Monday, September 13, 2010

School Days

This weekend was a whirlwind. I am not even sure that it came and went. On Saturday morning we woke up to nasty rainy weather, so on a whim I asked Richie if he wanted to head south to surprise his family and show up at the big family fish fry that was planned for that day. He was game, I was game, so we loaded up the car with the kid and the dog and off we went. So this weekend, we spent about 11 hours in the car. Good times.

You know, I don't remember the radio even being on during our car ride. We use car time for talk time and I think we made it both ways with no radio. Impressive. We're beginning the talk of baby #2 and discussing when is the best time. You can get so much advice on this topic too...and no one seems to have the same way of thinking. So I guess we'll just leave it in the "discussing" category and see where it goes from here.

Today's big event is that Kinley and I are heading east to go to my three appointments at GSU. You just don't even realize how happy I am to finally get to go back to campus. GSU isn't a famous school, it's probably not known at all to anyone that's not from the area, but to me it's the best school. My heart belongs to GSU. I think that the best way to describe it is that it's a symbol in my life of everything that I'm working so hard to accomplish.

My "career" at GSU started so long ago...maybe six years ago? I was married to my first husband (we'll refer to him here on out as "butthead") and our marriage was coming to an end. My dream has always been to be a teacher...or it has been since I realized that blood and barf were part of the nursing job. When I was in my first marriage, butthead didn't encourage me to go to school. I honestly felt that he loved keeping me down. He was the kind of guy that you'd call having a bad case of "little man syndrome." He made great money and didn't see any reason why I needed to better myself and be out of the house. Ick. I don't even like remembering back to those days. So when the marriage was coming to an end, I started seeing a therapist; to get my head back into my game. MY GAME. With her help and encouragement, I got enrolled at GSU and started working at making MY dreams come true. Several years prior, I had completed my Associates, so I did have that much under my belt.

I tell ya, the program at GSU just fit me like a glove. I felt so good about myself. I was doing it. On my own. Not only did I maintain a 4.0 (Dean's List, baby!) but I earned back the respect and identity that I had lost for so many years while with butthead. I sailed through trimester after trimester (they weren't on semesters then) enjoying it the whole way.

And then I started falling off the path. Living on your own wasn't so easy! Stress hit and I reacted in not the best way...I had been dating some creep, partying way too much and having to work four days a week in addition to full time school. I began to fall off the path that I worked so hard for.

What can I say? I broke. It was a downward spiral over several months but it eventually led to me leaving. Two trimesters from graduation, I broke.

Richie and I had been together for like six months or so? He was living with me to help me offset living expenses and when the stress of life/school/work got to be too much, I told him we should pack up and move to where life is easier.

Hey stupid can't run from your troubles. They only follow you.

If only I had told myself that then.

I emailed my professors and advisor and told them that I quit, I was moving, end of story. End of my dream. I convinced myself that teaching was totally not what I wanted to do. There was no way, no how I would ever want to be a teacher. I was a liar. I lied to myself and pretty much made myself believe it just to prevent having to admit that I couldn't hack the stress.

Fast forward two years and here I am...begging to come back. Begging to pick up where I left off. I've been in email conversation with the new advisor, the coordinator, etc to make sure I can come back and so far, it's a green light all the way. Just some minor ends to tie up and I should be golden for a January start date.

Coming back to GSU is like coming home. I know how tacky and corny that sounds but it's just the way it is. I haven't been on campus since leaving two, almost three, years ago. Who knows how it will feel to actually walk the halls...and how different it will feel to walk the halls with a baby it tow.

I'm going back to school for me. But moreso for Kinley. I want to prove to her how important education is in life. It's that one thing that no one can take away from you. No matter what happens, you can't lose your education.

So while I've spent the last couple of years crying when I drive by elementary schools or crying when I see the kids walking to school or buying school supplies...I'm doing something about it. I'm going to be a teacher. You just hide and watch!

I'm in an online course now (Shakespeare, ick) and this course along with one more (not sure what it is off-hand) will award me with a middle school endorsement which will certify me to teach up to 8th (or is it 9th?) grade. I have zero desire to teach anything above 4th grade but with the way that the teaching jobs are in IL right now...I have to make myself as marketable as I can and widening my qualifications can't hurt.
In January I will start Lab 2, which is working in a public school two days a week to teach social studies, math and science (am I forgetting one?). This is where I was when I left several years getting back into it is going to be so scary. That semester will end in May. Then during that summer semester I will pick up that other course to complete my middle grade endorsement. The following semester (oh, they are on semesters now) I will be entering into student teaching and graduating in January of 2012. Kinley will be two. Wow. Seems so far off.

But so, so, so worth it.

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