A Pile of Applications

Hello all!

I just wanted to write a little note here explaining my sparse posts of late. I am in the midst of applying to PhD programs. Twelve of them to be exact.

Last year I applied to ten programs and failed to get in anywhere. It was devastating. I had an overwhelming crisis of faith–faith in myself and my abilities.

I was the cocky kid that only applied to one college in high school because I knew that Ohio Northern was the place I needed to be. I applied to six graduate schools for my MA and got into Chapman University, Columbia University, and wait-listed at Emory. Chapman was my first choice then and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision.

All of these factors built up an overwhelming sense of confidence, and when I didn’t get into a program last year I found myself questioning my life choices. Am I doing the right thing? What if I wasn’t good enough for these programs?

We all end up facing rejection sooner or later, but I think it’s what we do with that rejection that has the power to make us better individuals. As long as I can remember I have wanted to write and to teach. I taught my first class after a few weeks after that final rejection letter came in the mail. I was guest lecturing for one of my professors on the film Halloween (1978); talking about female roles in horror films, comparing the empowered female victim with the female slasher.

Standing in front of those students, taking control of that room, and having an earnest discussion about film was a life changing experience. A shy young man came up to me after class, shook my hand, and told me it was one of the best classes he’s ever taken. I could have cried with happiness. Instead, I said thank you and gave him some movie recommendations. I may not know everything about teaching yet, but I can guess that you’re not supposed to cry on your students, even if it’s with joy.

That singular experience made me realize I was doing the right thing by pursuing teaching, and by extension my doctorate.

If you’re lucky in life, you find your way into a profession that makes you feel that alive everyday. So, this fall I have renewed my efforts for applying to PhD programs in order to better chase that dream.

I’m applying to twelve schools across the United States and so far it has been a hectic process. Yesterday I submitted my first four applications and today I’m allowing myself a brief break to recharge my intellectual batteries. But I have eight more applications to plow through before I will finally be done.

As a result of all this mind-numbing, glorious hard work, I haven’t been posting on the blog as much lately. But I’m still trying to get out a few posts a week. Things will likely pick up again after the holidays.

That being said, I am going to try to get a November Favorites post up this week.  Maybe more if I can manage.

Hope everyone has a pleasant holiday season and thanks for popping in!