Ending on a high note

Friday, May 31, 2013

A week from today this campus life will be in the record books.  Last quarter, I seriously contemplated throwing in the towel.  Every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday I dreaded going to class.  And when I wasn’t in class, I thought about how much I dreaded going back to campus.  The professors were downers, the subjects were somber and I had to leave my house at zero dark thirty. Being that I’m someone who loves to laugh—a lot-- spending my time sitting in a classroom discussing serious, pointless, depressing issues with unengaged people sucked the life right out of me.  It felt like a huge waste of time and money.  That was then.  This is now.

Nine weeks ago, as I went through the familiar routine of first class meetings, reading through the syllabus and the obligatory “getting to know each other” icebreakers, it felt like quarter one all over again.  Both of my professors were vibrant and positive.  The courses were vital to launching me into my fall internship and my classmates were enthusiastic and fun loving.  The icing on the cake was being paired up with a cooperating teacher for my high school practicum (40 hours in a classroom setting where teaching two lessons is required) who has a similar story.  Like me, she went back to school for her teaching certificate in her early 40’s after staying home with her 4 kids for 15 years.  She’s been teaching English for the last four years and I’m in awe of what I’ve learned under her wings.  We have so much fun together.

And while I’m on a roll, one other perk: Just two weeks into the quarter, I noticed how I was coming home and sharing story after story about how much fun I was having with two of my classmates, Maddie and Jeremy.  Not only are they two of the nicest people you’ve ever met but they crack me up for 4 straight hours every Tuesday and Thursday. We banter together and mock each other (my love language) as if we all came from the same family. Their weekly presence has made me realize how much I was lacking joy and laughter in my life for the previous 3 months.  Jeremy is like a roving P.E. teacher with his minivan full of sports equipment.  In between classes, he's usually outside gathering a crowd to toss the frisbee around.  At the end of class, he'll talk a few of us into a game of pickleball.  Maddie is 24 with a maturity beyond her years.  She does improv on the side so it's no wonder she keeps me in stitches.  Not knowing much about either of us except that we both want to teach middle school English, our professor teamed us up to teach 5 lessons together at the high school.  She was a natural and I mostly let her make me look good.  

Finally, the last item to check off my list before being launched into the public school classroom is a student teaching placement for the fall.  That official email came 10 days ago.  I’ll be at a middle school just 3 miles away from my house in a 6th grade Language Arts classroom.  My cooperating teacher is a lovely lady just a couple years shy of retirement.  I was in her class twice a week from January through May last year and we got along famously.  After spending the last two months with high school juniors, and confirming that age group is not for me, I am so excited to get back to a younger crowd.  

Here’s to ending on a high note!!!

I adore this two young'ns!