linked, so you can access my reviews and reading challenges from the sidebar on the left.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
One friend has dubbed these letters "thin envelopes," because the letter is a single sheet of paper -- as opposed to the nice, fat admissions packet that you were hoping to find folded, wrinkled and shoved into your mailbox: "We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted... Will you be needing on-campus housing? Here are your options, and here is a detailed explanation of all the money that we will give you..."
Now that I have three thin envelopes, I am just waiting on one more response. I'm still hoping that I will come home one day and instead of finding another delivery from Amazon (yay, more books!), I'll find a thick manila envelope stamped George Washington University. Then I will dance all the way up the hallway stairs, back in to my apartment, where I'll make my husband open the envelope. After this happens, I will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that I will have income to buy groceries and books, and health care to cover the cost of my allergy treatments. If I don't spend all my money on drugs, doctors and books, I might even be able to buy myself a new phone -- my cell is looking pretty shabby after I dropped it off the balcony and it landed face-down on cement patio below. So much hangs on the girth of a single envelope -- no wonder I'm having trouble sleeping.
As I try to prepare myself for that last envelope being as thin as the other three, I've been trying to come up with a positive spin on the situation. I can use the next year to focus on my art: I can take another watercolor class, or perhaps a pottery class, and have more time to make jewelry, which I sell online. I can also use the time, as I prepare another batch of applications to Ph.D. programs, to start researching my dissertation, and therefore have a more detailed application essay. I could start to learn Spanish, which I plan on doing eventually anyway, which will also make me a better candidate for a Ph.D. program. Since I will still be employed as adjunct professor, I can try out some ideas that I have for teaching developmental writing classes using themes and roll-playing games.
I can't help of thinking through the cons as well as the pros, though, the most terrifying of which is the prospect of re-taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). I've been through two rounds of these awful tests already. Several years ago, I took the general test, proving my competency in math, vocabulary and writing. Then, last fall, I took the dreaded LIT GRE, which demonstrated exactly how many of the World's Greastest Books I haven't read. Your scores for these tests are considered valid for several years, but since I took the general GRE before earning my Master's degree, I might have to retake that exam if I am not accepted to a doctoral program in the next year or two. That would mean re-learning algebra -- again -- and it is that thought that gives me nightmares. These were literal nightmares, in fact, which brought me to heart palpitations almost as violent as those I experience when I dream about returning to high school gym class. Apparently, I was enrolled to re-take algebra and pre-calculus at my old high school, but I had missed the first month of classes. When I tried to find out what I had missed and how many assignments I would have to make-up, I was told that the class had already covered all the mathematical principles developed in the first several centuries of advanced human civilization, so I would have to learn all of that on my own.
I awoke in a cold sweat, and began praying that George Washington University would send me an envelope bulging with scholarship offers and complicated instructions for obtaining my Student ID card.