Saturday, January 28, 2012

I never get a break...

Sometimes...I think the world is out to get me. Or more specifically, my schools. As in that they like to mess around with me. I am truly starting to think this. Let me explain...

This May, it'll be three years since I graduated college. I feel super old typing that! I didn't even get to graduate with my friends as in walk. My degree was conferred in August 2009 because of this situation....Choosing a college was not the easiest task. I am sure most of you can agree with it. I was torn between two state schools in New York, SUNY Cortland, where my brother Mark went and met his wife, and SUNY New Paltz. Both had great education programs. Both offered me the opportunity to study abroad (a major concern). Both schools were far enough where I felt like I could be "on my own," yet were close enough where I could go home for a weekend. So I ended up choosing New Paltz, because I could just see myself there. I mean, look at how pretty the campus was (they're doing a ton of renovations to it now).

My intended major was Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish and a French minor. NERD ALERT. Yes, I love's my passion! I was one of the few people in my circle of friends that never really changed my major at all in college. I did all the leg work to get to student teaching. Two semesters of observations. I studied abroad my spring semester in 2008 at the Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain (the name reminds me of my own hometown!). Don't regret that one bit. Here's where it gets sticky...

They inform us in our methods class senior year, fall semester, that we have to take a departmental assessment test that tests your grammar, literary analysis, and cultural analysis in the language. You have to get an 84 or better in all three sections. If you pass one section but fail the others, you only have to retake the sections you didn't pass. Seems fair, right? Well, in addition to that you have to take a $150 over the phone interview called the OPI (no, not the nail polish hehe) as in Oral Proficiency Interview. They can ask you anything and they determine your level of proficiency. You have to get "Advanced Low" on this and pass all three sections of the departmental exam in order to student teach. So, tell me how it is fair that they tell us all of this the semester before we were suppose to start student teaching? I did it all, but had to retake it again in the spring semester. So I had my student teaching delayed a semester and had to take an entire semester of useless classes to stay and take the test. And oh yeah, I could've graduated in the fall but my school requires 120 credits to graduate...and I had 119.

So after I retook it again for the second time, I got the same level on the OPI and missed 16 points between two sections of passing the departmental test. I was told by my advisor, in one way or another, "You can take it a third time but if you don't pass that is it." Talk about being enraged! That essentially told me if I didn't pass, all the work I did during my undergraduate years was a waste. I think I spent a good weekend crying, venting to my mother and friends, and made the HARDEST decision I ever have. I dropped education as my major all together and just graduated with a Spanish degree. Since this was done almost a month before graduation, I was told I couldn't walk with my friends and would be considered a August graduate. I can't tell you how heartbreaking it was to not be able to sit with my friends or be in the cap & gown with them. However, I have the most amazing group of friends a girl could ever have, who were all devastated for me yet said I had to celebrate because I was done. And so we did.

Fast forward...I started graduate school in January 2010 and I was going for education. I was not going to let the experience from undergrad stop me. I went to a private school by my house that was well known for their education program. My brother who is a teacher got his Masters there! They made the whole process of student teaching way less complicated then my undergrad school and in a year and a half, I graduated in May 2011 with my masters in Education. So proud of myself.

We were informed during our program if we took four Special Education classes, an Autism workshop, and the New York State Content Test for students with disability, we could get a certification in Special Education. Considering the job market for teaching SUCKS up in New York, you want to do anything to make yourself more marketable and so I did it. I just finished all the classes in December 2011 and now need to apply for my certification. Only to find out through my friend Beth, who was as pissed off/blindsided by this as I was, that the school told us a lot of wrong information about the extension. We were told to take the wrong certification test and we apparently have to take a bunch of undergraduate courses in other areas like math and science. Both Beth and I are Spanish teachers. I was thrilled when I never had to take another math or science course again because I hate those subjects. Essentially when I thought I was done with school and got to look for a job, I now get to take more classes? WTF? I am so annoyed that the school can't give us the RIGHT information. I feel so let down and almost want to give up any hope of EVER finding a job.

However, I won't. In the past few years, I have learned to rise against all the challenges that are thrown in my face and to beast them away. This will be just another scenario of that. If y'all don't mind thinking of me and hoping this all works out, that would just be spectacular. :) I really hope this all works out and does not give me any gray hairs because let's face it, no one wants that in their 20's!

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