07 June 2007

Back to school

When I was in eleventh grade, my high school was just starting a 'write across the curriculum' program. Some of the subjects, in this case math, got a little creative with writing, since writing was not a regular part of the class. Ms. Voss, my math teacher, had us write three letters to universities, requesting information packets. She wanted us to choose one school we were confident we could get into, one school that would be a challenge, and one that would be a dream application. I chose the University of Sydney as my dream app. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it was because my parents had been to Australia a few years earlier and it seemed exotic. Like most American kids, I considered anything foreign to be exotic. I never actually applied to Sydney back then—it was just a letter I wrote because my teacher told me to.

Well, sixteen years later, I will actually be a student at the University of Sydney. I recently submitted an application for the Master of Development Studies program and got the call today that I'm in. Basically, it is a study in developing countries and, as the department head describes it, the program allows the freedom to 'cherry pick' your classes. I'll be able to choose courses in human rights, peace and conflict studies, globalisation, communication and indigenous issues, to name just a few. My problem will be choosing only eight classes. Click here to see more about the program.

Classes are offered in the evening, so this won't affect my work. It should take me two years to complete the degree, assuming that I take two classes a semester. I start at the end of July.

I'm excited. Nervous, but excited. I went to an information expo a month ago promoting the program, and it was nice being on a campus again, talking to professors, being 'academic'. It will be particularly exciting studying topics that I am very interested in.

So what's next? Well, I don't know exactly. Maybe nothing other than a pay raise for earning a master's degree. But what I would really like to do is work for the Carter Center, the United Nations, or some similar organisation that would enable me to work as an advocate for a developing country. How about that, Dad? Jimmy Carter, my boss. Heather is taking Spanish now, and I'll start next term, too, just in case. Gotta brush up a bit on my espaƱol if I want Jimmy Carter to be mi jefe.

I've got time to figure all that out. For now, it's time to hit the books. Ms. Voss, thanks for the writing assignment—it took a while, but I got into my dream school.


Anonymous said...

Jimmy C...... I can't even make myself say his name!!! Where did I go wrong???????? I'm just hoping that this is a phase as well.

But congratulations on getting into the UofS.


heather said...

I'm very happy for you and very jealous! Masters degrees are fun!