Who is this lady?

Monday, March 24, 2014

The One Where I'm Becoming Elle Woods Sort Of

Except I don't have a tiny Chihuahua (that word is impossible to spell, by the way) named Bruiser (at least I don't YET) and I am not going to law school. But I AM going to graduate school at UCLA, which is essentially where Elle Woods went BEFORE she went to Harvard Law! And I used to be blonde, and I've been to Malibu, so really, we're basically the same person.

Anyway, I posted on Facebook recently that I found out this past week I was "recommended for admission" (their words, not mine) to the Educational Leadership Doctoral program at UCLA, to begin this fall!!! I'm soooooooooooo excited!!! I started thinking about going back to school for my doctorate a couple years ago and took my time figuring out exactly what I wanted to go back for. Even though it's a doctoral program, the degree is technically an Ed.D., not a Ph.D., but you will learn more about that below because everyone all seems to have the same questions so I figured answering them here would be easiest for everyone. :)

1) OMG! How excited are you???
OMG WAY excited!

2) Are you going to do it?
Yes. I know taking on more student loans and going back to school sounds like a nightmare for some people, but I know this is what I want to do with my life and I am ready for the challenge.

3) When do classes start?
Classes begin the first week of October, actually. UCLA is on the quarter system, so their classes start later in the fall than most schools. But we have orientation in June and a cohort retreat on the UCLA campus in August. Which, if that consists of a bunch of trust exercises and icebreaker-type activities... kill me.

4)  What was the application process like?
STRESSFUL. First, I took the GRE again late last fall. YUCK. Hopefully never again. Although I will say the TSA could learn a thing or two about security procedures given how the testing center runs their operation. Then I had to complete my online application and, the hardest part, write my personal statement which went through about 15 different iterations. Thanks everyone who read it! And I had to request my letters of rec, which is always stressful because WHAT IF THEY SAY NO. Luckily, no one I asked said no. Phew.

Next, if you met their initial qualifications, you were invited in for a group interview. Okay, fabulous. I know exactly what I'm going to wear (see... Elle Woods)! So I roll up to my interview and because I A) almost parked in the wrong lot, B) had to pee, and C) tried the wrong door first, I was a minute late. PANIC ENSUES. I hate being late to anything and especially where I don't know if that's an automatic "NOPE" for me! Eeek! There were about 25 people in total at this thing and they were doing 4 separate group interviews like the one I went to. Yikes. Okay. First things first, we have to write an essay. We had no idea what we'd be writing about ahead of time and that was giving me GRE flashbacks, but I did it. Then we were split into smaller groups of like 6 or 7 where we were observed by alums/faculty and we had to problem-solve together as a group representing different parts of the K-16 education spectrum. Very intimidating, but I kicked our conversation off, so I was proud of myself for that. One of the other women in my group, who I think said she was a special ed teacher, was really, really interesting and articulate. I hope she got in, too! After that hour and a half was up we had a whole group debrief and then were sent upon our merry ways and I left feeling way, WAY less confident than when I arrived! The people in my group were phenomenal!! But as I said when I was talking to my dad, you don't want to go to a grad program where you think the people aren't worthy of being there, right? Right. As Elle Woods's dad would say, "Law school is for boring, ugly, serious people. And you, Button, are none of those things." (I have no idea how that's related except dads were mentioned in both sentences.)

5) Will you keep working?
Yes, it's a requirement to be working while you're in the program. Classes are only held one night a week and on Saturdays so I will continue working at my current job (maybe even full time). If you thought I was busy before... get ready for a whole new level of Prioritizing My Life!

6) Where will you live???
Well, I'm not planning to move until Monique is done with school herself and then I am thinking I will look for somewhere very close to work since I'll still be there most often during the week. But, you never know. If I win the lottery sometime soon then maybe I'll move to Bel Air or something.

I think that covers the basics... stay tuned for updates! I cannot believe how many people responded to my Facebook announcement. Holy mother of god that made me feel loved! It's kind of weird since most of my friends are posting engagement/baby announcements on the Faceboo these days and I'm all like "Yeahhhhhhhh more reading and papers woohoo!!" Do you think I can register at Staples???

And, since it's not a post without a good picture, please enjoy the creepiest/funniest congratulatory message I received yesterday:


  1. Still so freakin' excited for you!!! I know this is a goal you've been wanting to accomplish for awhile, and you totally did!!! You are a bad ass, Nan! Love you!