"In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."
-The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
Shortly after beginning the MFA program in January I realized that as far as the Massachusetts Department of Education was concerned, enrolling in, working on, or completing that degree would have no bearing on whether or not I maintain my educator licensure next year, despite the fact that it is a terminal degree. In years past, apparently, if you were working on a master's degree, you could extend your licensure until you completed it. I discovered that not only was this not true, but that there are very specific masters classes required to achieve the next level of licensure. Something that I didn't figure out until it was almost too late. A colleague of mine in the same boat discovered a program starting in February (on the day that it started) and in addition to the MFA course load I've been taking these required classes, which will go through the end of 2013.
I thought I could do both. And work full time. Foolishly.
Regrettably, I will be taking next semester off from the MFA program. The way I saw it, something had to go. I could...
1) Take a sabbatical from teaching and do both grad programs. Two major problems: a) loss of income and b) I have to "student teach" for a semester for the education masters program... So that wasn't a very good option.
2) Drop the education licensure program. The biggest problem with this option is that I wouldn't be able to teach. So I'd have to either get a new job or... Well, that's it.
3) Drop the MFA program (temporarily). This option was both the most sensible and the one I wanted to do the least. I could retain my income, and satisfy the requirements to continue teaching.
Making new work, exploring the pathways of contemporary art, working with classmates and my mentor, Christine Collins, even the tortuous process of writing papers... These things have brought me great joy and inspire me to be a better artist, teacher, person. And while classroom management theory and curriculum design (several classes from the education program) are pretty important, I'm not all that passionate about it. In fact, it's a total drag. But that's where I'm at.
To my classmates at AIB: I'll be poking in on as much as I can during the June residency. And I'll see you in January 2014.