Graduate Programs

Blogs from students, faculty & staff

Grad Blog By Angela Repke, MA in English Language & Literature Graduate Student


Making the decision to spring into another grad degree as a stay-at-home-mother in my mid-thirties was a bit daunting. I resigned from teaching high school English to tackle the kids for a couple years, but I needed more. So, before entering the program, I wondered…

Is it too late?

Are these new gray hairs a sign that I need to find a job I’m already qualified for?

Will I be able to find a composition job after I’m done with the degree?

These questions hovered over me until I finally chose to click “enroll.”

I signed up for Scott Atkinson’s Writing and Publishing class. Our task? Begin a novel. Not intimidating at all. I chose to start a memoir. I began writing. I let the words spill onto the pages. Scott’s feedback was both careful and challenging—just what I needed. I haven’t stopped writing since.

Since enrolling into the Graduate Program in English here at UM-Flint, I’ve been published in various publications. And with thanks to Scott and Dr. Blumner, I continue to work on that memoir one year later.

This grad program, yes, has helped my writing. But it’s also given me much more. I’m motivated to get back into the classroom as an English instructor, too. Both Dr. Roach and Dr. Blumner have given me tools to better excel in the teaching arena than I did before. I look forward to transferring what I’ve learned into action.

Anyone can learn to write. I believe that. And I’m eager to help student’s feel the same energy I feel when I type that first “s#!%%& draft” as American novelist, Anne Lamott calls it. Perfection is not what they should seek. Sometimes just seeking is good enough. Their words matter. They always will—regardless of how “s#!%%&” they think they are.

Enrolling into the English program here at UM-Flint has proven to be a decision that no one is too old to make—regardless of the number of gray hairs on their head.