I have a gofundme set up and I'm hoping that my fellow froggers might be willing to help. TL;DR version: Disability killed my career in academia in 2008, as well as my ability to do much of anything at all, i.e. I'm mostly housebound. (Which is a major boon for the frogs, of course!) I've been teaching myself the Irish language, and recently an amazing opportunity to get an online MA from one of the best schools in the world, University College Cork, has come up. The problem is, it came up too quickly for me to save up for tuition.
I would appreciate it so very much if you would consider sharing the campaign among your contacts. I'm going to append the text from the campaign below so that you don't even have to click away to decide whether you can help me out. Thank you so much for anything you can do to make me feel like a person again, and not just a blob of protoplasm in bed.
MA tuition for Univ. College Cork by Johanna Haban - GoFundMe
I became a sign language interpreter in 2003. My experience with deaf students in ESL classes led me to complete all my master's work in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages. I began creating and teaching ESL curricula using American Sign Language, for underprepared deaf college students.
Unfortunately, during this time, I became seriously disabled by myalgic encephalomyelitis, known as CFS (incorrectly), ME, or SEID. I was unable to complete my master's thesis, and in 2009 I had to stop working altogether. I thought this put an end to my career in academia.
Being mostly housebound, I have gotten involved in all manner of online projects and learning experiences. One of them has been learning the Irish language, Gaeilge. Both the language and its history have some fascinating parallels to that of other minority languages -- especially deaf people and American Sign Language.
Then I learned about an online MA in Gaelic Literature from University College Cork, one of the most prestigious schools in the world. I could "study abroad" from home, and in a subject I really do want to know so much more about. Imagine my further delight that the professor has approved the idea of a dissertation exploring the similarities between Gaeilge and other minority languages -- including ASL!
There is only one real hurdle, and it's a big one: My husband is the breadwinner in the family since I'm unable to work, and I can't put the entire burden on him. And this opportunity arose much too quickly for us to save the money. US$4000 is the approximate amount for the first year's tuition only. Any amount raised in excess will go towards next year's tuition.
Most people who develop severe ME/CFS have to cope with throwing their life's dreams in the trashcan. I have had to do this with everything from competitive fencing to teaching. I am so incredibly excited about this opportunity to "study abroad" and further explore not only my great fascination with Irish language and its history, but minority languages in general. I thank you from the very deep bottom of my heart for any donation you could make to help me take my dream out of the trashcan, dust it off, and keep following. Go raibh míle maith agaibh!