I’m scared and I’m frustrated. That pretty much describes my weekend.
In 2004 when I was attending college for the first time, extenuating circumstances required me to start working full time at my then part-time job at Wal-Mart and stop going to classes. It was about survival. I don’t want to go into details here other than to say that I didn’t have anyone I could depend on, and had to do what was necessary for myself to survive.
After working 12 years of various retail jobs, I decided to return to school this year to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. My first classes started on August 22nd, and my first semester wrapped up yesterday. A lot of people complain about school, but I’ve loved every minute of it. I guess loving school comes with the territory of wanting to teach.
This semester has been interesting, challenging, and fun. It started on the day of the lunar eclipse. I literally watched the sky go dark, waited for the sun to come back out from behind the moon, and jumped in my car to drive to my first class, Psychology. There I met one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, Dr. Tam. Here is a picture Josh took of me leaving for school that day. It’s an awful picture, but hey, memories. Gosh, look how dirty my car was.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! I wanted to update around that time, but just had too much to do. I went with Josh to see his family in North Carolina, and when we weren’t with them, I was working on my final English essay or studying Psychology. My semester is finally winding down. I just had my last English class tonight. I have my last Prob and Stats class tomorrow, my last Psychology and Spanish classes on Monday, and then Finals start on Tuesday and go through the following Monday. It’s kind of bittersweet; I had really good instructors this semester and am going to miss three of my four classes. We won’t talk about my fourth (I hate it, even though I have an A and actually excel at Math).
I talk about school a lot, so here’s something different! I want you to see more of my life. Like one of my nerdy collections.
I have known I have wanted to teach for all of my life. I have always loved school, and as a kid when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I answered quickly and distinctly: “I want to teach.” I’ve felt a calling, a tug, and when I’ve worked other jobs and put college on hold, I knew I was making a mistake. I knew I was delaying my destiny. I kept feeling the tug. I’m going back to school now to finally pursue my dream, and for the first time in my adult life, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be; I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
When I was young, I lived in a children’s home. I lived in a cottage with seven other boys and two cottage parents. As you can imagine, I didn’t get a lot of attention. I was in Band and Dance, and I had various recitals and performances where I would look out into the audience and see parents of my classmates cheering their kids on. I didn’t talk to anyone about it back then, but it was defeating. I wanted more than anything to have someone in the audience there for me. I vividly remember one Band performance where one of my sixth grade teachers, Mrs. Lewis, walked over to me from somewhere in the bleachers, and let me know that she was watching me, and that she was so proud of me.
Poetry is one of the things I knew I would study in my English class, and I had been dreading it all semester. Before now, I didn’t really understand or appreciate poetry. I guess my issue with it before was that I felt like authors should just state what they mean. Poetry is often so short that so much is left up to interpretation. More often that not, I was confused after reading a piece of poetry, but I think that’s because I didn’t know how to read it. My English instructor simplified it in a way no other teacher had ever done for me, and going through her model, I have been able to pull so much out of so many different poems.
She taught me to start with the theme, the speaker, and the tone. Who is the poem about, what is he or she saying, and how is he or she saying it? From there, I look for diction and syntax, which is word choice and placement, as those things are usually chosen for a reason in poetry. Then I look at sound, figures of speech, and finally rhythm and meter. We looked closely at seven poems this semester and took our poetry test today. My favorite poems were “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden and “I Could Not Stop For Death” by Emily Dickinson. I identify so much with the former, and the latter is just so interesting to me. Dickinson personified death and wrote about him like he was a gentleman escorting her to her “eternity;” she was strangely upbeat about the whole idea.