Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This Syllabus Has 17 Pages.

I've experienced some challenges on my road to pursuing my Master's degree. I started it 10 years ago and then my life got messy and graduate school got left by the wayside. I didn't really feel all that bad about it at the time, because it wasn't the precise degree I wanted and the school was my back-up, back-up, I'm-only-going-there-if-nothing-else-pans-out school.

However, trying to pick it back up all these years later has been more difficult than I thought it would be. Let this be a lesson to you. If you start a grad program, don't quit, people. Just don't do it. Get loans. Take a bad grade here and there. Suck it up and finish, goddammit. Because that whole story about "When one door closes and another one opens" is complete horse hockey. Sometimes doors slam shut.

Not to sound bitter or anything.

*Shakes cane*

Anyway, my life had finally settled down a bit, so I thought it was time to finish the unfinished. Turns out I couldn't just re-enter my old program at my old grad school. Nope. You can't just flounce back in and flit your wrists and do a little twirl and say, "Remember meeeeeee!?!" like old best friends and get back in. No. They wanted me to take the GRE for the third time. I'm sorry. I just can't. I can't take a four-hour SAT for grown-ups for the third time. It's some kind of torture, that test. And each time I take it I do worse. I peeked in the 90th percentile range back in 1993 and it's been downhill ever since. I think I would now score similarly to the rabbits that live under the bushes in my front yard.

The school also wanted me to get new recommendation letters from professors I haven't had in 10 to 20 years. And 2 out of 3 of the professors who wrote my recommendation letters the last time around are dead. So, there you go. I'm not going to be resurrecting the bodies of two beloved literature professors just so I can get back into a noncompetitive English program.

Getting a Master's degree in Education was sort of the path of least resistance. No GRE required. I could get recommendation letters from people I've worked with rather than professors I haven't had in decades. And I only had to write one short essay. Easy peasey lemon squeezey, as my son would say.

Except it's been one foible after another. I won't go into it all here, but I was supposed to start taking classes last May and there has been one snafu and red-tape situation after another. I finally get everything in order about a week before Fall class begin and the lo and behold, all the classes I A) need or B) fit in with my work schedule are already filled.

SIGH.

More juggling, hand-wringing and emailing back and forth with my advisor (who must hate me by now) and I'm registered for a class. An online class. Should be good, right? I mean, I won't even have to hurry to get to campus after work. Except no. The professor wants to do the Live Chats during my work hours.

DOUBLE SIGH.

I can work around that even. I email the professor (who must hate me by now) and I'm going to figure out a way to do the work after hours. Okay, fine. But that doesn't address the fact that the syllabus for this class is 17 mother-freaking pages long.

You read that right.

A 17-page syllabus.

And it is incomprehensible. It is written in some jargon-laden, teacher-speak that sounds like Swahili to me. I have read it over and over again, I've highlighted it and taken notes in the margins and it's still only becoming vaguely coherent.

This is the School of Education, people. It's just like I remembered it. Leave it to the Education professionals to write the most complicated, muddy, baffling and intimidating syllabuses ever recorded in the annals of higher education.

Something tells me I'm not going to make Honors this time around.

I don't care. Come hell or high water, I'm going to get that damn degree if it kills me and alienates every last staff member at the University of Bumble-Stumble.

As God as my witness, I will wear fancy robes at the end of this.

*Stands on mountain top. Waves staff. Hair blows in wind.*


Graduation Day, Motherfuckers.



22 comments:

  1. Whoever wrote the syllabus is in dire need of an editor. If he/she was going to write that much, they just should have continued on to write a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it's a test. Maybe we're supposed to re-write it for her so it is clear, concise and makes us excited to learn?

      Delete
  2. Good for you for keeping on it, running it all to ground. As for the grumpy adviser and professor--they're not paying you to go to school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. I'm paying them to educate me.

      So there!

      Delete
  3. Hahahaha your caption just made me laugh out loud. I wish you much luck and smooth sailing through the rest of this. I have a friend attending Duke Business School right now...while she works full time and lives in LA. Wine and naps are her saviors. You might want to invest in some bigger drinking glasses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your advice. You are good at this life coaching thing.

      Delete
  4. You ROCK so hard. You'd better be naked under that robe.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Luckily, I am not burdened by an overabundance of education.

    I can still think for myself, thank you.

    Life Coaching? Play Ice Hockey! That'll learn ya all ya need to know about life and stitches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Burdened by an overabundance of education" amuses me. It reminds me of people who get fired and are encouraged to "Pursue excellence elsewhere."

      Tee hee.

      Delete
  6. i am in grad school as well and this post resonates with me! I have had some semesters where I've written over 200 pages worth of papers! Love your blog by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes. You just sent a chill down my spine with that 200 pages!

      Delete
  7. The same thing happened to me this semester and again have to delay it for 6 more months.

    Loved the ending of your post btw... totally LMAO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the delays. The inevitable delays of life and graduate school.

      SIGH.

      Guess this gives you more time to save up.

      Delete
  8. The robes are nice, but not only do you have to earn them, you also have to buy them and by the way, if you keep going, the reading lists grow longer!

    Look on the bright side, I am sure the reading and writing required for a Masters of Education isn't nearly what it is for a Masters of Arts in Literature....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The MA in Lit would be more enjoyable reading, however.

      Delete
  9. Oh my stars. The lengths you will go to in order to get a robe and wind in your hair!

    ReplyDelete
  10. omfg. better you than me! lol. but do it. just do it. get it done and over with so you can move on with your life. that is how i felt about getting my B.A.!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gotta hand it to you, Mandy. You just made Charlton Heston intentionally funny.

    F-in' hell. You sure you don't wanna do film school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind, now that you mention it.

      Delete