Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Question

Without being longwinded, let me just say the exam was challenging but nothing that I didn't expect. I had to do the news analysis and news writing drill in the first 70 minutes. I was timed. My word count for the news writing drill was about 10 words over. I was stopped as I was trying to edit. I got through the experience. I was prepared as well as I could have been.

What I was surprised by was the interview. I felt like I couldn’t and didn’t represent who I was or why I really wanted to do this.

I am disappointed with some of the questions that I was asked. I really didn't expect to be asked questions like, (and I am paraphrasing), “How would I manage a 50 to 60 hour week of graduate school with a family?” I responded that I work in a teaching environment in which a supervisor can come into my room and decide I am not going to be teaching this class anymore, hand letters of transfers to my students, and by the end of the day give me a stack of folders with new ones.

I wish I had included the following:
My work doesn’t stop when I leave the job I get paid for.
I go home and do laundry. I sort, pre-wash, and carry 5 bags down two flights of steps and pack everything in the car. I fold everything and bring it home. I'm finished by 11 PM. There are many times when my husband does it, but I don’t wish to take advantage of him because he often likes to do laundry and grocery shopping. He likes to do it all on the same day. I think that’s too much. He is then exhausted, but cares more about us having clean clothes and food than his leisure. We share. Sometimes I get leisure, sometimes he does.

I go home to cooking dinner. My husband and I take turns.
Sometimes I cook extra meals on weekends to save time.

When I go home, waiting for me is a 5-year-old who needs to do his homework, to be read to, and listened to as he reads. He needs a bath. Well sometimes we don’t make it to bath time. He’s at the stage when he can charm me out of the bath and have a shower in the morning. This is draining. Sometimes it is difficult to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, get showered and then wake him at 5:30. Somehow he doesn’t have a problem doing this on Saturday mornings.

I pack lunches and snacks. Being a short order cook is trying if I wake up late. Sometimes that happens.

I have a teenager who will be starting high school in the fall. She is on the career path already. With her high school selected, registration completed, and summer academic program chosen, she is also applying for an internship in a lawyer’s office. Somebody had to fill out the paperwork, take her to the appointments and open houses. I was often that person. Thanks to her dad who took care of a few of those appointments and her wonderful teacher who continuously challenges her and presents opportunities to her.

This is the short list. It doesn’t include the cleaning of the urine around the toilet from the little boy. It doesn’t include parenting, which sometimes takes the form of long discussions with the teenager about some crap she did or didn’t do that week and coming up with a consequence for her actions. It doesn’t include the inner workings of the marriage.

As of today, if I get in, I will be extremely grateful. If I don’t, I will be okay. This life I live is nothing compared to some of the women who lived and are living.

Was anyone asking Harriet Tubman, “How are you going to go back and forth to the South to free slaves including your parents, siblings and free the slaves at Combahee Ferry?

“When are you going to have the time to spy for the North, fight for women’s rights, have two marriages in one life time, purchase land, found a home for African American
aged and infirmed?”

“Where in the world Harriet are you going to find time to lead military operations?”

I wished I had told the interviewer this: There are lots of women who do jobs that they have to do, don't want to do and must do everyday. I am one of them. I have decided that I want a job that I love to do. I can attend The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, because I believe I am capable of the task. “Why journalism? Why now? I was asked. I have already given myself permission whatever your decision. This school is just one point of entry among many.

1 comment:

Sheela Wolford said...

Damn straight, Anna! Did they ask the men trying to get in THE SAME QUESTION!? Once again, you have written the truth. Keep writing the truth, Anna. And help the media cut away the ropes of entertainment and advertising slavery! Just write from this day forth.

Love you...You will get in.