Published November 1, 2011
I’m 32 years old; I have two kids, a husband and a B.A. from New York University. My life is pretty fulfilling, but I want to go back to school. My family consists of a spirited but stubborn three and a half year old boy, a quirky but funny nine month old girl, a quiet but determined husband who works in the aviation industry and two cats that often get forgotten about. I’ve recently informed all of them that I wish to pursue my master’s degree
in speech pathology.
But, it seems that every time I try to research a program, one of the kids starts to cry, demands Cheerios, needs a diaper change or wants to go to the playground. It has become apparent that this is going to be more complicated than I thought. In fact, I’m nursing my baby as I write this. It’s virtually impossible to get anything done.
There must be other mothers out there in graduate programs, but I can’t imagine how they took time out of their demanding days as a parent to make phone calls, tour schools, go on graduate interviews and complete the graduate admission process.
I’ve been a substitute teacher for the NYC Department of Education for two years. I started subbing when my son was one year old. There is one particular day of subbing that sticks out in my mind, the day I subbed for a 12:1:1 class at a magnet elementary school. That was the day that I met Ann, a speech pathologist. She started her lesson, and I thought to myself, “I could do what she’s doing; I want to do what she’s doing!” I’m a writer, and a lover of words. When I saw Ann fully engaged with the kids in this class, teaching them to love words and sentence structure, I had a strong suspicion that this was the profession for me.
When my son, Ari, developed a mild stutter at age two and half, I remembered Ann. I called her frantically, asking her what I should do to help Ari. She referred me to a speech fluency specialist. The speech fluency specialist said “Sometimes children go through a phase where their minds work faster than their mouths. I’m not suggesting that you don’t get him evaluated, if you want to do that, by all means do it, but he may just grow out of this stutter with time.” She was right, by age three Ari was a fluid speaker.
This was just the beginning of my fascination with the field of speech pathology. I knew I’d found something that I wanted to continue to explore in an academic setting.
Now that I know what I want to do with my life, I need to figure out how to navigate through the graduate application process, and actual graduate school while caring for two small children. The application deadline is January 6th. Here’s hoping I get it all done.
Follow Sarah in her application adventures:
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