lolamatopoeia: (whoopdeefuckingdo)
I submitted my acceptance to Nipissing last night. I'm not going to lie and tell you that I am excited about this decision (or, rather, not as excited/exciting as I would be if I chose otherwise), but I know that it is the best option for me for many reasons. This has been, and is, tough for me.

I know that many of you will be disappointed in me for this and I would have loved to be in a spot where I could say to everyone 'fuck it all, I'm going to NZ anyway' but I can't. I'd love to be able to let all my friends and family, strangers and enemies, watch me take big risks in life but I have to do what works for me. It would have been great to wrap up this story of my desire for travel and teaching with an ending like 'and then she lived happily ever after by going to school in NZ after all' (heck, who wouldn't want to read that) but this is not the end of my story folks, this is just the beginning. I will now look forward to a full lifetime of teaching and travelling, and living and teaching in different lands.

One of my biggest goals in life is to live in a different country for at least a year, hopefully more, and I am still going to accomplish this goal. I have to. Although I had initially thought that going to school overseas was a good way to do this, it is not going to be the best way for me. I will teach in NZ (or even Australia or the UK) as soon as humanly possible when I am finished my training at Nipissing - that's a promise I've made to myself. I have to keep it. This is not the end of my story, this is just the beginning.

Regardless, I am still quitting my job and leaving on a jet plane for a trip to New Zealand in June (and tramping around NZ and AUS until the beginning of August).

I'm trying hard to stay positive, but so far I've been finding it pretty difficult. I woke up this morning and the first instinct I had was to think something about NZ like I have been doing for the past six months, just an automatic impulse I've made into a habit. It's a habit because this has been on my brain for so long while North Bay (or, Nort' Bey as the locals call it) has not. I do not want to be sad or regretful about this decision. It'll kill me. I need to be positive about this and I can't allow myself to look back on this in any negative way. I can't. This has to be a good thing. I can't allow myself to be sad about this. I can't handle being sad anymore. I am choosing, and trying hard, not to be sad. Your help, friends and strangers, would be appreciated right now. I'm feeling kind of fragile. I need positive thoughts and words and support and encouragment to make sure I don't look back and go into a negative space but keep looking forward to a bright and full future. This is not the end of my story. Be happy for me. I want to be happy. Thanks for all of your support.

Happy thoughts, please?
lolamatopoeia: (pieceofwork)
So, as it turns out, I have been accepted into every Ontario Teachers College I applied to. I've been offered admission to Nipissing (North Bay, ON), Western (London, ON), and Lakehead (Thunder Bay, ON)'s BEd (Intermediate/Senior) programs. I have until April 17th to accept.

Oh, and I've also been accepted to the University of Canterbury's Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning (Secondary) program (in Christchurch, NZ). Classes start at the beginning of July.

I have a decision to make.

The amazing news is that, no matter what I choose, by around this time or so next year I will be a qualified Teacher. Woo hoo!

The tough bit is that I feel like I am at a tremendous crossroads with this decision.

This is going to get very long )

I had intended to make this a pros and cons list post, but somehow I ended up just writing and writing and writing. Sorry.

Nipissing

Apr. 1st, 2009 07:36 am
lolamatopoeia: (inconceivable!)
I woke up this morning to find an Offer of Admission to the BEd program at Nipissing University in my inbox. Uh oh. This is where things get complicated.

I am fully aware that Teacher Education programs in Ontario are ridiculously competitive and notoriously difficult to get into and so to anyone else this would be fantastic news and I don't want to take that for granted - but then I've got New Zealand and the University of Canterbury's Offer dangling in front of me. FUCK. I want to go the NZ for what I see as the experience of a lifetime and take a chance, my one last shot at a dream, but at the same time this is my education we're talking about and I've got to consider if I should go to a school that is known for a quality program or for one that let me in likely partially because I'm an international student (and is thus usually a last resort for wannabe teachers in Ontario who otherwise could not get in here). But I've never even been on a plane before! If I chose to stay that's like choosing to be stuck here in Ontario forever! FUCK fuck fuckity FUCK fuck FUCK FUCK.

Edit: The deadline to accept their Offer is April 17th.

FUCK.
lolamatopoeia: (whoopdeefuckingdo)
I'm not sure if it's that it just hasn't hit me yet or if it's that I'm actually alright with the fact that I did not get into the PhD program, but I'm surprisingly OK. In any case, thanks to all of you for the congratulations! :)

What may really be the kicker is seeing all of the really smart and well deserving people I know get their acceptance letters rolling in over the next little while. Then it might actually hit me and I'll be able to process all of it. Maybe do a little grieving because any rejection, no matter how OK I am about it, sucks. No no, what will actually be really tough is when my former classmates from my MA get their PhD's in a few years. Hopefully by then I'll be in a better place in life though and I'll be better prepared to deal with that. I'll be OK. The rejection doesn't mean that I am not intelligent or that my idea isn't something that needs to be pursued, it just means that it isn't my time. Or, maybe it really is just not the right path for me - and that's OK. I'm still OK.

The thing is, I'm now trying to wrap my head around the idea that this means I'm actually going to New Zealand in a few months, and that I'm truly going to be a Teacher (and a damn good one). Just, wow. That part, that's the part that doesn't feel real.

_____________________________

I went for my second run this week at the Running Room and I'm so glad I did. I was feeling so sore, as though my thigh muscles had ripped away from the bone, but I knew that if I didn't go I might as well give up now because I won't keep up the commitment. I took it easy and actually felt exhilarated by the end of the run - so much so that I grabbed the dog as soon as I got home and took her for a few rounds around the block as well! One of the best parts of the whole experience is the whole community aspect - other runners wave and smile as they run by and welcome me in their groups and their lifestyle and it's such a friendly space to be in, on top of the activity, fresh air, and a great sense of accomplishment. So glad I joined.

______________________________


I need my hair cut off, like now. I am so sick of the stuff growing out of my head I could just rip it out. I'm just so sick of my look with this hair - it just hangs there. It's just long and straight and I almost never do anything with it. I hardly even wear it in a ponytail or anything anymore. It just hangs there because I can't be bothered fussing over it. Maybe I just need a new style or something, like maybe I'll get some bangs or whatnot, but lately I've been thinking of doing things like this, or this (the redhead), also here, or maybe even this (on the left). I'm leaning most toward the first photo. I need something drastic and that I don't have to do anything with, but I'm also terrified of having an awful haircut to display in pictures of my time overseas. Bah! Let me know what you think, keeping in mind that I currently look like this:

The picture of Tudor and me was taken on Saturday night at a work event. Yep, I'm that short, and he's pretty cute too. I have a nice face stuffed full of food in that there photo.
lolamatopoeia: (boss)
I finished the application, and it's now out of my hands. I am exhausted. I got a lot of help from some tremendous and brilliant friends, and I put my best efforts into the proposal and now it's just ... it's done. I am completely trusting that whatever happens after this, I will be completely ok.

To be honest though, things are going to get really fucking complicated if I actually get in.
lolamatopoeia: (Default)
I've been working on this awful Statement of Intent for my PhD application all day today. It's bad, I mean really bad. Well, it's an excellent idea and concept but the application itself is just poorly executed and badly researched and I can't pretend that the committee won't see that.

The thing is, while I've been struggling to write this thing I've been having to stop myself from researching places to stay in New Zealand when I get there. As I was browsing through flats to rent in Canterbury I had to stop myself to ask 'What the hell am I doing?'. No, really - what the hell am I doing?

I went to a party (the annual Festivus party, yes it is as awesome as it sounds) last night with some great friends. I have great friends and I don't spend enough time with them having fun. I had fun, and I need to have fun and really truly enjoy the fun times more often.

I haven't been outside all day. I haven't breathed fresh air all day. The sun went up and it went down and I've been in my pajamas, tied to this proposal, locked away and full of anxiety all day. If by some weird twist of fate I actually get in to this program today is just a taste of what I would be facing for the next 4-7 years. What the hell am I doing?

All of this is telling me something, I know. I'm trying my best to listen.

thought

Jan. 7th, 2009 12:14 am
lolamatopoeia: (Default)
Tudor and I were talking briefly about applications, about PhD's and academia in general and I mentioned how I never really saw an end point to my academic journey when I started graduate school (or, even during my undergrad). I just assumed that I would go on afterwards and continue into a career in a university, as a professor. I didn't consider anything outside of that and I really, really, really should have. I chose to get a Master of Arts degree in English Literature because I like books, and I didn't want to stop being in school. I was very wrong, and I've got years of being virtually unemployable and miserable to show for it.

If I were to do it all again, I explained to him, if I would have known that a PhD was not for me (since I'm still not sure it is, even though I'm applying) I would have chosen a more marketable, career-focused, Masters program - like professional or creative writing, or library sciences, or museum studies. I could pursue a lot of the things I'd like to professionally with any one of those degrees, and would have turned out much more employable and possibly much less miserable.

If I were really able to do it over again, though, I realized with absolute resolve - I would have done an MFA instead and studied Art History and learned to be a better painter and sculptor. In such a program I would have pursued the things that bring me so much joy I can feel it in my fingertips and I would be marketable to galleries, museums and other cultural institutions where I would flourish. Yes, absolutely - if I could go back I would have done an MFA instead. And flourished.

This may not seem like much to you reading it, but to me that knowledge feels like a revelation. I felt the need to document it in some way. If I were to do it again, I would pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree, and painted and sculpted and studied the masters, instead. I know this for certain, I wish I would have known this then and followed my first instincts.

I think that if I go to New Zealand I will definitely pick up my third teachable subject and become qualified to teach Art as well.

A second Masters would just be silly though, wouldn't it?

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