writers block
11.25.03 // 7:32 p.m.

I have a serious case of writers block and anxiety over graduate school applications. I'm sorry for boring anyone who reads this. Who wants to know that I've almost completely overhauled my plans for graduate school? I’ve finally figured it out. I don't want to do a program in counseling. What do I need to do that for? I already know enough. And yeah, I do enjoy counseling and working one-on-one with students, but I know that my long term goals are more than that. I want to be an administrator, decision-maker, policy analysis, professor, and researcher. Lofty goals, I know. I can't do that with a degree in counseling, well not just with that. I need a PhD (and I will get one).

I want to do research to prove what I already know: underrepresented students (read: Chicana/o and Latina/o, American Indian, and African American) need a supportive environment to succeed. They need administrators and faculty who understand and they need to know that there are other students who share similar experiences like them. I want to implement policies that don't keep students like me out or students who don't have their "papers" but have lived here their whole lives from receiving financial aid. I want to encourage students to get involved to give back to contribute something and not be the apathetic ingrates that I see way too much on this campus. I want to explore what factors keep students from continuing their education and how student-run retention programs as well as administration-run programs can respond to this.

Damn. See, when I write it here, I can tell you just what I want to do. I want to research the impact on involvement, leadership, and community service on underrepresented students. I want to explore how involvement in a student movement or a student group contributes to that students’ development of a sense of self and overall academic and personal goals. I want to research the impact of "diversity" on students' learning experiences. As much as I say it's important and that it will enrich your overall educational experience, does it? I want to explore policy regarding diversity in higher educational curriculum. I want to look at ways to overcome obstacles to access to higher education and alternative admissions practices.

And why do I want to do it? Because, I’ve seen what life is like for students at huge and impersonal school like UCLA. I know that the policies that administrators come up with to benefit them really hurt students. I see it first hand. I just spoke to a student who was worried about dropping a class and still meeting the ridiculous new unit requirements. I’ve seen how this place has changed since I entered. I was the part of the first class to be admitted without the use of affirmative action. UCLA looks different, and for a first generation student like me, this place can be overwhelming. I’ve seen how getting involved enriches your education, but makes it somewhat more difficult and demanding. In the end though, we need to be involved in our schooling… it has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now? [Yes, I just quoted Rage Against the Machine, but as you can see I’m sort of doing a stream of consciousness free write.]

It’s all really simple, you see. I was reading a paper Arshad sent me about a week ago. It was all about this question he wants to answer and his motivation for it. The question and goals are similar to mine, we just want to make students' lives better

And now… the new list:

University of California, Los Angeles
Graduate School of Education and Information Science
Higher Education and Organization Change (HEOC), MA

Harvard
Graduate School of Education
Higher Education, Ed. M.

University of Michigan
Graduate School of Education
Higher Education, MA

Columbia University
Teachers College
Higher and Postsecondary Education, MA

New York University
Steinhardt School of Education
Higher Education Administration, MA

University of Maryland
College of Education
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies – Higher Education Specialization, MA

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Me siento: ummm
Escuchando: cuatro caminos por café tacvba

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