It dawned on me last week when I was running around campus tying up loose ends, when the kids were all arriving excited to start the fall semester, that I was going to miss it. Strange that I never considered that, but I guess I was very focused on my excitement about finishing and graduating.
That's probably the biggest motivation behind considering grad school, just the fact that I like school, I like college campuses and young people, I like the atmosphere, I like scholars and students and books, reading and writing, thinking. I like fall.
I've been tossing around a few ideas regarding grad school. There's a great inter-disciplinary MFA program at Bard College in New York State. A couple very good friends have done it. My painting teacher from Parsons. who I consider to be one of the great teachers of my life, used to teach there. (Unfortunately, I think she's retired.) It's in a beautiful area a couple hours north of the city. The program comprises 3 summers (2-month sessions). The advantages are --
1) I'm pretty sure I would love the program. You work and study with a group of visual artists, writers, film/video people, maybe dance and music too (?).
2) An MFA would be a good credential if I want to apply for jobs teaching at the college level.
3) Every June and July I would get out of Texas where it's miserable and go to Upstate New York where it's gorgeous.
Another option is to pursue a Masters in education. The main advantage is that it would be a big help in finding a job teaching high school, which is what I've been thinking for some time now I would like to do. The disadvantage, and I think this is big, is that I'm pretty sure I would hate studying pedagogy. I fear it would be like having all the annoying classes and teachers and students without any of the wonderful smart stimulating ones to balance it out. The upside is that from what I gather master's programs in education only take a year.
Here's what I think I will plan on for now. When I get back from New York, I'll try to get work substitute teaching in the Austin schools. In the meantime, I'll apply for Region XIII, which is an alternative certification program in Austin. If I do this program, I'll be certified to teach by next fall and after substituting for a while I'll have a better sense of the schools here and I'll have a better idea of whether or not I'm good at teaching and enjoy it. Seems so far away.