August 3, 2008

the grad decision

Last week as I sat alone in our quiet house, in our quiet little town (less than 1,000) I decided that I needed something to do again. I've spent the last year and a half planning our wedding or at least thinking about it nearly every day. Now that that is over and we're not ready for kids I decided that I needed something else to keep me busy (I get REALLY bored and cranky REALLY fast when I have nothing to do). So I decided that I wanted to look into grad school. I did some research online and talked to a few other teachers who have recently pursued their Master's Degree in education. I was specifically looking into UNI, where Matt and I both got our undergrads, or Viterbo University.
Viterbo University is a Catholic college in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. They offer a quick and dirty graduate program all throughout Iowa and Wisconsin. There are lots of different "sites" around the state that offer classes for credit with Viterbo and one is right in Cedar Falls. There are 5 core classes that have to be taken and 7 elective classes, equaling 36 total hours of graduate credit. The final 3 credits come from a week long "seminar" in LaCrosse the week of graduation which will be July 1010 (I'm the first to admit that seems like it's darn far away still!).
So I got some information and then called my best friend from school, Renee. Renee teaches special ed at the same school that I teach at and also started there last year. She was my personal attendant in my wedding and has been an awesome friend. I told her she needed to look into this program because we could get it done in just over a year and a half.
So the decision has been made... I start classes tomorrow. I have to admit, I'm both excited and a bit sad. Excited because I've always loved school, the classes haven't ever been too challenging, the people are fun and it's always been pretty easy for me overall. Plus, a $5,000 pay raise won't hurt either! But the other side of me is sad. I just signed up for this first class on Thursday, and now I suddenly find myself on the last real night of my summer vacation, instead of still having one more glorious week. I had counted on having next week to finish some stuff up (mainly get some sun in our pool) but instead I'll be sitting in class Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm. I know deep down this is a good thing, but it's also going to be a decent amount of work. Most of the classes are held Friday nights from 5pm-10pm and Saturdays from 8am - 6pm. If you know me well enough you know that I'm usually asleep by 9pm (and I'm not kidding, ask Matt) so the thought of sitting through a graduate class until 10pm makes me wonder if this will work for me...nevertheless I'm giving it a shot.
The class that I am taking tomorrow is a 4 hour elective course. We will have class this entire week, 2 or 3 weekends during the school year, and then ended with another full week next June. It is a writing class, focused mostly on how to run a good writer's workshop in your classroom, I think?! Like I said, I just signed up on Friday, so who knows what it will be about. All I really know is that it's dirt cheap because the school district is covering part of it, and Renee will be there. =)
So wish me luck as I take another big step for the year and become a grad student (really... wish me luck, I'm going to need it on those looooong, winter, Friday nights!)

*Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Tennis match number 2 with the rents was held today... and WE WERE VICTORIOUS AGAIN! Although we only played one set to 8 because it was SO hot out!

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