Sunday, August 16, 2015

A New Journey

Tomorrow, I start my week-long orientation (from 8:00am until 5:00pm or later each day) for my doctoral program.  School/teaching starts August 24th. 

I applied to this program over a year ago.  I found out in April that I had been accepted with a scholarship and a teaching assistantship.  I wanted this so bad, but it always seemed so far off.  And now it's here.

I'm nervous.  I'm anxious.

But I'm excited.

I visited Bowling Green State University's campus last Friday to try and find the rooms I'm supposed to be in for orientation and the buildings/classrooms where I will be teaching and taking classes.  It was a hot day and it took me awhile to find everything, but I feel a little bit of relief in knowing that I won't be completely lost tomorrow when I show up on campus at 8:00am for the first part of my orientation.

Transitioning to my masters program from my undergrad was easy - I was at the same, small school I had been at during all four years as an undergraduate student.  I knew everyone in the English department.  It was all familiar.

Now I'm at a school with almost 20,000 students and a campus that would engulf the IU South Bend campus I was so used to as an undergraduate and graduate student.

I have three years of teaching experience at the college level, but the composition courses at BGSU are structured so differently than the ones I taught in Indiana.  And why aren't there any computers in the classrooms!?

Everything is new.

But this is a good thing.

I will be continually challenged.  I will learn to think in new ways.  And, at the end of the program, I will have a PhD.  This is something I've dreamed of since beginning my studies as an English student at IU South Bend.

God is good.

And as an added challenge, my husband will be working on finishing up his masters degree this semester (did I mention he has to travel back and forth to Indiana for his graduate classes at Bethel College!?)  He has two grad classes this semester and one in the spring and he will officially graduate with his masters.  I'm so proud of him - it hasn't been easy moving to a different state, maintaining a full-time ministry position, and traveling back and forth to grad school.  But he has done so well.  This semester will be an interesting one for the both of us; I'll be going to school and teaching in Bowling Green everyday and he will be working in Maumee while making trips to Indiana for classes.  I think we will value our time home together that much more.

This isn't really a new thing for us.  When we got married, we were both working full-time.  He was finishing up his undergraduate degree in psychology and I was in my second-to-last-semester of graduate school.  We were completely remodeling the apartment that we were moving into after our wedding, a project that we worked on everyday between work and school.  And we were planning our wedding.  We survived it all!  Since we've been together, one or both of us have been in school.

We've got this down.

I started my masters two weeks after finishing my undergrad, and after I had graduated with my masters, I thought I needed a break from school - a long break.

But here I am.  Two years after graduating with a Master of Arts in English and creative writing, I'm starting my doctorate.

I'm nervous.  I'm anxious.

But I'm excited.

God is good.

He has blessed me with this amazing opportunity.  He will guide me and sustain me.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake."
Psalm 23:1-3

I'm not sure how much time I will have to update my blog once school starts, but stay tuned.  Good times are coming!