Summer Workload


When I interviewed at Smith College in April, the director of the M.E.D. program repeatedly stressed the fact that I would have no free time this year.  I believe he used the following four phrases almost verbatim:

— “Are you seeing anyone?  Because you won’t be.”

— (Gestures at lake, trees, 19th century buildings.) “It’s a gorgeous campus.  Not that you’ll have any time to enjoy it.”

— “Here’s the gym.  You’ll have about ten minutes a week to use it.”  (Laughs).  “No, but really.”

— “One girl last year didn’t take me seriously when I said she wouldn’t have free time, and she decided to stay on her softball league.  A few weeks into school, she quit the league.”

Naturally, my first reaction to softball girl was “She didn’t have free time, but I’m different.”  

Umm.  No.

He was exaggerating slightly, but the gist was accurate.  Our Monday and Wednesdays start between 8 and 9 and end at 8 pm.  (Tuesdays and Thursdays finish by 3:30 which feels like you’ve been handed a free spa session.)  When we don’t have classes, we have homework.  Sure, we’ve had the chance to go out a few nights, and I’ve had free time on my weekends (at the expense of some of my readings), but most of my time is spoken for.  All of our classes range from 2.5-4 hours.  Yes, four hours.  Nobody misses a class because it’s like missing a week’s worth of information.  (Also, there are only 12 of us, so it would be pretty obvious if someone wasn’t showing up.)

The workload is most apparent when I hear one of my housemates talk about going to sleep like it’s the pinnacle of existence.

OK, but to keep things in perspective, I will say that most of the classes are interactive, the girls in the program are incredibly supportive, and the workload has been manageable.  (In spite of the fact that I bought a planner which is unusable because it doesn’t start until September.)


Three of my enthusiastic classmates.

I would write more, but, naturally, I don’t have time.  I hope to make some time this weekend to get into the nitty gritty of the Smith/Clarke experience, mostly because I before I came I googled blogs for ages and couldn’t find anything.  Future students, this is for you. And of course, mom, dad, friends, and stalkers.  


Smithin’ it up

After a long hiatus, during which I wrote over here, I’m back at this site for the next year.

Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been doing since I moved back to the States in March:

Wandering around the U.S.  I’ve been in CT, MI, NY, DC, CA (San Fran and LA), Las Vegas, and Seattle. I visited Alcatraz and Muir Woods, hiked to the top of a waterfall in Yosemite, and watched my sister graduate from college. Two weeks ago, I moved to Northampton, Massachusetts (which I still can’t spell the first time) and have been living with around 12 girls in an AC-less house on Smith College’s campus.

Watching my body’s slow, inevitable atrophy.  Ie. my knee gave out for no apparent reason.

Falling in love.  I met a boy.  He is tall and charming and likes to talk about naval history and Frank Capra films and fairy tales.  He likes my messy hair and endless freckles. And he tells me.  I have decided that maybe people fall in and out of love their whole life, and if so, I’d like to do it with one person.  (If he ends up being that person, we will have tall, dorky children with light eyes and weak ankles.)

Getting lost.  I get lost going to the library, to walmart, to the hospital, home…  I have absolutely zero innate sense of direction.  If, instead of a 3 second memory, goldfish had an awful sense of direction, that’s how bad I would be.  I like to think I have a secret ability that compensates for it, which I will discover soon.

Reading.  I decided biography was my genre du jour, and promptly read one about Sylvia Plath, which turned out to be depressing (I won’t give away the end), so I turned to thrift store fiction.

Baking/Cooking from scratch. Pesto from pine nuts = delicious.  Hummous from garbanzo beans = difficult.  Bread = confusing.

– Apartment hunting.  Currently the most stressful part of my existence.  (1st world problems much?)  I got depressed yesterday when I watched young couples look at nice apartments in Florence and Paris for the same price as the ones in Northampton.

Starting grad school.  In April, I was accepted at Smith College/Clarke School for Hearing and Speech to complete my Master of the Education of the Deaf.  It’s an intensive one year program, culminating in a Master degree and teacher certification.  I started classes July 1, and they are consuming — I have over 30 hours a week in classes/observations.  Plus homework.  I’m really excited to see what the workload does to my outofschoolforfouryears brain.

OK, that’s it for now.  Hopefully I will have time to consistently write and share my M.E.D. experience.


I’m living in this house ^^ with about 12 other girls this summer.