How I am Spending my Summer

If you said to me in 2010, I would be awarded a Master’s Degree in anything, I would have not believed you. I never felt I needed a Master’s Degree in anything related to my writing or editing, letting decades of experience be all the schooling I needed.

When my focus shifted to becoming a teacher, a Master’s Degree became required. I spent an intensive year getting my Masters of Science in Education from the University of Bridgeport and thought that would be enough for now.

Silly me.

I have always felt Bridgeport did a substandard job of preparing me for my current career and continue to feel nowhere near as prepared, and therefore not as confident as I should be. So, when a postcard from Farleigh Dickinson University wound up in my mailbox, I read it with it with interest. They had just created a new degree, a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature for Teachers. It’s as if they knew what I needed and generated a degree for me. The program would be entirely online, doable in two years. I read more about it on their website then consulted Deb since this impacted us both. She was all in favor of it, with the reasonable proviso that I curtail some of my convention appearances so I had time for the coursework and, you know, being a good husband.

I applied and found out on Thursday that I was accepted into the program. The next hurdle was it had a three day required on site Residency to kick off the coursework but Day One was also the last day of the school year in June. On Friday, I spoke with my principal who supportively agreed to let me miss the half day.

Wow, suddenly I am working on a second Master’s.

My summer has continued to fill up as I was also hired to spend five days working on a committee to revise and rewrite the curriculum for the county’s Creative Writing program. That will bring in some cash but more importantly, give me invaluable experience in learning how to write lessons, connecting objectives to assessments and ensuring what went on in-between made sense. Having largely taught this year’s Creative Writing course largely through making it up on my own, I now have some real experience to bring to the discussion.

If that’s not enough,  I was accepted to the 2015 ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute and on Friday learned I had earned a place at the University of Texas at Austin. This is the program’s final year so I feel fortunate at getting in under the wire and have a week-long program to immerse myself and prepare to teach Journalism and take over OMHS’ school paper.

Somewhere in there, we’ll also fit in a vacation before I dig into the new coursework, appear at Shore Leave, and suddenly have to return to the classroom.

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