Well, I have pre-scheduled this post, so hopefully as you are reading this entry I am on my way to Asheville, NC. I left Kansas Monday, June 15 at 5:30pm to fly to Atlanta, GA where I was to stay overnight with a fellow Bread Loaf student that I met last year. We were to leave Atlanta bright and early this morning, Tuesday, June 16, to travel about 4.5 hours to Asheville. Hopefully we arrived here around 1:00pm – I was able to secure my dorm room (and I am staying with my roommate from last year) – and I have unpacked my bags for a 6 week stay.
This will be my 2nd year (out of 5) in this program. The goal is to complete 2 courses each summer over the course of 5 years in order to obtain a Masters of Arts degree from Middlebury College. At the end of this summer I should be 40% complete.
So what makes a nearly 50 year old woman decide to go back for her Masters? I mean, I thought at the age of 50 I would be thinking about retirement (oh jeez — who am I kidding. Ten years ago I was a Stay-at-home mom and loving every minute of it. I never expected to have a career from which to retire!) Well, God works in mysterious way, that is for sure. He nudged me (well, He pushed me) into the classroom 8 years ago. I was not happy at His direction at the time, but I am so thrilled that I followed Him despite my personal feelings. Teaching has been the greatest thing to happen to me since marriage and children. I simply cannot imagine my life without it.
However, I have never been adequately trained to teach. I have a degree in French and Political Science circa 1982 from Gettysburg College. The last “official” English class I took was as a senior in High School (circa 1978). Doesn’t God have an amazing sense of humor? I am fairly adept at surfing the internet, however, and have numerous lesson plans to aid me in this career. I have reached a point, however, where I realize that I have truly taught myself all that I can and if I wish to progress to the next level, I need some outside guidance. The Bread Loaf School of English fits the bill perfectly.
Last year was my first year and I was nothing short of a basket case prior to leaving Kansas. It had been nearly 2.5 decades since I had been a student – had a roommate – and lived in a dorm. I mean, I own a 4 bedroom house, for goodness sakes. You mean to tell me that I must live for 6 weeks in a 6×8 foot room?! I have cooked my own meals for nearly 27 years – and now I must rely on the cafeteria menu?! I grade papers to help students become better writers and literary analysts – you mean to tell me that I now must be graded?! While these fears were somewhat unfounded, I did remain on at a high level of anxiety for the entire 6 week period. However, I did pass all my classes (you must pass with an 80% or higher) and I am now looking forward to this year’s program (still with anxiety – but also with excitement).
I have already outlined my courses in the Sunday Salon posts (parts 1 and 2), so I won’t bore you with repetition. When we arrive on campus on Tuesday, I will be assigned my room, unpack, relax (ha!) and then attend a reception at 5:30. Then it is off to attempt a good night’s sleep and I will hit the ground hard on Wednesday morning, from 9:00 – 11:45 with the writing ccourse.
I will update as possible….hope you don’t find them too dull 🙂