This feeling has nothing to do with raging hormones or acne-riddled skin (lol); but, rather, the detailed search for colleges and universities that fit my academic desires.
Always looking ahead, i’m currently gathering my options for a new school to attend in a few years. Once i’m done with my BA and MFA at Hofstra University, i plan on moving outside of NY. The list is open, but currently includes Texas, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, so i’m looking for schools in those regions.
New York is still a possibility, but not Hofstra, since it doesn’t have a Philosophy Masters, nor is there a plan for one. Incidentally, i was able to start an email correspondence with the Department Chair this week, telling him of my goals; he wished me luck with my endeavors and recommended i check back in a couple years to see if plans have changed.
While looking at GradSchools.com, i found its parent company, Zinch.com, which also happened to be a useful resource, until i realized it was only for undergrads. GradSchools.com is good for information, straight to the point yet robust; while Zinch is pretty snazzy in itself, combining social networking and a plethora of information for college-seekers. It has “followers” and “following” á la Twitter, but it also has a “swagger” rating. Yeah, i’m not feeling that. What is “swagger?”
“Your swagger is your zinch score. The higher your swagger, the higher you show up in search results (and more likely you are to be discovered by schools/people).”
It definitely fits in with the current crop of normal-aged (17-20) prospective undergraduate college students. I hope they do well.
Using GradSchools.com, I was able to narrow my search to the geographic regions above, and the required academic criteria: Philosophy, African American Studies, American Studies, and Religious Studies. I want all of these, or at least two of them, because my plan after my MFA in Creative Writing & English Literature is to obtain my Philosophy Masters, and then one of the other three.
Before i switched to Creative Writing, i was an Africana Studies major. American Studies is an interdisciplinary program, touching upon American History and Literature; African, Latin and Native American Studies; Sociology; and a sprinkling of others, all having to do with America.
And with Religious Studies, it’s vital i learn more in-depth and thoroughly about the counterparts of ideology and systems i’m always questioning and going up against. Paraphrasing Sun Tzu, i must know my “enemy” as i know myself.
Originally, i wanted to go directly for my PhD after my first Masters, but i don’t know how my personal life will pan out, with the financial and time commitment needed at that point, or how i feel about earning a PhD, then getting another Masters after. It feels sort of backwards. No? Lol.
Since I have no desire to ever work anywhere other than a college or university, coursework towards Masters degrees will always be heavily discounted (yay!). Most schools i’ve researched don’t pay for or have tuition remission for PhD programs, and i’m not one to have any desire to go for scholarships or grants (i’m lazy when it comes to that lol).
I want to be of the same ilk as Drs. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West and bell hooks, just without the fame; or maybe someone like Dr. Manning Marable. Shooting for the stars.
Being that im not one for the spotlight (i’d like to be well-known but in the shadows or under dim lights), I would actually prefer to be more like professors i personally know from class: Dr. Benjamin Talton, African and African American History; Dr. Robert P. Sulcer, Jr., English Literature, specializing in Victorian Lit.; or Simon Van Booy, Creative Writing, Poetry, Philosophy.
It may seem i’m obsessed with degrees, but i love academia, and desire to be an academician. Check out the proust questionnaire piece to dive into the depths of my brain (lol). It’s very long, fyi.
We’ll see how this all pans out over the next few years.
As usual, thanks for reading!