December 17, 2009

MIIS Musings

My first choice in graduate programs is Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). I have applied and am waiting to hear if I get in. One of the school's requirements is that you're fluent in at least 2 languages by the time you graduate, so you have to be at a fairly high standard of language ability upon entrance. I took the competency exam today, and my grammar is really really horrible. Like first year Spanish student horrible. I am not surprised considering that my last Spanish class was in 2000, and the last time I used my (already very rusty) Spanish was in Nicaragua more than five years ago. But realizing how terrible my Spanish was got me a little bit panicked. It totally put me back in the "doing poorly on exams" headspace that I lived in back in vet school. More than that, though, I DO NOT want to screw this one up. I feel like I HAVE to get in to MIIS, that this is my opportunity to do EXACTLY what I want to do, in my ideal setting. The stakes are so much higher for me now than they were when I applied to vet school because I don't have any room to squirm in, financially or emotionally. I HAVE to make this work, and I really WANT to make it work!

Luckily, my reading comprehension is at a very high level, which is encouraging. I won Kentucky's Spanish Reading Comprehension Award in 7th grade, so I guess some things never change (o:

I went to MIIS's website to read more about what I have to do to get up to par before matriculation, and remembered that they offer a Summer Language Intensive, so that is a possibility (phew *wiping brow*, I can do this).

While I was on the website, I looked through the course descriptions of everything they offer. I am so freaking excited about this program. I want to take classes in everything: Sociolinguistics, Business and Human Rights in China, Trade and Sustainability, and at least 40 other classes.
This description had me literally quickening my breath, and muttering, "ohmygodohmygodohmygod" because it's exactly what I hope to be learning.

I remember in undergrad at UK when I was taking classes with really boring names (and subject matter) called "CHEM 202," while my sister was taking classes at Naropa University with names like "Kitchen Sink Science," and "Kindergarten Magic". I remember thinking how lucky she was to be taking classes that seemed like things I was doing extracurricularly, and to be getting credit for it. If I get in to MIIS, I will get to take classes like Environmental Conflict Management, and will be immersed in a learning environment that, I imagine, will feel like it was geared just for me. I am so excited. And nervous!

Also, look at the other things they focus on at MIIS besides International Environmental Policy. I will be surrounded by amazing people who will be changing our world!

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