Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hello all you lovely readers! Sicky McSick-Sick here, relaying the second of what will surely be a long line of my "Good School Hunting" series. Hardy har. Ok, I know. That wasn't the least bit funny. But I had to try.

It has been another week of grueling online searching. My greatest fear at this point is that I will have to spend a year learning to read brail before I head off to grad school because I will have gone blind from all this computer screen use. After chatting with my advisor (Kenneth, the ballet professor and director of University Dance Theatre), I felt somewhat reassured, a sense of renewed confidence in my quest. Roehampton University still remains at the top of my list, though I cannot imagine actually going unless I am able to somehow earn $45,000 in scholarships. I would still have to take out about $20,000 in loans simply to support myself while in London for two years. It's a long shot. But I refuse to give up. Kenneth was awarded enough scholarships to receive a $50,000 education from Arizona State completely free. I am investigating 41 universities around the world. An excel spreadsheet will help me compare key factors such as cost of tuition, cost of living at the university's location, program type, program length, internships, scholarships, distance from family, LDS population, etc. From this list, I will select my top ten choices and apply for every single possible whisper of a scholarship or grant. I plan to take my GRE this fall, which leaves me the summer to prepare. I have several months to read as much scholarly work as possible in order to familiarize myself with standards and styles expected by admissions boards. My GPA does not exactly scream "TAKE ME! I'M THE BEST!", but it passes acceptance levels. I will have to rely on my sample writing (which I should begin any day now in order to accumulate 30 solid pages of valuable text that will best demonstrate my skill), letters of recommendation, experience, and (HOPEFULLY) my GRE score to get me accepted!


I'm actually a little surprised at how seriously I am taking all of this. It has been a big fat wish in the back of my mind for a long time, but I took the program at CSUF for granted. No question on my acceptance there. Having reviewed my potential admission with the head of the Kinesiology MA department, Dr. Janelle Gilbert, I had become almost lazy in my pursuit of a terminal degree at Fresno State. I am now convinced within myself that CSUF Kinesiology is not where I belong. I felt it the instant I walked into my first class. And now, with this sudden drive to find MY program, I am amazed at my own determination. Something like a real, live, grown-up. Golly.

I can feel the skin of my awareness stretching. Quite literally, I am watching myself adapt and learn. My list of questions and concerns takes me far beyond my comfort zone as an adult. I have learned the basics of independent survival; work hard, brush teeth, be nice, pay bills on time, save money, look both ways before crossing the street, set alarm, eat fruits and veggies, speak up in class, do a little extra at work, etc. Suddenly, I am asking myself to stretch beyond those comfortable daily do's. Network, research, go the EXTRA extra mile, ask LOTS of questions, take initiative, look outside of yourself, interview those who have reached goals similar to yours, set small daily goals to achieve a dream, wash behind your ears! oh.... I mean... I've always done that last one....

Exciting. Exhilarating. There is one part I do not care for. In all my researching, planning, and comparing, I get carried away in my mind and begin to daydream about possibilities for my future. What would life be like in London? Would my personal movement style be accepted or admired as I desire in Virginia? Will I be able to have a social life in Arizona? Where would I work if I lived with Carin in Utah? Would I have enough time to play with Chance, Brandon, and Katie every day? Maybe I could even help them with school! Will I like living in the snow if I move to Brockport University in New York? What are the dorms like at the Pratt Institute in New York?

No, that's not the part I don't care for. I love that part. The part I hate is the falling away from my daydreams when I stumble upon a document that defines tuition for an 8 week, mandatory movement session in the U of U Modern Dance MFA as being $8,000, classes 8AM to 4PM, M-F. Wow. Those details tend to put a blemish or two on my big dreams.

"A goal without a plan is nothing but a wish." ~Michael Pritchard

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." ~ Beverly Sills

"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." ~Albert Einstien

Four hours until I'm off and can resume my search while enjoying a nice cup of Chamomile Tea. MMmmmmm...... Stupid cold. My sinuses are killing. But I will feel great when I am well again. Hooray!


NLBlack said...

Dream big. In 10 years, you will be 10 years older, anyway. You might as well be 10 years older with amazing experiences, your degree(s) in hand, and a pile a interesting memories stored.

Hugs to you tonight.

Wendy said...

Let me make this simple for you. Lesley in Boston. You could become a dance therapist and see your gorgeous cousin Wendy all the time. Really, what more do you need?

Andrew Fretwell said...

It makes me smile watching you think like this- all optimistic, passionate and driven. Hope your cold resolves itself soon, and good luck in your ongoing search!! :)