Daniel Calleros, MA in Spanish
What has been your Fresno State Experience?
A blur. I transferred into Fresno State from Fresno City College without a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Since I was already working in a TV station, I had inclinations to get a degree in MCJ, thinking that it would help me to grow professionally. It did. However, in the process of pursuing my MCJ B.A. I fell in love with Spanish. It is my native tongue, but I had never thought of it as something to pursue. It was akin to one of those precepts you would hear Homer Simpson say: "Why do I need to learn English? I'm never going to England!" Instead of divorcing from MCJ, I decided to do a double major. I like finishing what I start, even if it takes me a while. Once I had attained both degrees, I jumped onto the Master's program without hesitation. I'm now closer to the next step I plan to take: pursue a Ph.D. in Spanish.
Everything has been happening too quickly and the transitions have been so fluid that it seems like a blur. However, it is not shapeless or undefined. Quite the opposite in fact: my time in Fresno State has been so rich and vivid, full of memorable bits, that sometimes it seems very difficult to separate the parts from the whole. Everything complements each other so well that I would not try to dissect it.
How are the classes?
My classes have offered me a vast and rich experience. Even though at times I felt overwhelmed by the workload or simply wished to stay home playing video games on rainy days, I feel that the classes offered are relevant beyond the academic need. From more than one class I have learned to see the world that surrounds me under a different light.
Are they easy? No. However, the fact that they are challenging enables the students to push their limits and grow intellectually and personally. If I need to complain about anything, it would be the fact that graduate classes are only available late in the afternoon.
How do you balance classes, workload, job and your social life?
I do it through the scientific wonder of magic...
Seriously, though, achieving a functional collage of a life has certainly been the most difficult part of the program. First and foremost, I have a family that I cannot neglect: a wife and two daughters. I have always wanted to maintain a good level of interaction with both of my kids. Thus, I try to get involved in anything they may be doing at the time. The wife? She is simply wonderful and supportive.
In addition to that, I am a full time employee in a local TV station, KFTV 21, where I sit in front of a computer and create video, graphics, promotional spots, write scripts, participate in image campaigns, etc. Needless to say, it is not very physically demanding, but the intellectual burden is considerable. Even so, I very much enjoy what I do.
And finally: school. Even though I have completed the established class requirements and passed all the examinations needed, I'm still working on my thesis which requires a great deal of time invested every week. Also, I am currently teaching a beginning Spanish class in Fresno State. This further tests my juggling capabilities. However, I have always found great support with my professors and peers. Without that, I doubt that I could manage to maintain a cohesive balance between school, work, and personal life.