Back to School

It’s Labor Day, and here I am, sipping coffee and reading Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Right now, Shelley’s not my favorite person, but I’m sure it’s just personal bias. He’s more verbose than I am, and, given the length of the reading assignments, I’m sort of resenting that.

I did a thing, you see. I’m not sure if it’s wise or foolish, crazy or sane, but I did, in fact do a thing.

I dropped out of the Education program.

Scott graduated from Tulane (or, rather, Tulane graduated Scott, but whatever) with a double science major. He took the alternate route to teaching: both Praxis tests and a summer institute which costs far less than a single semester at USM.

I’ve decided, a long time ago, despite my abhorrence of public speaking, of spending just as many hours outside the classroom as in it doing work for, well, work, and other general headaches that I want to teach. What’s more, I feel that I’m *supposed* to teach.

So why did I do this? It was partially based on economic factors. I’ll graduate sooner (how much sooner, I’m not sure, but possibly as early as a year sooner), thereby saving me a semester of student teaching and another semester of classes. It was partially based on time factors. If I graduate sooner, I can start working sooner, therefore I suppose it goes back to the economic factors once again.

There are other things, but I guess it boils down to this: When I was presented with the information of an alternate route, it just felt right. Now, sadly, I’m not in the habit of going with my gut — not for any length of time, anyway, as it seems always to be interrupted with doubt an other ugly things, but I decided to chance it.

The problem being of course, that this may be the entirely wrong time to start trying this gut-whispering out. I have no idea when I’ll graduate. I have no idea when or where the summer institute’s offered.

I keep thinking how helpful those classes would have been: classroom management, things like that.

But still. There’s that feeling that I can’t seem to get away from.

So I did it. I dropped my education minor, with the idea of picking up a religion minor, but for this semester, I simply couldn’t do it.

I dropped to 12 hours this semester, four English classes. (Jeez. No one to beat in the head with a baseball bat but myself!) One of which is Senior level, the rest Junior. I’ve hit the land of 20 page papers, that point of no return where I had to sit down, once I saw the syllabi, and ask myself if I really wanted to do this. I mean, really, really wanted to do this.

And then I read Shelley.

Now, I’m not a big fan of the Romantic Poets. I could give a pig’s fart about Grecian Urns and chaste virtue and all that nonsense. I love Shakespeare. I love Contemporary Lit. I love slave narratives and turn of the century rise to action pieces and metaphysical poets. But they’re all the wrong periods.

For my British Literature class, one of the reading assignments was “A Defence of Poetry” by Shelley.

It’s tedious reading. It’s long-winded and hard to grasp. It’s also absolutely brilliant, and I highly recommend it to anyone who considers writing as a career or even as a hobby.

And, while I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be doing, or when I’ll be graduating, I have to say that a certain peace settled over me, even as I struggled with his unwieldy sentences, and I’m even more sure that I did the right thing, which is funny, since it has nothing whatsoever to do with teaching.

But it talks about the divine nature of poetry — poetry in a wider sense, not just rhyme and meter, but anything that deals with truth and beauty and wisdom, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

And, by Shelley’s definition, “A poem the very image of life expressed in eternal truth.” And “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”

I think I’m developing a crush on another dead dude.


6 thoughts on “Back to School”

  1. so are you still going to become a teacher? Are you just getting an alternate license? I understand what you mean about economic factors. When I start student teaching it’s going to be so hard financially. I’m not looking forward to it.


  2. As of right now, I am planning to pursue the alternate route to licensure. The thing is, I never planned on teaching high school to retirement — I planned on doing it for a few years, pay off loans, get in some housing, and go back to grad school.

    I want (I’m not sure that’s the appropriate word for it, but the desire is there) to teach — but I want to teach college or something of that nature.

    Of course, I sort of have to get through it first.


  3. Same here. I’m thinking I would prefer to teach college after a few years at the secondary level. But I need to get into a grad school and convince my wife to move. Which may be hard to do. We’ve only lived in this house for 2 years and she doesn’t want to move. If I can get in a Big 10 school’s grad program (doctorate level), they have plenty of TA positions available. I was talking to my advisor about it today.


  4. What’s your degree in, and what sort of doctorate program are you interested in?

    I sort of just assumed I’d go to grad school at USM. They have a really good writing program, and that’s what I really want to get into.

    It just really never occurred to me that other schools would be options. But I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m absolutely clueless about what I’m going to do once I finally see the BA through.


  5. History is my major. Secondary Ed and Geography are my minors. I’m going to be looking for a History doctorate program.

    I have two desires:

    1) Teach 18th century history and/or Medieval history

    2) I want to combine a certain GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) program (basically a geography mapping program) with historical events to illustrate them on a step-by-step timetable and post it on a website and collect thousands of dollars everyday for my efforts and retire and just live off the interest (okay, so the money part is a pipe dream, but I do want to combine GIS with historical events).


  6. Right now, we’re covering the Enlightenment in Brit Lit, and in another class, covering how the Enlightenment impacted American Lit, so I’m digging on the 18-19th century right now.

    Medieval History would rock my boat too. I’m sort of hoping-slash-wishing that I find a grand job that isn’t teaching so that I won’t be too burnt out to continue with school while I’m working.

    But then again, I do want to teach.

    If you hit a million dollars a day and can retire on the interest, you’d help a girl and her love for education out, right? =)


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