First impressions

I’ve been a grad student for all of three days, and I’m five days behind everyone else since I was gone for a week. This week has felt so looooong! I’ve been to all my classes and met all my professors (all two of them, I have one for two classes) and so far I’m happy. I’m taking a full course load: Principles of Linguistic Analysis, Semantics, and Second Language Teaching. Even though I complained pretty much 100% of the time about that silly English Syntax class this summer, I am so glad I took it. I’m also glad I took an intro to linguistics class at Bradley because they both prepared me for this semester. I’m jumping on the flash cards right away to review the basics.

The Second Language Teaching class is one I should have had at Bradley but didn’t. Looking back, the foreign language ed program was lacking… a LOT. I took education classes, and Spanish classes (mostly literature), but only one class bridged the gap. Barely. I learned next to nothing about second language acquisition or pedagogical theories. I’m not exaggerating. Everything I learned about how to teach Spanish I learned in student teaching.

UTEP itself is HUGE, although I know not as big as other state universities, and I have to park out in the boondocks. I got a parking ticket already, whoops! I knew better… At least I get my exercise walking around! Most of the people in my classes, one of my professors, and my fellow tutor/TA speak English as their second language. Already this week I’ve met people from Turkey, Ukraine and Mexico.

Speaking of other countries, it’s been confirmed to me that this degree will open up so many doors. In some countries, I can be a college professor with just an MA, and if I take the right classes within my degree I can get a TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) certificate. I may or may not have already been browsing a linguist job database and there are positions open on pretty much every continent. Obviously I can’t take a job wherever I want until Aaron gets out of the Army, but I do believe God’s put a desire in our hearts to live in a foreign country someday, working or doing missions. I just hope that day isn’t farther away than I’d like it to be…

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