I'm going to start out with the happy news, because I am, or at least was and should be, thoroughly geeked about this: I got accepted into U-M's Japanese MA program. I'm saving this letter! It's one of the more exciting ones I've gotten in my life time. Me - this person typing this - moi - I GOT INTO U-M!!! And last I knew one of my professors hadn't even sent his recommendation, so as of the deadline for the application last month, my application packet was incomplete. How this happened, if he sent it or if they let it slide because they liked the rest of my application, I don't know. And it's funny too, because I was talking to one of the professors at my university the other day and he told me U-M's history department wasn't taking grad students this year... (and that they didn't have anybody there working in the era I want to focus on so aside from the language program, his advice was not to bother with them). Anyway, that's two bits of fantastic news two days in a row. He's willing to work with me on independent study (and asked if I would be doing thesis track, and he said nothing about being opposed to helping me out with that, so that's better than nothing), another of my professors is being a fantastic cheerleader and helping me with letters of recommendation for internships and courses (research course in Normandy [!!!!!]) and, still up in the air with the department on this one, money for the research course in Normandy. Then today I got an acceptance letter for the Japanese MA program. Awesome!
Here's the catch - while I'd be tickled pink to get a MA from U-M in pretty much whatever, it's basically a master's degree of what I already have which gives me a whole lot of, well, jobs I don't really have in mind as wanting to do for the rest of my life. They have more advanced language courses, though, and pretty much the only access to medieval Japanese language in this part of the country. ← I need those! They also do have Japanese historians in their history department, and a better library / better access to the infuriatingly obscure realm of academic Japanese anything. On the other hand, they have no history MA, only PhD (and they pretty much only take PhD candidates who already have an MA or are freaking amazing... and while I tell myself I'm amazing to help keep my self esteem from plummeting all the time, freaking amazing is a stretch even on my best day). And a MA in Japanese isn't going to get me into any of the history PhD programs that I want.... Okay, so dilemma, but I FREAKING GOT INTO U OF M!! This dilemma will sort itself out!
So, when I started typing this I was all down about housing for the fall and figuring out how to afford living expenses even if (and this nice happy bubble will burst if this "if" doesn't happen) I get a TA job to cover my tuition. Actually I broke down in tears earlier and spent the last two hours doing relaxation exercises and reading a stupid book (John Dies at the End - that's actually the title) to try to get over it. I'm over it for now again, which is good. I have a couple of other things I wanted to write about - the trip to Normandy and a project I've started on WWII for one, fitness goals and progress for another - but my food is ready to eat, so those two can wait for when I have more time to explain them.
But yay for today!!