I'm so excited to start the MFA in writing for children and young adults program at Spalding University in July!
I'm a teacher, so getting a master's degree means an automatic raise for me as soon as I complete it. I can get that degree in anything...and English would be the same raise as Underwater Basket Weaving. I have been trying to decide what I wanted to pursue a mater's in since I started teaching six years ago, but I couldn't quite decide. Most of my coworkers get theirs in Education or something similar, but, honestly, that sounds so mind-numbingly boring that I don't know if I could commit two years to it and not go crazy. I mean, I want my raise, but I also want the time I spend working toward it to be meaningful, you know? Several years ago I looked into American Studies, which was my minor in undergrad and would be useful for my teaching, but I hit some snags in the application process and sort of realized it wouldn't be the best fit. Then my writing bestie Heather started her MFA at VCFA and I was all ZOMG, this is a thing? This is PERFECT. I can spend time learning something I actually want to learn about, AND I will be able to get my teacher raise! WOOP.
I did a lot of research into MFA programs, and I had some ups and downs along the way. I love the idea of low-residency programs, but may had their residencies during times I absolutely can't miss at work. (Taking two weeks off in MAY? Hahahahaha! Yeah, right.) But then I ran across Spalding's program that offers a summer residency, so no missing of work. They offer extended semesters, so I complete one semester per year, so I won't get too stressed out with a full-time working and full-time school workload. (You guys, my plate is already SO FULL.) They offer the concentration on children/YA which is KEY for me. AND, here's the best part...the summer residencies are ABROAD. YUP...this July I will be heading off to talk writing for two weeks in PARIS.
Paris, I am coming back to you! Thank goodness you will be less FREEZING this time around!
I'm not going to lie...I'm a little nervous about adding to my workload. I'm stressed and busy and adding another thing to my To Do list makes me want to cry. But the thing is, it's going to be stuff I care about and I'm interested in, so I don't think it will be that bad. And even though it will take me four years to finish vs two, at the end of it I will have a fancy degree that will mean a nice raise for me at work...and I'll be a better writer. AND PARIS FOR TWO WEEKS. (And other fabulous international cities in future summers, like Dublin/Galway next year.) So YAY.