WATCH this short video which explains my exact thoughts on my WHAT and my SO WHAT:
IN THE BEGINNING: There was a young girl who had a dream but it looked as if it would never come true. She did not excel in school in math and that discouraged her and caused her to be a behavior problem up until she had to repeat third grade and through a very compassionate teacher and a second chance, a fire was lit and that young girl changed forever, graduating with honors and going on to earn two Associate’s degrees, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Operation’s Management. But she is not done….oh, she is far from DONE!
IN THE NEW BEGINNING: One of my favorite quotes comes from Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. I have never forgotten that, and this quote changed the perspective of my education. As a child in elementary school who hated being there but graduated with honors, the struggle was indeed real, but oh, what results! I learned along the way that I was not “filling my pail” but “lighting the fire” to my dreams and the adventures I have encountered along the way. Only, with this my second Master’s Degree, have I seen that fire grow in intensity and in purpose.
Therefore, not only did my confidence level grow throughout my educational journey, but the further I progressed the more I discovered I was capable of. The Master’s of Arts in Communication through the James L. Knight School of Communication definitely “stretched me in ways I never expected. After completing my first Master’s in 2009, I enrolled in a Doctoral Program at another institution but after a year of study, I found that was not where my heart was. So for the next two years I sat out school all the while reasoning that I had one Master’s degree and that’s enough and I am doing the job I love, but that little voice in the back of mind, whispered, “there is more, girl”! Suddenly, my thoughts went back to the degree I was considering before I started my first Master’s program and it was in Communications. Although I loved teaching Business, teaching a college-level speech course was another goal of mine and after searching for an online program, I found the James L. Knight School of Communication’s program and the rest is history!
Beginning the program did bring about many obstacles I was not prepared for when I entered in 2014 especially the bulk of the writing assignments, as my first Master’s did not include a thesis, it being an MBA program. After initially getting over the first few obstacles this new program presented, my comfort level with the program increased and I began to immerse myself in all the program had to offer. Then in August of 2015 things came to a screeching halt, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Colo-rectal Cancer, suddenly school became the last thing on my mind. Although I was already moved out of my parent’s home and living and teaching in a town an hour-and-half away, I was still extremely close to my parents and I decided to take the semester off. After my father settled into treatments and my family and I adjusted to our new normal, I began courses again in Spring 2016 and have continued each semester since that time. Even during his sickness, my parents are continually encouraging me to keep on going to school and not give up, therefore, I am doing this for them as well as myself!
NOW WHAT: As the conclusion of the program is draws near, I see now it was not just another degree program to pursue. It was an instrument God used to show me he had another plan for me that did not include a Doctorate, but success was still waiting! He wanted me to in this program because he knew I would learn so much about myself. Just when I thought I went as far as I could, I realized that there is still so much ground to cover! When the formal program of study is finally on “the books”…..I will retire from being a “degree seeker” and navigate life as a “retired student” or better a “life-long learner” who will learn in new and different ways. To paraphrase the quote, “life is the best teacher” and I agree, however, formal learning can pave the way to leading a richer and fuller life and that is very evident within my own life. However, this program has done more to enrich, it has awoken a part of me that I never knew existed. Although, earning a new degree for many means transitioning into a new job, but for me this will be new breath of life for my current position and hopefully allow my evolution as a teacher, daughter, friend, and musician.
READ: My “Narrative” from a previous COM Class Project: The Shape of My World
My fellow colleagues and me at UAHT Spring 2017 Graduation
Me and my entire family at the Cancer Benefit for my Dad in October 2016
Doing what I love (besides teaching)!