I am 26 years old. I am broke. I am in Graduate School. I am in need of funding...
I have lived in the Midwest most of my life until I reached that point every teenager reaches: I was told to go to college. Luckily for me, I had always loved words, writing, reading, and sharing my love with others. Early on, I knew I wanted to teach. And more specifically, I wanted to teach language, and writing, and appreciation for words.
(I will momentarily side-track and say I am a firm believer in the power of words and language. The power of communication. Today, it is more important than ever to be able to communicate effectively as the world's problems seem more complex. We need to find power in communicating, simultaneously finding power in the ways we can explore to express communication teh most effective way possible. Through words, actions, and movement, we can begin to understand each other and blur the differences we pretend to see. This is what I want to teach others to see in all kinds of writings and expression.)
So I moved to Florida and obtained a Bachelor's in English from Flager College. I knew my goal was (and still is) to become an English/Writing professor. But I also knew I needed more schooling. As I began to attempt applying for jobs, I constantly read "M.A. required" in the preferred qualifications.
Immediately after graduating with my B.A., and gaining a good chunk of debt, I entered an English M.A. program back in my hometown of Indiana. While in this program, I grew as a writer and gained publishing experience as both editor and contributor with publications such as PacificReview and Subtropic's October 2016 issue. Continuing my education and gaining knowledge is never a waste of college for me. I graduated May of 2015 with the Graduate Student Excellence Award in the English program. I had one of the biggest requirements of getting a university job: I had the M.A.! And twenty thousand more dollars added to my loan debt.
I began applying for introductory teaching classes around the area in Literature and Grammatical Writing...Writing as a Second Language... and I was not given one interview.
I was heart-broken to find even with a Master's degree, I still was not qualified for even entry-level teaching jobs. Although I had personally gained so much from my M.A. program, I didn't have what employers wanted: experience.
Experience, the ever-dreaded conundrum. Employers always want experience, but aren't willing to give anyone experience. How can anyone gain experience these days if no one is willing to give us a chance? My involvement, my commitment, my award, my letters of recomendation mean nothing for a career.
I was blessed to have these aspects mean something for another graduate program. With my enrollment into Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, I know I am blessed to finally be in a program I am confident will get me to where I truly want to be. I am already experiencing connections, readings, and possibilities for my career as a teacher and as a writer in the community.
However, the debt is piling up, and the bills of every-day life are piling up as well. I am having a hard time trying to accumulate extra money to pay for debt and current tuition costs I owe on an urgent basis.
Please consider helping with any amount possible, as extra income is difficult to come by. I will continue to share my enriching experience, and you can all count on me to make a change in this crazy world with all of my tools provided! :)
Published by Kristiane Weeks-Rogers