Friday, November 11, 2011

Graduate School

I really do not have a song that relates to this topic of "graduate school", and for that, I am sorry.

However, to give you a brief update, I am currently in the process of applying for graduate school! For those of you who say "Whatever happened with Puerto Rico?" let me explain. But first, for those who are saying "Puerto Rico? what?!", I'll back up a little bit.

For the past couple of years I have been supporting a missionary friend (JJ). She works at a Christian school for the Deaf in Puerto Rico. I have always wanted to visit her and see the school and meet her students. When I heard that JJ was getting married this summer and would not be returning to teach for the 12-13 school year, I thought "Hmmm! The school will needing a teacher, and I will be needing a teaching job!" After much communication, thought, prayer, and many conversations with my family, I decided to inquire about their teaching position that JJ would be vacating. The school said they would love to have me and that I was "highly qualified" (...debatable in my mind, but I suppose you get what you can take when you are a Christian school, right?). They responded saying they wanted a three year commitment. I felt like that was God's way of "closing a door" because I had decided I only wanted to take one year off of school in between my undergraduate and graduate work. This three year commitment, pretty much single-handedly, made me decide that I did not want to take so much time off of school before jumping into a masters program.

Thus, the search for graduate schools began.

The worst thing about deciding what school to apply to/where to attend is the fact that I have to decide where I want to apply/attend. With a masters program that feeds into a state teaching credential (such as the programs that I am looking at), I would be certified to teach in that state, and normally that state alone. CA, being the hob-nob island that it is, says that you can only teach with a CA teaching credential. TN, being the laid-back-welcome-to-all place that it is, says you can teach in 12 other states with at TN teaching credential (including Florida...think: "sun"). This being the case, I am forced to decide between TN and CA. AHH! Its been grueling and I have been having an awful time deciding where I want to live for the next 5-10 years after I finish my schooling. (Talk about a big decision!)

This semester here in TN has left me homesick and missing my family like crazy. Slowly, but steadily, the Lord has been drawing my heart away from TN and the Southeast and back to CA. I love living here in TN and am so glad I still have about 8 more months to live here. Nonetheless, the idea of returning home to CA has been pressing on my mind and I cannot ignore that there are 2 nationally-recognized schools for deaf education in my home state (one in my home-county, even: San Diego).

So, the choices have slowly been narrowed down. When I applied for undergraduate school, all in all, I applied for 26 different colleges and universities. I have attended two universities and one community college all within the 4 years of undergraduate coursework. (You can see why the idea of choosing a graduate school is slightly frightening and overwhelming.)

Thankfully, because deaf education is based on many different philosophies, it makes it a little bit easier for me to decide on which school solely based on their school's philosophy on educating the deaf. I am only interested in a "non-oral" approach to educating the deaf (ie: I want to use ASL with my students vs. spoken English). I was looking at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN but then found out that their method is strictly oral. Woops! Won't be applying there. 

After a few conversations with one of the deans of the deaf education department here at UT, these are the schools to which I have decided to apply:

University of California at San Diego
California State Univeristy, Northridge
Gallaudet University, Washington D.C.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (where I currently attend for undergrad.)

I would appreciate your prayers over this (lenghty) process of applying, playing the waiting game, and making a decision about where to attend graduate school.


1 comment:

  1. Man I can totally relate...I was was in your shoes exactly a year ago. I will definitely keep you in my prayers as you apply and wait to see which doors open. Thanks for tagging me in this post! Keep me updated!