Mastering the Possibilities

I have applied to do my Master of Arts (MA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The application process is clearly designed to weed out the weak. The on-line system finally acknowledged that my submission was complete on Friday, even though I had everything in well before the December 1st deadline and some things were submitted more than once. Mercury has been in retrograde too, which meant communication problems abounded, reference letters were lost in the mail, and system uploading breakdowns were par for the course.

I have a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in French and linguistics, not exactly related to what I do now. I don’t have a burning desire to do my Masters, but it seems to be the new BA. I’m now competing for work with forty-somethings, heck, twenty- and thirty-somethings with their MA. Let’s just say I am no longer forty-something, so an MA might give me an edge on the job front.

You’d think writing two books and all the years of practical experience would be the equivalent of an MA, but many contract positions that I’m interested in ask for the additional letters. My eclectic background is both a strength and a weakness. Am I a communications person? A food system planner? Community developer? Project manager? Community engagement specialist? Facilitator? Sustainability tour guide? Teacher? Compost Queen? Employers don’t really know where to put me. Even my parents don’t know what I do exactly. My Dad still sends me job clippings from the newspaper.

So after exploring the possibilities, I decided on an MA in Adult Education with a concentration in educational studies. I stumbled into the department through a friend and talked to one of the profs who liked my research plan. My plan is to take the book I’ve just written on the politics of food, turn it into a course, both classroom and on-line, with an annual international field component. The education department is geared to teachers too, so they have classes on evenings and weekends. That means, if I’m accepted, I can still work part time. Hopefully the work will be plentiful, given that I can call myself a Masters candidate the second I begin the September 2012 term. Have to pay for this degree somehow. Wonder if they take credit cards.



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