Up On The Roof

Warning. A story from the real person who writes this blog. Not made up, not created, but of actual real stuff I do, not of any pretend worlds, that I usually inhabit.

Two years ago, I sent off my application to the Applied Linguistics program at the University of Massachusetts. It wasn’t really anything I wanted to do. I did my job, I liked my job and I have been to graduate school before. One trip there was enough. It was like the dentist. Who wants to willingly go to the dentist to have their teeth drilled into constantly? Well, the trip to graduate school one resembled that.

I waited for the response from the graduate school. I rode the ski lifts up the mountains on my winter tour of New England ski resorts, thinking ever the while “well, if I don’t get accepted, I’ll get to keep going skiing every weekend in winter.

After a few weeks, I got worried. I wasn’t getting anything in the mail. Had they not accepted me and not bothered to tell me?

In March 2013, while I was on ski trip in Stowe, I got my acceptance letter. I was so happy when I saw the letter. That night it snowed during a sunset on this idyllic Vermont scene.

I didn’t even know what I expect when I started the program. All I knew was that I would be working and going to school for the first time in my life. And I work A LOT. How was that all going to work? Was I going to be able to accomplish all of it? Or even any of it? How was it going to go?

Well, somehow it actually managed to work out. Yeah, I have a breakdown every semester for one reason or anything, complete with water works, but I usually get it together within ten minutes.

Last night I was at school I realized that doing the program had actually turned out to be a really good thing. I was in a room listening to an education scholar named Antonia Darder. She was very animated and alive during her talk. I looked around and realized that the school provides me with a place to go that isn’t connected to my work, where I can interact with people in a different way than I do in my everyday life. It is a kind of a refuge from my everyday life, with people who laugh at the same jokes about grammar. When I have trouble, I go up on the roof. My roof are the classes at UMass Boston.

When I was at Dr. Darder’s lecture yesterday, of course I had my camera. I snapped some photos of her and one of my professors from last semester came over and immediately told me to send her the photos. It feels nice to be appreciated for what I was doing, especially after leaning back to take a photo, I knocked over a bottle and a box of cookies.

Dr. Darder didn’t seem to mind. Here she is looking pretty happy to be with us. And we were happy to be there. If you look really closely, you will see my linguistics professor Charles Meyer in the photos. We always giggle when we see the prescriptive linguists!!!!:

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