Sometimes a little thing can make a big difference.
I've been feeling as though my educational plan was stalling-- I'm about to finish the last anthropology course of my B.A., and had no real prospects for next year. ASU won't accept me (since my BA is from there), and I wasn't excited by my UofA experience in Tucson.
I had looked at the Fall 2009 schedule at NAU, but all of the graduate classes I would consider taking were at highly inconvenient times, with any one of them causing me to basically miss a day of work every week. Given the current job market, the last thing I need to do is draw attention to myself by asking for exceptional treatment.
I have no idea why I did it, but I looked at NAU's online schedule for the Fall again... and noticed that Dr. Smiley's Lithic Analysis course had been moved to Tuesday afternoons at 4:00pm!
I applied to NAU as a non-degree-seeking grad student, and e-mailed the professor to make sure he was OK with me taking the class. He replied almost immediately that I was welcome to take the class, so I guess I'm heading North next semester.
How does this fit? Well, if I apply and get accepted into the NAU Masters program for Fall 2010, I can already have 6 graduate hours to apply to the program (plus 3 more transfer credits for the graduate seminar on the Preclassic Maya I took in Tucson).