Posted by: vikingsinspace | September 3, 2009

III.04. Get an MA

Date accomplished: January 2007

I think the first thing I need to explain here is why “get a BA” was never one of my goals, and therefore not on my list.  Well, that really stems from the fact that I hated High school, and thought it was a complete waste of my time.  I had no idea what I was going to do with myself out of high school, and my parents wanted me to go to college, so I decided I would go and just see what happened.  I new going into it that I would never continue, let alone finish, if I took a bunch of classes I didn’t want to take, or wasn’t interested in.  So I did the exact opposite of what they suggest in the book, and did all the fun courses first, leaving my requirements to graduate until the end.  I’m still glad I did it that way, otherwise I would have dropped out, and by the time I got to the end it would have been a waste if I hadn’t done the little required courses.  So in my early binge of fun courses, I developed a liking to history and decided that was going to be my major.

History Department

History Department

Well, it’s tough getting a job in history with just a bachelor’s degree.  After graduating with my BA, I knew I was going to have to continue on and get an MA.  I wasn’t ready to go directly into an MA after finishing the BA, so I decided to take a year off.  One year turned to two, and I was beginning to realized I had been caught in the grasp of a soul-sucking retail job and it was time to get out.  I had saved up some money and quit my job outright, knowing this would be the only impetus to getting in applications for the MA.  I was applying late, and so wasn’t expecting to start until the next academic year (this was the summer of 2005).  Having turned in applications to four universities of my choice, I began searching for another job to last me the year.  Turned out I was going to be a telephone customer service representative for a bank.  The joy! 

Common Room

Common Room

I was spared from the drudgery of telemarketing by a letter from one of my University choices, telling me that they would accept me for the coming academic year of 2006.  I was saved!  The only hitch to this was the school was in England, and I had two weeks before classes began.  No problem, I would just drop the plane ticket on a credit card, borrow some money from my grandparents to last me the first semester until I could get a loan in, and I would be on my way.  No thought went into my visa.  So naturally, upon landing in London (this was after a two day layover in Chicago due to weather, and the airline losing my luggage), I was facing deportation.  I somehow managed to convince the automaton at immigration control to have a word with her supervisor, explain the situation (I only had two weeks notice after all, and the bureaucratic machine of the English government wouldn’t even consider getting a visa issued in that short amount of time), and assure her that yes, I would be leaving in December (well within the visitor’s visa allowance) as my return plane ticket stated.  I got stamped through with a warning, and had to swear up and down I would get a proper visa come December.

Graduation

Graduation

The school year was a blast.  I was taking a Latin course, and learning palaeography (the study of old handwriting) from actual medieval writs and documents contained at the Cathedral near the University.  My other courses included Medieval English Warfare and Medieval Rural England, including a dissertation which compared two mid-twelfth century knight surveys, one performed in England, and the other in Southern Italy.  I finished my course in September 2006, but did not have my graduation until January 2007.

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