Monday was a big day at UMaine Augusta. The Board of Trustees for all of the UMaine System met there to, among other things, discuss and approve their strategic plan. I sat in on the end of the student representative meeting and felt my same old anxieties surge to the surface again. One student talked about her expectation that she’ll have to do graduate work once she finishes her degree, and that many of her peers feel the same. Then the board president expressed the need for students to choose their majors with an eye to future employment.
I just sank. Lately I’ve been pretty pumped with the anticipation of graduating in May and finding some kind of work related to my degree. And now this. Graduate school? Part of my recent elation (and my husband’s) has to do with no more tuition bills showing up in our mailbox. After putting 3 students through college in 6 years, we’re ready for a break. Choosing my major with an eye to future employment? I’ve already shared my angst about how things might go with my English degree. I walked out of that room feeling a little low, but luckily, it didn’t last long.
I got to spend some time with Deb, the director at URock, and Steve, my fellow nontrad. We were manning the URock table, trying to bring attention to the outlying UMA centers that serve so many students. Deb is an expert networker whereas I’m more of a watcher, so it was fun to see her in action.
I got to meet the President of UMA and she thanked me – thanked me – for what I do here on this blog. Whether it’s in person or online, it’s always good to know someone’s reading this. You gotta love the blog love.
I snuck out early to go to my class, and learned my Jane Eyre paper from 2 weeks ago is floating out there somewhere in the cyber-ether. Quickly remedied: I re-sent and my professor promptly received, and all is well. We’ve completed Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and are now reading Wuthering Heights. Let me say I’m in a class full of Heathcliff lovers/adorers/defenders. This makes for some deeply felt discussions, and for a great class. Next month, UMA is hosting its first English Conference, and we might – we just might – be part of a panel on the Brontës. Time will tell on that one. Alison Bechdel, who wrote and drew the memoir Fun Home, will be the keynote speaker, so I’ll be there even if I chicken out of submitting a paper.
Well, I kept my UMA student hat on into the night. URock, which is a satellite center of UMA, hosted a Monologue Nights, with theater students performing. I rarely get to go to these kinds of after-hours school events, since they don’t often happen on Monday nights. To come over any other night means another overnight stay on the mainland, so I usually miss out. This was fantastic, a real variety of monologues, from Sophocles to Wilde to Allison Moore to original work and more. So glad I got to see this. It’s a reminder: we are surrounded by talented people and don’t even realize it.