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Friday, July 22, 2011

Moon Over Parma

…and though such rejection was certainly disappointing, I have learned from it and I am even more determined to get into BLANK with my next application.

That’s a direct quote from the latest working copy of my statement of purpose, and it’s true.  I am even more determined.  I can definitely be classified as one of those guys who wants what he can’t have, so by rejecting me last year, those grad schools have only made themselves even more appealing to me, just like that girl from summer camp who never wanted to walk with me to the café-gym-atorium for dinner.  She was actually a pretty horrible person, but all I could see was the target of my affection, and short shorts.  

I am committed to getting into grad school, but at the same time my vision isn’t completely periscoped.  Just this week I interviewed for a job as an academic counselor at the university where I work—yes, I actually work at a university.  Ironic much?  I have been applying to a few jobs at colleges in a my area since about May, just shortly after I received my final rejection notice, and this has been the first one that I’ve gotten a face-to-face interview for. 

When I took my current position last July, I knew it was a low-paying job with limited hours and no chance for advancement, but I figured that I’d only be there for a year before I left for grad school.  It was a really great job for paying the rent and giving me time to get my applications together.  Now that I’ve realized that I could potentially be here much longer than a year, I’m starting to think about it little differently.

Hopefully—fingers crossed, holding my lucky rabbit’s foot, punching a leprechaun in the face—I’ll get in this time, but if I don’t, well if I don’t… it’d be nice to make some more money, it’d be nice to not have to worry about health insurance, buy a nicer car, move into a nicer apartment, eat nicer food—okay, I’m lying.  I’d still eat Raman Noodles and Kraft Mac & Cheese.  But seriously, it’d be nice to have more money, if only for a year. 

That's dreamless face of the American social studies teacher.
That kind of gets me excited, but I try to hold myself up here because it seems to be the tale as old as time logic behind the likes of Office Space, Drew Carry, and every social studies teacher you’ve ever had.  None of them actually wanted to stay at their jobs for very long, or even liked their jobs, but they figured they could do it for a little while, make a little money, and then get the hell out of there.  Boom!  40 years later they’re still there—actually, it’d be nice to have that kind of job security now a day—okay I ripped that joke from Office Space, but it still applies!

Seems like it’s the age-old tradition to compromise your dreams for stability.  Genius, talent, and chances for greatness are abandoned in the face of an over-whelming fear of the unknown, and little by little it all slips away.  I figure the cycle looks something like this;

Alright, maybe that's just a tad pessimistic, and maybe it’s different for everyone.  Maybe the difference for me—if there is a difference—is that I’d actually like this job I just interviewed for.  With an MFA in Creative Writing, I’d get to write professionally, sure, but I’d also get to teach and work with students.  That’s a big draw for me.  As an academic counselor I’d also get to work with students, some of the students who need the most assistance and guidance, and make real impacts in their lives.  That ain’t too shabby.  But is that, combined with a bulked up paycheck, enough to derail my dreams?  Dreams always can change… Right now this is just my back up plan, right now… 

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