First off, thank you ALL so much for taking the time to give such thoughtful, helpful responses!
lolot: I think you have an excellent point about making sure the degree is worth it before spending time and money; in my case, I have a BA in English, and without any type of teaching certification or other lucrative specialization (my concentration is in creative writing, so…), I’m finding that actually coming across a job opportunity looking for English BAs is not happening. I’m planning to pursue a MATL: basically a master’s in teaching English, primarily for speakers of other languages. I do think this would open up many more career opportunities for me, including public education and private learning centers as well.
engagedsagebrush: I’m humanities too, so I know that my writing sample will hold much more weight than how terribly I’m going to do on my math section, lol. I’m definitely willing to make it a priority, and thankfully my family and Mr. H are all behind me 100%! I still have to speak with my boss, because some of the class meetings are “live” online, and will coincide a day or two per week with work. Hopefully it works out though! I am confident that my advisor would be great to work with; I’m hoping to go to grad school at the same university where I did undergrad, and I’ve met extensively with professors in the ENG department.
MrsPHopefully: wow, 10!? It’s good to know you did so many–that makes me feel like it would be 100% okay to not have to make it work in 1 or 2 drafts. I’ll definitely have several proofreaders; I’d be mortified if I applied for a master’s degree in an English-related field and had grammatical errors!! Lol!
aliavenue: I’ve taken the GRE once before (without studying, long time ago; MISTAKE!) and the one thing I realized–besides, hey bitch you need to study–is that an understanding of how they ask the questions is really crucial. Thank you for reiterating that! I’m glad to know that your master’s was something that you could balance well with your schedule, and that online learning was effective for you. That’s so reassuring!
FutureDrAtkins: wow, thank you so much for that breakdown of paragraphs! That’s incredibly helpful! The more I read online (here, and on resource websites), the more I see that a statement of purpose shouldn’t be something that could come from anyone; proffessional, yes, but I’m seeing that it’s okay to include what makes you “weird!” I really appreciate your input on what you’d look for in a candidate–that really helps me shape how I’d like to present myself to the committee.
misshydra: I have a BA in English with a creative writing concentration from Southern Miss; I’d like to go through USM again for my master’s (assuming I’m accepted). My master’s would be an MATL: master of arts in the teaching of languages. This would give me teacher certification for high school and community college level, as well as the means to work in a career center or somewhere like Sylvan or Kumon. I could also work as an English teacher to speakers of other languages.
crackktheskyy: Yeah, I couldn’t imagine working and doing a PhD! Talk about killer! I’ll have to check into Kaplan. I don’t want to say the GRE isn’t important for my application, because it’s required so therefore it bears at least some weight. However, because I’m in a humanities field, the committee is less concerned with my math skills and more concerned with my writing and comprehension skills. The committee takes consideration for applicants who scored lower on the GRE, but produced more polished writing samples and statements of purprose. That’s a great tip about mentioning particular professors; I’ll be sure to do that!
LittleE3: That’s great advice about setting a time limit and sticking to it; that’s honestly one of my biggest apprehensions–not having time for Mr. H! I’ll make sure to focus on my studies but to stop when it’s “us” time. Also, great point about applying to many different schools; I have my heart set on one school at the moment but I know putting my eggs all in one basket can be a risk! My next item of business I guess is to start researching other universities!