The pressure is on for some at the University of Kentucky eager to make a big transition: going from being students to being teachers.
The deadline to apply for the University of Kentucky’s Master’s and Initial Certification graduate program is looming, and some students are becoming increasingly stressed about getting in.
Students are especially anxious this year for a few reasons: recent changes to the application process, heavy course loads and intense competition for acceptance into the program.
The recent changes to the application process, including UK’s new graduate school application, due February 15, 2013, that prospective students are also required to submit in addition to their MIC application, is causing more stress than many students anticipated. “I essentially have to request six recommendations from professors, three for UK’s Graduate School, and three more for UK’s MIC program,” says Brittany Moses, an MIC hopeful and a senior at the University of Kentucky. The new system even warranted an extension of the original deadline of February 1 to March 1.
The graduate school application requires recommenders to endorse the applicant using an online form, a convenient option for recommenders, but worrisome for students. “It’s been stressful,” says Chelsea Fischer, another applicant to the program. “I’m not done with the graduate school application because I’m waiting on two recommendations to be submitted that I requested over two months ago.”
The applicants cite heavy workloads in other courses as contributors to their stress. “I would’ve started earlier if I’d known how long it would take,” says Moses. “I’m definitely scrambling to get it all submitted, on top of finishing assignments for other classes.”
“I started the process in December by taking the GRE right after finals, and it’s been a non-stop ordeal,” says Taylor Blair, a UK senior and applicant to the program. Along with good scores on the GRE and a completed Graduate School application, program hopefuls must provide an official transcript, three written recommendations in sealed envelopes, complete major course listings, a personal statement and resume.
Students are also feeling the heat of competition against their classmates. “I know a lot of really talented and qualified people applying this year, and I’m afraid they won’t take very many students,” says Fischer.
“Everyone I know who is applying seems like they would be a good fit for the program, but it’s hard because most of us know each other and want one another to get in, too,” says Blair. “I would be upset if I got in and one of my friends didn’t.”
Fortunately, there is a silver lining to the stress. If students do well and are accepted to the program, they will likely have their teaching certificates and their Master’s degree within one year. Fischer says, “The process has been stressful but rewarding. At the end of it all, knowing you can make a difference in the lives of young people is all you need to keep going.”
I was disappointed to find the above post on my Facebook page (posted by a friend) this morning in response to the red and pink equality symbols Facebook users have been displaying on their profiles as a means of solidarity and support for the LGBT community during Supreme Court hearings on the legality of gay marriage on Tuesday and Wednesday. The image below was designed by the Human Rights Campaign.
The post got me thinking about why I’d decided to change my own profile picture and why I disagreed with my friend.
First, I disagree that changing a profile picture to a universal symbol of support is simply “lazy”. While I agree that a lack of involvement in the political process, and the lack of faith in that process that underlies it, is troubling, but the point seems to be to raise awareness around an issue. I think using social media to do so, especially in such a noticeable way, should be seen as effective, not lazy.
Its effectiveness comes from the way that things are exponentially shared. The Human Rights Campaign’s equality logo is a great example because of the way that the number of people who made it their profile picture has grown in the past few days. I didn’t design the campaign but I am sure that the designers intentionally chose to encourage people to change profile pictures because they appear with every post and in the messenger side bar rather than being buried beneath new stories as a status would. It also symbolically reinforces their point that all people should be treated equal when everyone’s profile picture, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, is the same.
Also, I wonder how many of my friends on Facebook even know who represents them in Congress, or feel well-versed enough to write to their legislators. By discounting the efforts of those who genuinely don’t know what else they can do to help and saying it’s “lazy”, it reinforces the suppression of voices who should have an equal say, but the educated and elite sometimes don’t agree. In short, it just seems like an elitist, snotty way of looking at an effective statement. I’m certain news outlets will pick up on the changes in the next day or so, which essentially accomplishes the same purpose.
There seems to be a concern here that marriage equality is not nearly as pressing an issue as, say, our fiscal problems, I would ask, is some political engagement better than none? Is it possible that involvement in the issue of marriage equality will politicize people not previously engaged in politics—giving them confidence that they can make a difference on issues that seem more intractable, such as, again, our fiscal problems?
(above) Me and my first group of students at Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts!
I used to sit, alone, in my bedroom. When I was three, I was teaching the alphabet to my stuffed animals and Beanie Babies. When I was five, I read aloud to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. I asked them to raise their hands. I told them to be polite.
I’ve always needed to be a teacher. I believe teaching is not a passion or a desire, but it is a need to be fulfilled every day. It is a need I have needed to fulfill my entire life. Not only do I want to teach students to create with their own words, but I need to teach them to create with their own words. Not only do I want to teach them to think for themselves, I need to teach them to think for themselves. Not only do I want to listen, but I need to listen. I need to share what I know and I need to listen to hear what students have to teach me.
I am able to fulfill part of that need by working at the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts each summer. My first summer on staff came just after I had declared my major in Secondary English Education at the University of Kentucky. After just a few days working with high school students, I knew I had chosen the perfect career.
I believe learning is not the only innate intellectual need humans require – teaching is the other half of that need. I am constantly thirsting for information and learning, and I feel compelled to share this new information, to show students knowledge they didn’t have before, to teach them where to look, but not what to see.
I dream up teaching scenarios all the time in my head. How will I teach Shakespeare? How will I teach poetry? How will I teach argumentative essays? How will I teach students how to be good people?
I am getting ready to graduate from the University of Kentucky and hopefully go on to graduate school next year. I look forward to the day I’m in a classroom and am able to be a positive influence on my students, teaching them an appreciation for writing, literature and words, but also how to be good people.
I believe teaching is my dream job because I will be able to fulfill my need to teach every single day.
Haven't you ever seen A Few Good Men?
How are you my sister?
genetics i suppose
Look. I know you and Fryar spend a lot of time together. rent "A few good Men" and "Class Action" together. they're great movies and you'll understand what i'm doing
okay. I'll put them on the list
cool. i'm going to tell him, too, since he listens to me more than you do.
probably a good idea. actually, the difference is he will likely actually write it down in his planner that he keeps in his pocket. whereas i am too lazy. which brings me around to the fact that that is actually why i am your sister
well, i was going to write a witty comment about how i don't care as much about him as i do about my sister. but this is awkward. Also, we tried to out-troll each other. this is awesome. i will remember this forever
better write it down in your planner then
and it continues!
<3 I'm going to bed i gotta work at 7
Pekingese are probably in the top 5 ugliest dogs, ever. And I love dogs, except the pekingese.
UGH, just look at him (or her, not sure on the gender):
I hate everything
my thoughts EXACTLY. shoulda been the doberman
from september of 2010
I apologize for pausing when my eyes are dark because there is no sun and there is no smile.
I apologize for allowing my needs to be cul-de-sacs.
I apologize for not putting things away as soon as I am asked,
if it doesn’t seem important. I have better things to do. I apologize
for having better things to do, for eating ten pieces of chocolate.
I apologize for drinking until I passed out
in April, though it led me to
apologize for hating my own breasts. I apologize for not waking up with
more prayers. I apologize for stealing 7 dollar lip gloss at thirteen. I apologize for shaving my armpits angrily and getting
razor burn. I apologize for eating those potato chips. I was hungry, but
it was wrong. I apologize for
being so hungry that I ate someone’s heart beat, as though
another person’s heart beat could ever replace my own. I apologize
for dying my hair red,
and staring at myself. I apologize for
standing at the window embracing, allowing everyone who walks by
to be jealous. I apologize for speaking too fast after everyone’s sentences.
It is time you knew.
I apologize for waiting until I could see the moon’s blood stream
raining into puddles outside before I considered that you might want to hear
that I apologize for any memories I left you with, that were not me,
but looked a lot like me. I apologize for the drugstore photobooth pictures
you are saving like coupons.
I apologize for finding God
and myself in the same day. I apologize for french-fries with cheese sauce.
I apologize for swallowing certain things. Like, “I know that I will love you forever,”
which is still caught in my throat.