Monday, September 20, 2010

Cracking Open the Books

PhotobucketI've put it off long enough. I can't procrastinate the way I used to with a baby and toddler around.

As many people already know, I've made the brave, crazy, unwise, ambitious...choose your descriptive adjective here...decision to work towards obtaining my Master's in Education. My specialization will be Curriculum and Instruction. It's kind of a long story of how I came to this decision at an already busy time in my life. My new grammar book would call it a "point in time".

Basically, the "point in time" for me was late March when I received an e-mail at work. It was an e-mail forwarded by a university professor that would be teaching the class this fall. That professor also happened to be my faculty advisor for my teaching internship and a fantastic lady all around. I had heard rumours that the University of Regina would be offering classes in their Master's program that would count torwards CERTESL. This is a certificate recognized for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Most importantly, it's the certificate recognized by my employer and they'd like me to have it. I was very excited to learn these classes would be offered in Regina as Master's classes. Previously, they were only available at the University of Saskatchewan through Distance Education and they were undergraduate. Not sure if that all made sense. Basically, when I learned of this opportunity, I was very interested even though I knew it'd be busy with two young kids.

After some e-mails being sent in several directions, students interested in this new opportunity were given an extended deadline for the Master's program which normally doesn't accept applications after February. Of course, I was rather busy having a baby and looking after a newborn in April. I was determined though and managed to get my application including references, transcripts, an updated resume, and personal statement together by the new deadline of May 31st. Wait a minute. Let me correct that. I got everything together except for one transcript from an Australian university that I had attended on exchange in 1997. They received one measly transcript (out of 5) late and refused to accept my application. Now, if anyone knows me, I wasn't taking 'no' for an answer. After trying my best, I got a definitive 'no' from the admissions office and decided to recruit my university professor and former faculty advisor to help me out. She made a phone call to the Grad Admissions office and I was accepted to the program the very next day. Of course, all these previous e-mails had taken months. I finally got my acceptance letter in mid-August.

In order to get my certificate, I will need 6 classes which I plan on taking very slowly. I will likely take one night class per semester. I believe I need 10 classes to finish the Master's Degree. I honestly don't even know. That's how last minute all of this was. All I know is that my first class is called Teaching Grammar to Speakers Learning English as an Additional Language. It sounds a bit boring but the professor is fantastic and I'm sure she'll make it interesting or at least bearable.

My class is Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9:15 pm at the university. It's kind of like my own little girls' night out. I even convinced the other ladies in the class to take turns bringing treats. I was looking forward to exercising my brain a little since the biggest challenge in my life lately has been figuring out the last time I fed or changed a baby. My first class was last week and it was a pretty easy first day. Of course, I was one of the few that hadn't bought the text book yet so I kind of felt like a slacker. I have it now though and it's already hurting my brain. Who knew English grammar could be so complex? My head is filled with simple, progressive and perfect tenses in present, past and future. The scary part is that the book appears to get more difficult each week. There are grammar terms in it that I haven't even heard of and I've taught a lot of grammar over the years. Don't worry though. I won't be assessing grammar in blog comments.

I spent a couple hours doing homework this afternoon while the kiddies slept. Well, Connor slept and Aleena played on the playmat until I stuck her in the swing when she was fussing. I have a feeling that the baby swing is going to be an important tool in getting my homework done. Thank you Graco!

Here are a couple photos of my little angels after I did my homework. See?! They're still happy and don't feel neglected at all. I still have some reading to do before my next class tomorrow and then there's a little matter of a 10-20 page term paper...not to mention a presentation and 10 units of homework submitted to my professor.


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