This morning, I had a very productive meeting with my academic advisor. She also happens to be the Early Childhood Special Education head at my university, so she teaches all of my core classes. I've come to love her very much. :)
I had emailed her during our class break two Saturdays ago, asking to meet with her to review which requirements remained in my Master's Degree Program and what would need to be completed before I could begin my teaching practicum requirements (student teaching at a local school and working with Nevada Early Intervention Services, providing services from kiddos 0-3 years old). When I walked into her office this morning, she had made up a chart for me that showed all of the courses I had completed with grades and terms in which they were completed, along with all of the courses I have remaining and when I would need to take those in order to graduate as soon as possible. As it turns out, I will be finishing my Master's Program next summer!
I actually have fewer required courses each semester than I would opt to take in order to graduate next summer, but, because of when certain courses are offered, I can't speed up the clock any on my completion date. So, in the mean time, I'm going to be taking coursework toward a SECOND specialized teaching license! In addition to my license in Early Childhood Special Education, I'm going to earn a license in Autism. This will not only better prepare me for the children I'm likely to encounter in my classroom over the course of my career, but it also means more direct education in an area where I am truly passionate, greater "hireability" because I'll have more expertise and training to bring to the table, and it opens the door for me to earn my doctorate degree in either Early Childhood Special Education -OR- in Autism, both of which strongly appeal to me at this stage of the game.
I'm completely psyched to have a set date on when I'll complete my Master's, a scheduled plan to follow in order to meet the requirements as soon as possible, and that my advisor was so helpful and prepared when I came in this morning, that all I had to do to complete my academic plan was give her a few preferences on which courses I'd like to take as my electives and select the faculty members who will sit on my Master's Committee to review my final works and sign off on my degree.
I'm in an incredibly happy place right now. My academic future is all planned out, my marriage is better than it's ever been, my child is happy and healthy, I've been clocking more hours than usual this month so my paycheck will be bigger, and I got a free copy of the Portal video game this afternoon. Life is GOOD.