This week I started working on my Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance and Pedagogy at Texas Tech University. We had one class day and a few orientation meetings, so there isn’t much to say yet.
What I can say is that it’s been a pleasant beginning. The faculty, staff and other students are all quite friendly. They do what they can to help out, usually through providing some necessary bit of information. They don’t seem like they want me to feel welcome as much as they want to actually welcome me.
There is a difference. It’s nice when you’ve actually been welcomed, as I have here at TT.
The other things I’ll mention are time and money.
This sort of grad program is time-intensive. I’ll be…
taking nine hours, which translates to between 30 and 40 hours weekly of work,
working for the theatre department 20 hours a week as a graduate assistant,
working 20-ish hours a week on a show for part of the semester,
putting 30 or more hours into academic papers to submit to conferences,
and working 15 to 20 hours a week at a side gig to make ends meet.
Graduate Assistantships pay a little, but only a little. This week I realized I’ll have to find at least $200 weekly in order to make this work. That may not sound like much money, and it isn’t, but considering how busy I will already be one might feel even making that little money a bit daunting.
I certainly do.
What I realized this week was that I have never tried very hard to do anything in my life. I’ve coasted. I’ve given up when things got difficult.
I committed, this week, to not being that guy anymore.
I am not lazy. I find solutions to problems. I work hard and smart. I get done what needs doing.
For me this kind of commitment is new. But I want very badly to stick with this graduate program. That means trying harder to make things work than I have ever tried before.
In a few months, when I am making more than that $200 weekly, when I have straight A’s for the first time in my life, when I have my first grad school show under my belt and have had a paper accepted to a conference, trying hard will suddenly be second nature.
Still, there are butterflies in my tummy today. I hope I can get done what I need to get done.
Time to get to work.