Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grad School Apps and Dad's iPod

Let's start with the fun news first. Actually, the grad school apps are exciting, too... just expensive.

The fun news is that I went to California... last week??? Geez, it's been a long few days. Yes, last week I went to California and visited Mom and Dad. I loaded up Dad's new iPod shuffle (SECOND GENERATION) and gave it to him all charged and ready to go. When I gave it to him, I was really excited for him to start skipping through the tracks, randomly falling on song after song that he LOVED. He eventually did that, but I had to prod him a lot. Initially he just kept turning the iPod over in his hands while we listened to the first track that came up and Dad gave commentary on the amazingness of this tiny little device. I agree, it's amazing, but "Dad! Press next! See what other songs are on there!" I have to admit, during the process of loading up the iPod I got half-converted to country music. I'll never be a cowboy, but there are some really, really good and inspirational songs on that iPod. The music made me feel so good and want to BE so good... pretty cool. Anyway, I showed Dad how to use iTunes, where to download church talks, etc. It was a pretty quick crash-course, so DAD: feel free to call any time with questions! It was a really fun gift to prepare and give, so props to Lindsay for the idea and props to all the siblings for pitching in. Now we all have props. Woo! Dad went running the next day, and he told me how he thought the music was supposed to make running easier, but he still felt tired! Hahaha... well, it's not magic, just a distraction. :) I think he really likes it, and I think he'll like it more as the controls become more second-nature. Feel free to leave a comment with an update, Dad! How's the iPod treating you? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I love you!

Next item of business:
As you all know, BYU doesn't want me. PSH, well I don't want THEM! Actually, that's partly true. While I am forever a fan of all things BYU, I realized I probably should apply to a masters of EDUCATION program and actually study something related to my intended career. What a novel idea! So it has actually been fun to explore Masters of Education programs and apply to new schools I'd never thought of attending before. I would apply to BYU again (for the M.Ed. program), but the deadline has already passed. I realized I am a true BYU fan when I was happy to see that the U of U deadline has also passed, thus eliminating any temptation to apply there. Therefore, I have applied to (drumroll please).....

The University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
Utah State University (Logan, UT)
The University of Houston (guess where they're located?)
Hawaii Pacific University (Honolulu, HI)

It would be kind of nice if only one school accepted me. Then I'd know where I want to go. Here are advantages to each school:

University of Virginia
I feel really drawn to this one... before any logic comes into play, let's just say I feel good about it. Now, for the tangible reasons: First, they actually have a program that focuses on secondary Spanish education. I would get licensed as a Spanish teacher, and they work with students who are seeking licensure in states other than VA. I would be looking for licensure in Utah. I like the idea of working and living near Mom, Dad, Kent, Brittney, and Beckett. It would be fun to teach at the same school as Kent, and go to basketball games to cheer on my students and my brother. AWESOME. But that's all after college... let's get back to Virginia. It's close to Washington, D.C. I would love to have plenty of time to explore all the museums and history there. Also, it's Virginia! That place is beautiful. The one time I've visited, I noticed the state line between NC and VA is like the state line between NV and CA. No offense to anyone who loves North Carolina or Nevada, but once you cross those state lines, wow. There is beauty all around, when you enter certain states.

Utah State University
Advantages: More LDS girls. Closer to family. Those are the only reasons I applied to Utah State, but they are REALLY good reasons.

The University of Houston
Advantages: Close to the Le Sueur's. Mild winters. Again, the reasons are few but REALLY good.

Hawaii Pacific University
IT'S IN HAWAII!!! I would probably invest in scuba gear if I lived in Hawaii, and that would be AWESOME. Maybe people would come visit me (ahem DAD scuba cough). Also, it's on the same island as the temple, which was a deal maker as far as deciding to apply. Also, their program provides licensure that is valid in 44 states, including Utah. They don't have a Spanish secondary education program, but they do have English as a second language. I'd go for that, then seek Spanish licensure after graduating. Then I could teach virtually anywhere in the world.

So that's the rundown. Now... guess how much it cost to apply to four schools???
$23 per school to send GRE scores = $92
$2 per official transcript; every school wants 2 copies = $16
Virginia application fee = $60
Houston application fee = $45
Hawaii Pacific app fee = $50
Utah State app fee = $55
Praxis exam registration = $130
TOTAL = (I haven't even calculated this yet... here we go).... $448!!!!???? THAT IS INSANE.

At this time I would like to thank Brittney for doing my taxes, which have resulted in a $900+ return. Hallelujah! Thank you thank you thank you.

The Praxis test was only required for Hawaii Pacific, but apparently I'll have to take it sooner or later for teaching licensure purposes, so I figured why not throw it in now while I'm already cringing? I looked at some of the sample questions and it looks... like it's not worth $130. Kent said it was pretty easy. Virginia allowed me to substitute my SAT score for a Praxis score! It just had to be above a certain score. Didn't think I'd be using my SAT scores... good thing they're recorded in my BYU Route Y stuff.

So... that's the latest. Tomorrow I head to Provo to request the official transcripts, deliver stamped envelopes to my recommenders (who are AMAZING and just keep sending letters for me), take out Katie Fager who recently returned from Romania (I'm so excited to see her again!), spend the night at the Powelsons, and then PLAY Saturday morning with the coolest family north of Ivins and south of Bluffdale. It will be a great break before I start into making up for lost time at work. Oh yeah... I need to prepare a Sunday School lesson. Oh, I also got pulled over the other day and I need to schedule traffic school (no speeding ticket! He was a nice cop).

Well, I must say that Melissa's stresses have made me realize I really don't have that much on my plate. By the way, CONGRATULATIONS, MELISSA!!!! I'm so excited for another Richards baby, and I'm praying all the time that you will get an opportunity to relax and regroup sometime soon. Actually, Julie said you might be coming over when I'm at their house... maybe I could take care of all the kids while the two pregnant ladies take a break? That's a good idea. I'll call you.

I think that's all for now. Thanks for all your prayers for my BYU acceptance. It seems like all I heard from my friends was, "Well, if you don't get in, I'm sure there's something better waiting for you." I thought, "Yeah, shut up." Something like that. Well, they were right. I'm excited for a new experience somewhere in the USA, and I'm excited to actually be on track toward teaching Spanish!

Please pray that I get accepted SOMEWHERE!! :)


  1. Good luck with it all. I'll be interested to hear how it all turns out.

    Another note...the Praxis I took was the Math Content one...not the same you will take. I don't know the name of the one that you are taking (that I have to take next year) but I assume they are the same and from what I have heard it's not tough at all. If it is the one I'm thinking of it is written response to questions about how you would handle certain classroom situations or your teaching philosophy, etc.

    If you get me the name/number of the Praxis you are taking I'll talk to some teachers at my school who have taken it and get more details for you.

  2. The iPod is amazing! And, I am so relieved it is NOT a cell phone! I was, and am, very intrigued with such a tiny device and its it a lot!! If it would just drop my run times. Our thoughts and prayers are with you on your new grad school pursuit. WE like your thoughts on where you would like to end up!!

  3. What a GREAT post!! Glad i could cook your tax books for you to get a return. It was so fun to read about all your plans for the future. Good luck getting into one of those schools.. I'm sure you'll make a good decision.

  4. Happy to see another post. Thanks for all your work for Dad's gift. Love you!

  5. Hey, I finally read all that typing of yours and it was hardly even painful and quite informative, who knew?? (besides Lindsay, Britt, Dad and Kent anyway) So I always have good things in my heart and prayers for you, schooling included!! AND thanks a MaZillion times infinity for the day out with Melissa!! You rock and rule and deserve to be in Rulon's family picture illustrations forever :)

  6. Okay, so I keep coming back and waiting for the next post.....c'mon already!