Note to Arizona voters, parents, legislature, and governor: I am a highly qualified, 31-year-old, certified, special education teacher who is passionate about education. And I am leaving this beautiful state that I love because you didn’t think I deserved more than $33,449 as a 4th year teacher who had nearly 10 years of professional employment (in business management and social services) prior to discovering a passion for teaching.

Due to my dismal salary as a teacher, I decided to apply to grad school. And apply to grad school I did! Unfortunately, the stress and time constraints of studying for the GRE and completing applications forced me to step back from blogging several months ago. However, the last application was submitted way back in January, and perhaps you noticed, I still haven’t been blogging much. I have a million excuses – all of them good ones, too – but I’m going to try to get back in the habit of blogging.

Here’s the scoop, though. I’m going to be moving to New York City to attend Columbia University! It is still incredibly surreal, and actually isn’t even a for sure thing, yet. I’ve been admitted to the master’s program for Neuroscience and Education and will be going to visit the campus and learn more about the program here in the next couple of weeks. But let’s be real – it’s Columbia. I’m guessing I’m going to be impressed by the campus and the program and the city and the professors and, and, and…

The financial aid, though… that’s a whole other story. My current plan is to bug the hell out of them and hope that they offer me some form of a scholarship. Plan B is to work full time and just take a couple of classes at a time.

In the meantime, I still have 9 more weeks of teaching high schoolers here in Tucson. Additionally – since I’m always looking for new adventures – I recently became the social media manager for my husband’s non-profit Reciprocitree.

Their mission is to expand access to emergency financial assistance for the purpose of promoting responsible civic engagement through community service and volunteer action.

With so many people living paycheck to paycheck (*ahem* like many teachers do) and not having enough of a savings account to cover even a $500 emergency bill or car repair bill, this type of assistance is needed all too frequently. Please take the time to check out this worthy program and follow us on twitter @GivingBackTree.

That’s it for my update. I’m back at it. If you know anyone who has attended Columbia or managed to find funding for a master’s degree program, please let me know in the comments!