Friday, April 04, 2008

Going to Baylor

Yesterday I received an email from Baylor announcing that they will be accepting me into their Ph.D. in English program with funding. At this point they are not sure what kind of funding package they can offer me. They said it could range from a $17,000 stipend and tuition remission to only tuition remission. If I only receive tuition remission, however, I can reapply for full funding next year and I was told that it would be "highly likely" that I would receive a teaching assistantship. Since they Math department is giving Brittany a $23,000 stipend, we could survive in Waco for one year even if they don't give me a stipend at first--I'll just have to get a part-time job. We'll probably be leaving the AV sometime in late July or early August.

Part of what has been so remarkable about this entire process is the way God has shaped the events. While we were waiting to see what He had in store for us we couldn't understand why he would allow me to get so many rejection letters, or why He would let me send in transcripts late, but in retrospect it all makes sense. God allowed things to unfold in such a way that every single need was met, every concern was soothed, and every weakness was tried.

For example, when Brittany and I first began to discuss her seeking her Ph.D. at the same time as I was going to school I was seriously opposed. From my understanding of doctoral programs I could not imagine any way that both of us could go to school and maintain a healthy relationship. Although I was seriously concerned about this issue, we decided that Brittany should apply to five of the programs I was applying to in order to see what they could offer and how reasonable the workload would be.

When we visited Baylor, Brittany was informed that the first year or so of classes that she would take would be classes she had already taken at CSUN--she's overqualified. In other words, the workload (at least at first) would be completely reasonable. In addition, her Teaching Assistantship will only require her to teach one class per semester, while it provides $23,000 per year! This means that she'll hardly be working at all. Between her head start on the program, her more-than-reasonable teaching load, and the lack of a commute to school (unlike when she went to CSUN), it seems like we'll have more time together than when we were pursuing our Master degrees. God solved my concerns in a way I would never have imagined.

Second example, I applied to twelve programs and was outright rejected from nearly all of them. After I kept getting rejection letter after rejection letter I began to seriously wonder if I had been working towards the wrong goal, if maybe all my aspirations were misplaced and misguided, if maybe I didn't have what it took to get a Ph.D. after all. I got the the point where I could read a letter of rejection without even opening the envelope:
"Dear Mr. Noble, we are very thankful that you considered our program for your degree. Unfortunately, the graduate committee decided that they are unable to accept your application for admission at this time. We have received many applications this year and the committee was forced to reject many qualified applicants....."

Finally, my choices for grad school came down to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, who could neither offer me funding nor hope for it in the future; UC Riverside, who hadn't accepted Brittany; UC Davis, who might have accepted me if some other applicant declined an offer; and Baylor still hadn't responded. I went to UC Riverside's open house on Wednesday and was overwhelmed with the fact that every single professor I encountered was exclusively studying some form of Theory (race, gender, post-colonial, deconstructionist, etc). In fact, one professor even bragged that he was a "Sophist." While the professors were all very kind, knowledgeable, and helpful, the reality was that I was (and am) not in any way interested in studying these approaches to literature. This was just not the program for me. I left Riverside thinking to myself that if this was the only school I could attend, I might not make it through the program at all; if I wasn't interested in what I was learning, how could I study intensely for five years? And considering that UC Davis is even more noted for their theoretical approaches to literature, I was forced to conclude that two of the schools I could attend would make me miserable. This left only Nebraska (and the thought of upwards of $15,000 in tuition debt--per year) and possibly Baylor. The very next day Baylor wrote me informing me of my acceptance.

At the time I saw all these rejection letters as defeats, as signs that I was making the wrong decision to pursue a Ph.D. and as signs that I was not a qualified student. And my experience at Riverside suggested to me that even if I did get accepted I wouldn't enjoy studying. But looking back I can see how God was closing doors so that I wouldn't ever be able to regret my decision to attend Baylor. You see, if I had been accepted to Iowa or Irvine with full funding, and then I turned them down to attend Baylor, I would always have wondered if I had "settled" or if I had picked the wrong school. Now I have nothing to regret and nothing to miss, and I know that most of the schools would have made me miserable anyway!

Finally, this experience made it clear to me that the glory belongs to God. About a month or so ago I realized that I forgot to send Baylor a transcript from a college. I had taken a few online classes on teaching classes online (confusing, I know) at a community college. Since these classes were not degree-related, I figured there was no point in my sending Baylor a transcript from the college. For some, foolish, reason, I put this community college on my application to Baylor, even though I wasn't planning on sending a transcript. It turns out that even though I sent my application in to Baylor weeks before the deadline, they were holding it until I sent them my transcript--and I had no idea. One day, after wondering why the English department was taking so long to get back to me, I stumbled across a page on Baylor's website which allowed me to check the status of my application--it told me that my application was on hold while they waited to receive the community college's transcript. Naturally, I freaked out, furious at myself for making such a silly mistake. I was convinced that my then late application would be turned down or at least that I would not be able to receive any funding. Looking back, I believe that God was allowing me to receive so many rejection letters and to mess-up my application to Baylor so that He could show that I had nothing to brag about. He brought me to a point where I was convinced that there was no way I could get accepted, and then He chose to bless me. What an awesome lesson in faith and humility!

Anyway, I'm sorry this was so long, but there's simply so much to share! We'll let you all know more as news becomes available.

-alan

18 comments:

Jose Franco said...

As I said to Brittany before, Congratulations. It is a shame that I didn't get to meet you, when you first came, but now I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities to meet you.

Anyway, the point of my comment is, that I am really impressed. Lots of people I know, come to Baylor in the same way, by the mighty work of God. Let me tell you something. Your post is almost equivalent to mine when I was accepted to Baylor.

God really knows why He does the things the way He does. When I came here, I also had to conclude that the Glory is his and not mine. I used exactly the same phrase you did (In Spanish of course).

So, welcome to Baylor!!! Whenever you're moving in, let me know. If I am not in Guatemala I can help you out.

Take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY9XSK1lXPA

Anonymous said...

Patience does make things better. I know personally how rushing into things is like trying to run ahead of God. Thanks for this post, and it reminds me of the true beauty of waiting and placing your trust in God. I hope to have lunch with you sometime soon.

Stejahen said...

Cool, it will be good to have you in Texas. I live not to far from Waco.

Carmen Rose said...

Congratulations!
I stumbled upon your blog while looking for others exploring issues of art and faith.

maplestory mesos said...

hi,guy this site maple-story-mesos.com it is about online game's web,we offer the news and

important cheats,The main we sell maplestory

mesos
,if u want to buy maplestory

mesos
,u need buy maplestory mesos from this

site,it is cheapest,right,u want buy maple story

mesos
,cheap maplestory mesos,plz click

here: maple story mesos,it is cool,isn't it?everyone

who play maplestory mesos and want buy maple story mesos can get some help from our.We have

mass available stock of maple story mesos on most of

the servers, so that we can do a really instant way of buy maplestory mesos delivery. We know what our buyers

need so we offer an instant way of cheap maple story

mesos
,the cheap maplestory mesos

delivery.lol…

Anonymous said...

gold2us.com is an exchange site designed specifically for game virtual currencies and items trading.if you want to [url=http://www.gold2us.com]Sell WoW Gold[/url], [url=http://www.gold2us.com]Sell World Of Warcraft Gold[/url], [url=http://www.gold2us.com/sell-ffxi-gil.html]Sell FFxi Gil[/url], you can choose us. We will give you a suitable price.we buy the gold both on us and eu server. u can also [url=http://www.gold2us.com/sell-wow-gold.html]Sell WoW Gold US[/url], [url=http://www.gold2us.com/sell-wow-gold-eu.html]Sell WoW Gold EU[/url] to us

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,it is From http://www.gold2us.com

we are selling multiple cd keys and time cards.
Prices are as follows

New wow CD key - 2000-3000 G
BC CD key - 2000-3000 G
60 day Gamecard - 3500-4500 G
WLK CDKEY - 5000-6000 G

we also bought wow gold by real money.
5-8$/K On US And 5-7$/K On Eu

AIM: gold2us2009

MSN: Service001@gold2us.com


yahoo ID: gold2us2009@yahoo.com

ICQ: 478066993

Verified Paypal 4000+ Reputation and 10K $ On Paypal Waiting For U

Rap Music said...

Congrats!

Hip hop Honeys said...

interestingf stuff

said...

免費聊天66k免費聊天firework免費聊天聯盟d760免費視訊5403免費視訊551281免費視訊7mmdvd免費視訊celia免費視訊cyrilchang免費視訊design director免費視訊edb免費聊天66k免費聊天firework免費聊天聯盟d760免費視訊5403免費視訊551281免費視訊7mmdvd免費視訊celia免費視訊cyrilchang免費視訊design director免費視訊edb免費聊天66k免費聊天firework免費聊天聯盟d760免費視訊5403免費視訊551281免費視訊7mmdvd免費視訊celia免費視訊cyrilchang免費視訊design director免費視訊edb免費聊天66k免費聊天firework免費聊天聯盟d760免費視訊5403免費視訊551281免費視訊7mmdvd免費視訊celia免費視訊cyrilchang免費視訊design director免費視訊edb

皮東 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical.........................................

musice too said...

心中有愛,才會人見人愛。........................................

youjioa rs said...

If at first you don't succeed try, try and try again. I am in line with you on this topic, and i am totally agree with you. However, different views should also be allowed, right? We can make progress when hearing from others' thoughts. runescape gold

runescape gold for sale

rs gold

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I received an email from Baylor announcing that they will be accepting me into their Ph.D. in English program with funding.guild wars 2 gold
buy guild wars 2 gold
cheap guild wars 2 gold
cheapest guild wars 2 gold
guild wars 2 gold for sale

Anonymous said...

As I said to Brittany before, Congratulations. It is a shame that I didn't get to meet you, when you first came, but now I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities to meet you. swtor gold
buy swtor credits
cheap swtor credits
tor credits
buy tor credits
cheap tor credits

Love polo said...

All's for the best in the best of all possible worlds! I have not see post good enough like yours here.Just admire your intelligence and informative explanation. I am a wow gamer but can't write such detailed info about that.
More tags: wow gold for cheap /
world of warcraft money /
gold for wow cheap /
cheap gold for wow

China tours said...

What a beautiful dragonfly and what wonderful post!!I am a china tour lover,You can learn more: China and Asia tour packages | China vacation packages

study Chinese online said...

Hanbridge is the best place of Mandarin learning in Shenzhen. The quality of our staff, our unique teaching methodology and our custom-designed courseware make our school more effective than our competitors.



More Chinese learning tags : Chinese Online Learning | Chinese Online Courses | study mandarin online