I had my interview for the teaching program at the grad school last night. I've been pretty nervous the last few weeks, but I didn't write (or even talk) about it because I was trying to put it out of my mind. It was 2 1/2 hours and they gave us very little information beforehand, but it turned out great. It was your basic assessment/observation set-up with the applicants engaging in structured discussions and group projects, and professors assigned to monitor each applicant while the discussions and projects took place. I left feeling pretty good about my performance. I didn't feel completely confident, but I had given it a good effort after a very long week. (It's been a rough few weeks around LSLville.) We were told that we would hear from the school with the results of our interviews within two weeks.
I've really felt great about the program and have been hoping to get in, but I did have one reservation after last night. Because it is a full-time program, most of the applicants are very young. Several are still completing their undergrad degrees. They were great people, and I was impressed that they knew what they wanted to do career-wise at such a young age, but I have reservations about being in a program with 15 twenty-three year olds. When I got my MBA (at this same school), it was a two-year night program, and most of my classmates worked during the day, and were similar to me in both age and life stage. The interaction with those folks added so much to my experience, and I'm still friends with a few of those kids today. I can't really stress enough how positive that part - meeting people in similar places intellectually and developmentally - was for me. I think I could learn a ton from younger folks and have fun with them, too, but I would really miss having the kinds of connections that I had last time I was in school - the kinds that require a fully formed prefrontal cortex. I'm not sure what to do about that. The school has a less aggressive night program that I could opt for, but it's over a year longer than the FT program. When I left the interview, I decided I would just think about it. My mom, sister, and eHarmony guy #4 all think I'm making too big a deal of that, but at the interview I felt like the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.
Well, I got a call from the school today. I'm in! I was shocked to hear from them so soon. Crazy, this is all crazy! I think I only have two weeks to give them a deposit to hold my place in the program, so I have a lot of thinking to do in a short amount of time. I am really undecided and I have feelings all over the place. I'm excited to possibly do something that feels meaningful, and excited that I could start to do it so soon. I also feel overwhelmed about making a change at this stage and age, and part of me feels like I need to find a good banking job and stop thinking crazy thoughts. I've also thought about getting a banking job and doing the night program for the next couple of years. Also, am I sure that teaching is really, really for me? And, what if I do all of this and next year I'm an unemployed teacher instead of an unemployed banker? That would suck. Plus, thinking about a huge salary cut is different than seeing one in your paycheck. All of these thoughts (and more) are swimming around in my brain.
I interviewed my favorite teacher from my observation experience after school today. It was so fun. She's been teaching for seven years and still has quite a skip in her step. She was encouraging, and yet seemed to be very candid about the things that discourage her about her job. I took great notes and will definitely be reading through them again in the next couple of weeks. I have a lot of thinking to do!