More than halfway there

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I know I haven't posted a thing about this quarter--and with good reason. Let me just start by saying that I am so happy it's the shortest quarter of the year (11 weeks) and I'm even happier that it's more than half over. (We are in the middle of week 6!)

After fall quarter, I was convinced that my second-time-around college career would continue to be rosy. It never crossed my mind that every professor and every subject from here on out wouldn't be anything but dynamic, engaging and mentally stimulating. After spending 12 weeks with a really special group of secondary education students, I was sure that all my classmates would be equally as fun and friendly. Boy, was I wrong.

In my previous college life, winter quarter was never my favorite. Not only is it my least favorite season, it always seemed to be the term that only the most boring of subjects were taught and usually at the worst possible times of the day: 8:00 a.m. and/or 4:00 p.m. Leaving in the dark and coming home in the dark is not something I jump up and down about. It would be easier to stomach if I was excited about what I was experiencing on campus.

So what's the difference this time? For one, last quarter I had two courses that I was required to take during my first term. Same with 16 other fellow secondary ed. students. This combination made for a natural comraderie within the classroom. No one person dominated the discussions and it was a true learning community. This quarter there are also two mandatory courses to be completed by the end of my second term. The difference is that all education majors take these classes, not just those interested in teaching grades 5-12. And there are 45 of us, not 16. It's hard to facilitate discussion and one or two students typically dominate or parrot the professor's views. Second, I'm taking my first class on how to teach English to middle and high school students. The class is at 8:00 a.m. so I'm leaving for campus at "dark 0'clock". The desks are jam packed into the room. The professor gives no potty break for the entire two hours and the cup of coffee I downed on the bus can't last in my bladder that long. And the set up of the material doesn't lend itself to much interaction between the students. Third, on the two days I'm in class from 8-2, I go straight from the bus stop to help with a reading tutoring program until 4:00. After leaving the house at 7:10 a.m., it just makes for a really long day. Finally, I have a 1 credit technology class that I'm taking online that uses more of my time than at least two of the other three classes combined. I have had every single assignment returned to me for the most nit picky reasons. ARGH!

All is not lost though. There is always a silver lining. Last quarter I met two of the most lovely young ladies. I posted about them back in November. Although we have no classes together, the two of them are together most every day. Just about every week I hear from one or both of them and we connect on campus or at a coffee shop for a quick check-in. They lift my spirits and put a smile on my face on the darkest of days. A couple days ago I got text from one of them asking if I could meet her because she made me something. She took one of my family pictures off Facebook and did the coolest sketch of us. On the back she wrote, "I hope you are in my life forever!" This is what keeps me going. The relationships. The true heart connections. And I suspect this is the same thing that will keep me going when I have my own classroom. There will be days, weeks or even months when I may strongly dislike my job and one special student will appear with a sweet note like this or a parent may send me a message thanking me for what I've done in a child's life. Then, just like now, it will make the bad days pale in comparison.

I'm holding on to that. And that I only have 28 more days until finals....not that I'm counting or anything.

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One Response to “More than halfway there”

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