Not just a teacher…but now a student!

21 08 2011

So…

The Pennsylvania State University.

Finally.  I am doing it.

Another life goal…in progress.

I have always known that I wanted to continue my education, but either through fear, avoidance and sometimes pure procrastination, I have put it off.  Really though, I am glad.  I have had countless conversations with Vanessa about what I wanted to go back to school for; I have laid out my dreams for her a number of times and in a number of ways.  Being the supportive wife she is, she always encouraged me to go for it…but I always stalled.  I talked a big game but I didn’t really know what I wanted.

But here is the truth.  I have always known that WAY down the road I would like to work in Higher Education.  I just have been unsure of the path to get there…and really I guess I still am uneasy about it, but I have come to the realization that I need to take a step in my education to eventually get myself there.  I did an amazing amount of self evaluation and reflection, thinking not only about my interests and desires but what is reasonable f0r me and V and what I can use to help along our path in life.  The reflection lead me to what may be obvious, I needed to pursue a Masters that has something to do with Education…I am already into my career as an Educator, I enjoy education and there are opportunities to do unique, innovative and fun things within the field.

With that decision being made I sat down with Greg MacGilpin, he is the director of the school and is someone who I have come to respect a great deal.  He helped me talk out and really think through the types of programs that I could pursue.  The number one priority for me was not to go to a program that really just proved to be a pay bump, I have seen far too many teachers go back and get a Masters for no reason but the small increase in pay.  That isn’t me.  I want a program that is going to challenge me, make me think and I am going to walk away being a better person and educator.  During my conversation with Greg he kept mentioning very prestigious programs, such as Harvard, Columbia, among others.  In my head I just laughed but his confidence in me opened my mind to the possibility of applying to schools I would normally write off.

That afternoon I sat in our living room, made a list of attributes I wanted in a program- with the most important being that I could complete it while living abroad- and started searching.  I would get really excited about a program that I would find and tell Vanessa all about it, but something always drove me to continue my search, none of the programs where exactly what I wanted.  Then my conversation with Greg crept back into my mind and I found myself perusing through Harvards website but quickly realized they don’t have a on-line program.  This lead me to use USNews to simply search for the top Educational Leadership (Administration & Supervision) Graduate Schools in the country and I started working from the top down looking to see if the University’s had on-line programs.  The search only lasted until #6 on the list- The Pennsylvania State University, the highest ranked program that has distance education program.

Penn State. The program fit so many of my key characteristics of a program.  I figured I would give it a shot.  Greg seemed to believe I could get in a school of this caliber and Vanessa was behind me 100%.  So I started the process.  Once I did I was like a machine.  I did everything I could, as quickly as I could.  I made Vanessa stay up late into the night working on essays with me…reading, re-reading, proofreading…I got the application in quickly and then I just had to wait.

I applied to other programs too.  The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs was a nice alternative to Penn State but I knew where I wanted to get in.  I really felt like I was putting myself out there by applying for Penn State.  I just barely fit the requirements to even apply and from everything that I read on their website it appears they are very, very selective with the program; allowing in under 30 applicants!

But I did it! I got in!  I am really excited.  Classes start on September 7.  Now, I don’t know what is going to happen as I go through the program or where life is actually going to lead me but what I do know is that I shot for a goal that, well…I thought I couldn’t reach, and got in.  I am super thankful for Greg, Vanessa, Sandy (my former Principal), both my Mom and Dad and everyone that heard my blather on about what I might want to do…because really, I guess, I am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up…but this is a HUGE step in the right direction.

-M

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8 responses

21 08 2011
Liz

Congradulations Miguel, we are so happy for you!! Grandma & Grandpa Evans

21 08 2011
Mom

I am the proudest MOM in the whole wide world!

21 08 2011
Dana

Good for you. Best wishes in your program!

21 08 2011
Dad S

I am so proud of you Miguel and the man you continue to become. I knew the first time I met you that you had that spark of something unique and special with a mountain of excitement. You are a blessing to my daughter and our family.

Now hit the books!! 🙂

Dad S

24 08 2011
Martha Mosley

Hi, Miguel – this is your aunt Martha. I have enjoyed your blog – and I am so pleased that you are in the Penn State Program. Hooray ! what a fabulous opportunity. I know you will do well. Take care !

27 08 2011
mvgonzo

Thank you everyone for you support and kind words! I will keep everyone posted!

12 09 2011
Ryan

Miguel,

Not sure how to contact you besides this so….yea…..I got engaged. Wulp talk to you later. Hope all is well.

Ryan Higgins

12 09 2011
Ryan

Also congrats on your new learning journey. i hope you can grammar good at the end!

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