Graduate Student Focus | Jessica Hopkins
"There's an element of logistics that made Hood College the right option for me, as it's the only in person Humanities program that's convenient to me. Even though there are endless online programs to select from, participating in an in-person program was critical to my choice to enroll at Hood College."
Jessica Hopkins, M.A. Humanities
- Humanities (M.A.)
- English & Communication Arts
Jessica Hopkins is a current graduate student in the masters in Humanities program at Hood College. She received a B.S. in English Literature in 2001 and has worked as a database and systems administrator for over 10 years.
Jessica will be presenting at the Discovering the Humanities Conference on Saturday, September 18th.
Tell us about your educational and career background.
I always felt like I would continue my education, but I knew I wasn't ready for that level of study right out of undergrad and I personally had a hard time justifying my preferred course of study without a specific career path waiting for me at the end of it.
I took a brief hiatus from the corporate career world to spend my days with my kiddos in their early years. When I was ready to return to the workforce, I felt compelled to seek out employment in a field that I had fewer moral quandaries about—and landed in higher education.
True to my frugal upbringing, being afforded the opportunity to audit a course as a part of that employment, made exploring graduate studies feel like less of a commitment should I decide to not follow through. I've since been incurring the cost of my coursework myself, because the program at Hood College is precisely what I prefer to study, and now I'm half way through the M.A. in Humanities program.
Why did you choose Hood College and this program?
There's an element of logistics that made Hood College the right option for me, as it's the only in person Humanities program that's convenient to me. Even though there are endless online programs to select from, participating in an in-person program was critical to my choice to enroll at Hood College.
What do you enjoy most about being at Hood College?
Class sizes are small and intimate, graduate professors promote discussion rather than lecture, hearing how other people articulate their stance: these all contribute towards learning how to effectively engage in the Socratic method.
Navigating real time conversation is much more challenging than a written online exchange where you can take your time to carefully craft your message. This is a skill that has served me well in my career.
How do you think it does or will help you in your career and life?
The broad swath of topics being studied by other students in the program provide an opportunity to think critically about how seemingly unconnected things are, indeed, connected. I honestly believe my studies in the Humanities have propelled my own personal growth and self-study, and that, in turn, has led to improved exchanges and potential in my career.
Congratulations on presenting at the Discovering the Humanities Conference! Tell us about the conference and the project that you are working on.
At this year's Discovering the Humanities conference, I'll be sharing my study of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. as an existentialist, looking closely at his 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five: A Children's Crusade, or A Duty Dance with Death. Without giving too much away, a common thread amongst existentialists is a thorough exploration of personal trials and tribulations within the larger framework of the world, and the choices we subsequently make as a result.