Daring To Dream, Again

Ok it’s official, I have been accepted to the James L Knight School of Communication Master of Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte. Classes begin on January 11, 2016. So after a three-year hiatus, I am back to give this grad school thing another shot!

How do I feel? Well at the moment, kind of overwhelmed but really excited.

Overwhelmed for the predictable reasons: the bureaucratic slog must now kick into high gear. I have to complete a FAFSA, and do a couple of other things that are in the welcome email I got from my program manager. I expected this, of course, but am trying to think of how I might get some assistance without driving the same two or three people a bit nutty. Those folks have been tremendously helpful to me throughout this process, though. I am figuring it out on my own to the extent that I can, but some things are just not as readily accessible or require actions; such as printing out, signing and rescanning forms; that are beyond my purview.

On the other hand, I am thrilled because this time I have a much more well thought out plan for how I will approach this attempt, including my overall goals and the research that is needed to achieve them. In a nutshell, I am aiming to take disability into the mass, probably noncommercial media (NPR) perhaps through some sort of blog/social media content. I have my steps for getting there more laid out in my personal statement, and intend to use that document throughout as a guide for helping me along in deciding on project topics and how to approach papers/presentations.

The goal is a big one, and it makes me nervous since it comes so close to what I’ve dreamed of doing all of my life. Well ok, I’ve actually seriously contemplated work with NPR since 2001, when one of my professors had us look up and listen to an excellent series on Black Codes. I’ve been an addict ever since, and am now able to name many of the reporters, guess which stories will be covered by whom, and the like to an amusing degree. As the concept of blogging has really taken off and this network in particular has embraced it in its many different forms, I am ever more able to see a way in.

I think it’s hardest to really go after what you want, because the perceived disappointment of not getting there is highest then. But we only live once, and there comes a time when one must take that step onto the invisible staircase and hope for the best, or risk remaining on a comfortable, if not nearly as desired, level. Taking this chance just involves realizing that it might not work out exactly as intended, and to have come up with alternatives that at least approximate the hoped for outcomes. I do have these, and will develop them as I matriculate through the program. I hope that maybe I and my crazy belief that I can have better will serve as inspiration to someone else to try to move beyond that place where they are stuck as well, and that whatever happens, I am able to resume my attempts to improve things for persons with disabilities, just in my more natural forum of the written word rather than as a counselor. Here’s to the beginning of my next journey. Stay tuned to see where I end up! And as always, thank you for your support.

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