Friday, September 4, 2009

My Vision for Grad School

12 Steps To Getting Admitted into Colleges & Universities in the United States: Playbook on Applying to Colleges and Universities in the US">Im reading a book called 12 Steps to Getting Admitted into College... I will be teaching a course this fall called Academic Orientation: Application and Admissions. The class aims to help international students in the application process to undergraduate and graduate schools in the US. Coincidentally, I will be applying for grad school at the same time I am slated to teach this course. So, all the work I do for my application will actually be count toward my time lesson planning. What better way to lead students than to experience something first hand with them?

Step 1, as encouraged by this book, is to have VISION and PASSION. The chapter encourages the reader to think about what initially motivated them to think about college or a career. The author relates an experience in high school with see a photo of a cyclotron in his middle school physics book. The inscription below the picture said -Courtesy of MIT Nuclear Laboratory. That one photo and that 5 word phrase birthed something in him. Now, I don't know what a cyclotron is, but I get it that it excited him. From that point on, MIT was his destination.

So, what is my vision and where did it start? These are great things to think about. I have always thought it would be fun to be a writer, but it never really occurred to me as a career choice. I don't really no why not. I am always writing little humor columns in my head, re-wording jokes, sequencing events to make the best story-line possible. But, it wasn't until recently that I considered it an option to pursue. What flipped the switch?

Three things really: 1. David Braud. 2. David Sedaris 3. David Bonales.

David Braud is my husband. This summer, Dave and I were discussing grad school. I have mentioned several times this year that I want to go back to school to get a Master's Degree. As Dave and I were discussing different practical options that would further my current professional track, Dave asked, "Why dont you study something you will love to study about, not just something that will help you once youre done?" So, I had to ask myself if the study of urban leadership, social work and ESOL would light my fire. I know the actual jobs that require those degrees and skills would be really exciting, but not necessarily the studies of those things. Anyway, my brain started spinning. Figure drawing? Another foreign language? Writing?

Once I thought it, once the word "writing" scrolled across the screen of my mind, it was done. I wanted to be a writer.

Oddly enough, during the same week Dave gave me the inspiration to do something that excited me, I was given David Sedaris' book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I read the first chapter, and again, it was done. I wanted to be a writer. Sedaris' story, which I am posting here for your enjoyment, included all the things that I believe make a great story: personal experience, provoking thoughts about the human condition and poop. I read it and thought, I think I can do that. I think I want to try.

And then there is David Bonales. He is a third grader in my daughter Ellie's class. She has a bit of a crush on him. I think he is cute and think he probably poops. He hasn't really had anything to do with my vision for grad school, but his name is David and I like to work in three's.


  1. I just read your blogs (I didn't even know you were back at it!) about Burger King and your OCD sleepover guest, and I am laughing out loud! You have a definite gift for story telling, which will make you a great writer! I have always said that you are one of the funniest people I know, and 20+ years later it is still true!!!

  2. writing - exciting. . .that is the first thing I would have suggested!