Why Sarah Lawrence College?

During this process of me applying to admission for graduate school, some people have asked me the same questions. One of them is Why Sarah Lawrence College? Well, in all my submissions of writing samples and bios, I was asked the same thing by SLC. Here is my response:

There came a point in time when I decided that I need to move and leave Syracuse. My divorce was just about final and I reached a point at my job that I could go no further. I was doing a job search and came across a position at Sarah Lawrence College. It was a development position that I felt I could do really well in. So, as I was applying, I decided to take a look at what Sarah Lawrence does for its students.

As I searched the website, I noticed the graduate studies program in Creative Writing. I found myself very intrigued by this. I heard about a Masters degree in English, but not writing. I decided to bookmark the site and keep it in the back of my mind, just in case I get the position, perhaps I can take classes part time.

As it turns out, I did not get the position but I did speak to a fellow writer who lives in White Plains, New York. She informed me that I should really look into Sarah Lawrence and that it was one of the best schools in the country for Creative Writing. I began to look further into it and looked at all the alumni who passed through. Once again, I put in on the back burner because I had to deal with my divorce.

Last October, Syracuse University hosted a graduate school fair. This was an event that I was working. I had to make sure the tables were set up and that the organizers had everything they needed. Once the fair started I started looking at all the schools, walking table by table and I came across Sarah Lawrence College. This was the only school that I actually stopped and talk to the admissions representative.

She was a nice lady that told me she had just graduated and wanted to go on this particular college fair to let people know how great this school was. She mentioned that it changed her life since she was an older lady looking to start over. I do not remember this woman’s name but she won me over. The idea of starting over in order to something you love just did it for me. Coincidently, she was graduated from the Creative Writing Program.

I took my curiosity a step further and visited the campus the very next month before the Thanksgiving break. My friend, who spoke very highly about Sarah Lawrence, met me for some coffee in Bronxville and showed me the town. After seeing how great this town was I ventured to the campus. I had no idea what I was doing but I found my way to the admissions office where I was able to take a tour.

On my hour long tour, I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. I began to imagine myself writing on the many benches on the campus and doing some real creative work. I am not sure I could have found a better place that will be better for me to do work. The campus seems very quiet and yet very welcoming to ideas and to people.

I want to peruse my dream at Sarah Lawrence College because I feel I can belong here.

The Future

I need to use this blog as a sounding board. I know that I have talked about what my future career goals in the past and I have always said that I wanted to get a Master’s degree. When thinking about this in the past I have though about what made sense.

I first thought, years ago, that the best route for me was a Master’s in Business Administration. At the time it made sense. I wanted to pave the way for me being a VP of some college and I felt that this route would round me out as a professional. I would be able to understand the world from a business sense. I went so far as to take a graduate level Economics course. Through this class, I realized once again how much I hate the corporate world and math. It was a hard class that I took with my busy work schedule and I still passed with a hard earned B+.

I knew this was something that I did not want to do. So I had to rethink my strategy and think about what it is I really want to do. That is when I started thinking about Higher Education. I know from experience that this particular field does not have many people of color. I am one of few Latinos in any capacity in administration at Syracuse University.

There is a particular area of study that SU has that is very similar to Higher Education called Cultural Foundations of Education. I find this area to be very enlightening. I loved the two course that I took so much that I was able to get A’s in both. I opened myself to a new world in which lead me to create this blog in the first place. However, I felt like there was something was missing. I knew that there was this feeling growing inside of me that makes me not want to stay here, particular after the break up of my marriage.

I knew then, as I know now, that I am done with the Syracuse point of view on things. I know that I need to move on to other places in order to truly be rounded out. So, I have been on this job search for more than a year without any real bites. To be honest, most places are looking for a Master’s degree and I not willing to stay here and pursue that. So that leaves me with finding a job and then go to grad school part time or just cash in all my chips and go back to school full time.

During my job search, I came across a small school in Bronxville, NY called Sarah Lawrence. I have had a few people tell me how awesome this school is because they have Master’s courses in Writing. I applied for a job that I did not hear back from and I just kept this school in the back of my mind…until about 3 weeks ago when I was walking through a graduate school fair that I was working. A lady from Sarah Lawrence College was there and we started talking.

She talked about how great the school was and how I really need to think about attending an open house to see the campus. I filled out a card and took some paperwork on the school. I read it when I got home and really started to ponder if this was something that not only could I do, but is this what I really wanted. I have to admit I feel that my writing is missing something that I cannot quite put my finger on. Maybe, I needed formal training from people who have done what I aspire to do.

I put this thought on the back burner because I had a LBC Challenge to write, I had Homecoming at SU to work, and I had a speech to give. Friday, I finally get the official Sarah Lawrence packet in the mail. I opened it with such excitement. There was a letter addressed to me and all this information on how to apply. More importantly, the open house is November 11th. Ugh, it is a Thursday, which is going to be an issue. So I put it down because I figured that I will just get back to it eventually.

This weekend was when all thoughts came into my head that I just need to write down because I do not want to forget this. A Masters in Writing could mean that I can still be in Higher Education. I could teach a writing courses, perhaps at another university or college! I had even thought about how I could teach Blog Writing and have classes just on how to communicate one’s feelings and put them on a blank slate. Perhaps I could teach a course on Cultural Writing on how one can express culture through writing…

I thought about this and I had to just stop and look around. What if this is what I was meant to do? What if this what I have been looking for? It just feels so right to me. I would still do the public speaking thing, the blog writing, the poetry, and the short stories, but to totally submerge myself into writing and help students realize that this is something that they could do is just priceless.

I just need to apply. Now.

Tid Bit Tuesday

Latino Community

I tweeted about this last week and I am not sure people took me seriously, but I was supposed to go to a meeting at the Spanish Action League to meet with a Representative from Governor Patterson’s office. We were supposed to talk about the lack of job development for the Latino Community. My point is there is no jobs on the West Side of Syracuse because no wants to move their business there.

Well I drive down to La Liga and I find out the meeting had been canceled because the director broke her arm! Of course, the office assistant had no idea who I was and what meeting her Boss was supposed to have. Gas ain’t cheap, so I really was not happy about the wasted trip. I get home and I find out they were calling Josie to whole time saying the meeting was canceled…well done. Great Job!

Doc Appoinment

My doctor is very happy with me! First off, I lost 10 pounds. This is very good to me with all the running and exercises I am doing. I haven’t been eating all the junk I used to eat. He seemed happy that my little issue was indeed the coffee. I can tell from his expression that he really did not want to check my prostate! Trust me I was just as happy as he was.

He tells me that I am good for another 5 years. I do not need to see him until I am 40. Whoa…how scary is that. I am going to 40 in 5 years. Thanks for the reminder doc. Not only am I letting go of all my issues but I have to reminded that I will be 40 soon. In either case, he tells me that he may not even be around by then, he will probably be retired. That is ok, I do not plan to be in Syracuse by then.

Grad School

Speaking of future plans, I finally got the 3 letters of recommendation I need for Grad School. All I need to do now is my personal statement. I guess it will similar to the Bio I wrote recently. Although, this will have to be more my goals toward education and what I plan to do with it. From there I will need to truly know how long this journey is going to take me.

I have taken classes already so I know what to expect in terms of class load. But, that is when I took 1 class per semester. This time I plan on taking 2 per. So, that will be challenging in itself.

Layout!

I wont lie. I love this new layout. I know it seems a little grayish, but I think it symbolizes where I am right now. A little gray, but when I am ready I will add color to my life. Right now the only color is from the words that I write. I am ok with that. I do not need anything flashy.

Tidbit Tuesday


Chelsea Market


I am adding this to the list of destinations I plan on visiting on my trip to my hometown of New York City. I have been to the Chelsea market before on my last trip to NYC. I didn’t get to see all of the places in there because I was hanging out with the fellas, but I want to go and check it out. The funny thing is that when someone asked me what the Chelsea Market it was…I couldn’t really explain it. I found myself not doing it justice.

So that is why I have attached the Chelsea Market link. That will give everyone a good indication of what this is. I doubt I will buy anything, but I am going there because I know it is place I have never really seen prior to my trip in March. Despite, growing up in the Bronx, I am realizing that there are many things about NYC that I have not really seen. Hopefully I will see something or do something new.


Shaq!!!

The buzz on campus yesterday was that Shaquille O’Neal is on campus taking a course. I first saw a notice on Twitter, but I just took it for what it is, a rumor. However, once the article came out, then I knew it was real. Then of course you have multiple Facebook status messages going crazy. Everyone wanting to know why he is here. Clearly, the man is thinking about Broadcasting. Syracuse University has the number one school for that (Newhouse). Makes sense to me.

I am not a person who gets star struck. I admit that this got me a little excited, which tells me that despite it all, I still love my Alma Mater. I am not sure that I would ever be breathless if a true celebrity were to be in my presence. The only one I can think of is Alicia Keys….which by the way I am totally mad at. I saw a tweet that she is in a relationship with Swizz Beatz (that hurts me). Anyway, I am not someone who gets start struck, but I totally tweeted Shaq! All I want is a pic in Schine Student Center…


Exercise

Most of you may know this, but I have been totally killing myself, in a good way. My treadmill sessions have been good for me. 45 minutes of hell usually gets be about 3.5 miles worth of panting and sweat. I do not run the entire way, but I do for most of it. What I am the most proud of is that I can run for 1 mile without stopping. I also have a killer running soundtrack on my iPhone. So at times when I feel I cannot make, certain songs will give me that extra bounce..

The only thing I am in search of is a good pair of running shoes. The problem is that they will be more expensive then I need them to be. So, another thing on my list of things to do in NYC, is to price out some running shoes. My birthday is not too far away and I think I can convince some people to at least partially fund this worthy cause! (Definitely hitting up Dad first)

Self Evaluation

One thing that I never get used to is doing a Self Evaluation to close out the year. Talking positively about myself for a Performance Review is something that I have always found hard to do. I wonder if I was more egotistical, would it be easier? At least I would be high on myself and the questions of my accomplishments for the year would not be so hard.

Well that is what I spend the bulk of yesterday doing. Writing the Self Evaluation so that the powers that be can see that I am doing my job well. Let me tell you, I had a very good year professionally. I am going on my 8 years here and I really feel that I have hit my stride. That does not mean I getting complacent. Far from it. I am actually going to start classes in the fall to continue my path to a Master Degree

The only issue I face is these damn letters of recommendation that I have asked people to write. I asked 3 people to write letters for me. Only one has been submitted. That was months ago. I need to move forward. So the question in my head is…do I nag the hell out of my them or do I search for 2 more people?