Recovery and reinvention

Hi, I’m Mel and I’m a recovering journalist. For more than 20 years I’ve been a breaking news junkie and newsroom rat, but today I am happy to report I no longer twitch and break out into cold, clammy sweats when I see big news happening. I am content to sit on my couch and watch any other channel when drama is unfolding on CNN. Last February, when the Rocky Mountain Newsprinted its final edition, I chose to close the book on my journalism career, too, and answer the calling I now realize I have had for many years – teaching.

I am so fortunate that I don’t walk this new path alone. I am surrounded by teachers – my mom teaches fourth grade, my youngest sister teaches kindergarten and my best friend teaches middle school ESL. Many of my former colleagues at the Rocky also taught college classes as second jobs or turned to teaching when the newspaper industry began to crumble. All of these people I respect, admire, and trust have inspired and supported me in my decision to become a high school English teacher.

But that bolt of inspirational lightning doesn’t get you into a master’s program, though. I did plenty of research, asked a mountain of questions, and even called friends who were USC alumni before jumping into the admissions process. I chose the MAT@USC program because I wanted to attend a well-known and highly respected school with exceptional faculty and a challenging program. But I also wanted a flexible school schedule, which made the online element so appealing. I found, though, that not all online programs offer the same opportunities. I was concerned about being too isolated at home and I wanted to be able to interact with my professors and fellow students. The MAT@USC program was the only program that met all my criteria and, nearly five months into the program, it is exceeding my expectations! My professors are incredible, my classmates are an amazing resource, and the technology we’re using to tie it all together makes the classroom experience authentic.

I am confident that the MAT@USC program is preparing me for the adventures and challenges I’ll face in the classroom after graduation next year and for the rest of my career in teaching. And if that makes me a teaching junkie, so be it!