Been Away Too Long

After a 5 year hiatus, I’m returning to school.

I’m not quite sure of my path yet, but I’m going to start with a graduate course in the English Department at the University of Connecticut (UConn) and a technology course at Three Rivers Community College (TRCC). I hope pursue a degree at UConn, probably a MA but possibly a PhD, in English or Communications. I simultaneously want to develop my computer skills, including desktop publishing and web design.

The English course I’m taking is a seminar entitled, “Literature and Human Rights: Narratives of the Refugee Experience.” Here’s the course description:

“How do we tell the stories of refugees and migrants? This course will examine the figures of the refugee and the migrant as they appear in narratives about them. The focus will be on the analysis of narrative modes across different media (literature, film, photography, etc). We will frame our discussion with attention to legal, historical, philosophical and journalistic discourses that address the plight of refugees. The refugee is a foundational figure for humanitarianism. Deprived of the rights of citizenship, refugees and migrants are among the most vulnerable populations. They occupy contested spaces such as camps, remain in legal limbo for extended periods (sometimes generations), and frequently suffer from trauma, having survived events of extreme violence. The course will trace the development of humanitarian thought on refugees through various story-telling strategies that have been adopted by displaced persons and others speaking on their behalf. At the same time this is literature is frequently presented in the form of testimony so the course will cover some literature on testimony and human rights. Students will be expected to give an oral presentation, to prepare an annotated bibliography and produce a research paper.”

I was glad to find a course that wouldn’t conflict with my teaching and thankful that I have a flexible position at UConn where I can change my schedule.

As for TRCC, I’m waiting before making a decision once I know which courses will run. I’m slated to teach First Year Experience and Introduction to Film, but the latter has low enrollment and I’m nervous it will be cancelled close to the start of classes. If that turns out to be the case, I may take the Video Filmmaking course that runs at the same time. My job at UConn will start to include creating videos to accompany articles so I could really use it for professional development.

I’m not looking forward to paying tuition again, my current student loans are enough for me, but the cost of the UConn class is reduced by 50%, based on my part-time work status, and my course fees should be waived at TRCC as a current adjunct faculty member. I hope everything works out as planned since I’ll get to the paperwork portion over the next week.

Stay tuned.

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