(In my previous week’s post, I mentioned my path to education; I said that that wasn’t the time to talk about it in depth. True. Now, however, is the time to talk about it in-depth. Enjoy.)
This blog has been up and running for almost a full year. In that time, I feel I have accomplished a decent amount, from amassing a small cadre of followers to posting content regularly, to even initiating several ambitious projects. However, I have also resolved myself on personal things which haven’t made it into blog format. Things like the remainder of my undergraduate college career and my future post-university.
Originally, it was my intention to attend graduate school and study medieval literature. I had high-hopes on becoming a Ph.D. candidate and being the first in my family to earn a doctorate. But… no longer.
Why, you might be asking, what happened? Did I receive some flunking grades, do I feel like I wouldn’t be able to cut it? Am I suffering from imposter syndrome?!
Honestly, I just no longer feel that spark to attend grad. school. I feel my efforts are better spent elsewhere.
When I think of graduate school, I think of two things: (1) pure intellectualism and (2) Ivory Tower seclusion abetted by a tiny world complex.
All though I am an intellectual person and I know I have the skills to succeed in a doctoral program– along with the letters of recommendation to make myself a competitive candidate– I am tired of being a student. I do not want to spend another half-plus-decade laboring on classes and papers that hardly anyone will read only to then have my career depend on publishing in limited circulation journals that have such a niche audience, that my few views here on my blog could give these pieces a run for their money.
Furthermore, I want a career. If I attended graduate school, I would put off on having a life, a career, by several more years and I don’t want that. I want to get out of university, get my own place, and build my life. The last thing I want to do is invest even more of my life in a system that is tiring to me.
One final reason why I no longer plan to attend graduate school is the most important reason– because I want to teach.
Sure, I could teach after earning my advanced degree, but that is not the level I want to teach. I want to teach at the secondary level. Yeah, I know that teaching at that level doesn’t sound like the correct move for someone like me, who is an intellectual– heavens’ know I have heard that from numerous professors– but it is what I feel is appropriate for me and what I feel would be intellectually demanding in its own way.
Five years ago when I began my undergraduate career, I was originally a Secondary Education (English) major. And though I do not want to get into the very personal minutia of those first couple of years, I will say that due to a combination of Depression and failing to apply myself in mathematics, I was forced to change majors after not making the needed progress on my degree.
Now, however, things have changed. I am once more gearing up for studying Secondary Ed.: the mathematical obstacles that were in my way before are less intimidating and I have wrestled with those personal issues; though some of those issues are far from over, those that were in my way a few short years ago, are gone.
More and more as I look back on my time after being forced to change my majors, I feel that the desire to attend grad. school was fueled at least partially by a need to find a niche for me in a world without secondary teaching as a career. But now that that reality is no more, and teaching secondary ed. as a career is a possibility, it feels only natural that I return to Secondary Education and leave behind my plans for graduate school (at least for now).
Does this mean that I never plan on earning an advanced degree (outside of education)? I am not sure. All though I have not closed myself off to the idea of someday applying to a Ph.D. program, I realize that everywhere I wait outside of my undergraduate career, is one year less likely to be accepted somewhere while being offered funding. And all though I am again fine with the idea of self-funding, where that is a financial burden I wish to undertake is unknown at the present time. I feel that it is give and take and something to still seriously consider.
Right now, I can only say this: I intend on double majoring in English as well as Secondary Education (English). What I do after hasn’t yet been chiseled in stone.
Assuming I teach after university, then what will become of this blog? After all, a big reason why this blog exists was to offer me a method of scholarly engagement that, sometimes fun and sometimes academic, meant to complement my future research. If I am teaching high school, what will become of this site?
The simple answer is that I do not know.
If I integrate medieval texts into my curriculum, then this site could still be used to host assignments and educational games. In that scenario, I can see the site having a purpose, even if that purpose is occasional hosting. But, I cannot assume that is what will happen; I can’t count on being able to teach medieval texts at the high school level. Whether this is due to pre-determined texts or simply a matter of such texts not being the right choices for students, I should not count on being able to use this website for teaching. As such, I can only say that at the minimum, the site will continue to exist for, at the very minimum, the next five or six years (as I still need the website for university projects and then a couple of years after I graduate as I figure out the whole teaching ‘game’), but outside of that time frame is less certain. If the worse case scenario is that if I find myself not using the site, then I will have to shut down. With hosting costing around $36/per year, that would be a burden on a teacher, especially if I wasn’t even doing anything with the website.
Time will tell, though. Time will tell.
In the meantime, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for reading.