Monday, October 05, 2009


Today I start my graduate program online. I found an accredited university that offered a near-perfect program and worked with me to resolve my academic 'issues' so that I could enroll and continue my pursuit of a Master's degree.

Back at the turn of the century (lol, love saying that) I was working on two Master's degrees at the same time, which had nothing to do with one another and none of the credits crossed over and counted in the other program. I started one in Educational Technology in 1998 and got into the second one in Fine Arts (terminal degree like a PhD) in 2000. That's when I started teaching a class as a requirement (as a Graduate Teaching Assistant or GTA). As long as you are at least half-time, you can put off payback forever (theoretically). The plan was to stay in school to avoid paying my education, not really. The plan was to get my Master's in Graphic Design and teach at the college level. The MEd was to bridge the gap between my Bachelor's in Fine Arts and being able to get into the Master's in Fine Arts. (They make you wait 2 years!)

In October of 2002, my husband died and I couldn't bring myself to graduate that semester with my first Master's in Education, as I'm sure you can understand. My studies faltered, I was a wreck and in my efforts to put one foot in front of the other, I continued to take classes, teach my GTA class and start a new job at a local university on the provision that I completed one of my degrees. Three years later and a constant head-butting with the new dean, I was fired for not having my degree.

That was 2006 and I have been unemployed and employed for three years; as a graphic designer, unemployed, as a waitress and substitute teacher, and again unemployed since January 2009. I found the online university and enrolled in the Master's in Instructional Design for Online Learners (, ohhhh, the irony!). It's perfect! I can teach again, from ANYWHERE! It allows the freedom from scheduled times in physical classrooms and fits well with my night owl tendencies. I can log in to the courseroom, read comments, post comments, or submit a paper at 3AM. How cool is that?

It is my sincere wish to teach art online. It is a bold undertaking in the face of many nay-sayers but that does not deter me. So now I am starting on my way towards my goal and it's so exciting. Once I have the degree, I can apply to colleges expanding their online courses, which is a big trend in this economy with everyone going back to school to beef up their skills or change careers. And it saves the institutions from building new structures to house the demand. It is the future.

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