I’m a 44-year old woman. I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a student. My life is pretty normal. Nothing to see here! However, a little over a year, when I decided I needed to finish something I had started decades earlier, my life became anything but ordinary!
Going back to school at my age is no easy task! Let me just tell you! I attend classes with students who are half of my age! They are as old (young) as my oldest child! My goodness! Talk about HUMBLING! It is a truly surreal experience!
I quit college when I was a sophomore – over twenty years ago. I started working for American Airlines. Six months later I received my D2 card – that’s the card you can use to travel around the world – for dirt cheap! I could travel to London, first class, for $106 each way! That’s right! So, once I had the D2 card in my hands, studying and attending class became less important. I wanted to take small trips as often as I could! – especially since we had a 4 days on/3 days off schedule. It was a perfect scenario! Or was it?
Unfortunately, a few years later and two young children later, I was stunned with the events that took place in my life. I was getting divorced! It was something that had to happen… but it’s something that my D2 card couldn’t really help me with! Luckily, I had over 60 college hours, which was more than enough to be a substitute teacher! I needed a job that allowed me to work and provide for my kids, and still be home when they were home!
I loved the life of a substitute teacher. The jokes, not so much. I’ve heard jokes about how all substitute teachers are the ones that couldn’t quite make it as “real” teachers. I’ve heard about how you need to eat right and exercise so you don’t end up with “substitute arms.” Yep! The struggle is real! But the years I spent floating from classroom to classroom, getting to know so many students, their parents, and other teachers, I just knew in my heart that I was meant to teach. I wanted to do it every single day!
Do you realize how many awful teachers there are? There are so many teachers that are quite vocal about their distaste for their profession, their students, the subjects they teach! I watched teachers half-heartedly instruct their students, miss great opportunities to teach and inspire children! It was so frustrating to know that they had what I wanted – and weren’t utilizing it in a positive way! I must state, for the record, that most teachers are excellent! I have met so many teachers that give of their time and money to their classes so that children can succeed! I respect the profession and those who do it justice! I want to be counted among those!
I realized that being a substitute teacher, although a great “gig” for someone who no longer needed to work (thank you, husband number two and love of my life). It was a job that I could choose when I worked, where I worked, and didn’t have any of the responsibilities. The thing is… I WANTED to work every single day! I WANTED the responsibilities: the grading, the planning, the staff meetings, the professional developments. I wanted the whole package!
So, here I am! Finishing the adventure I started so long ago! I am learning so much from my professors and instructors! And I’m learning more than I could have ever imagined from my classmates! Yes, even those that are young enough to be my children! I didn’t necessarily have a good view about this up-and-coming generation referred to so often as “snowflakes.” I admit, I was wrong! Most of you are rockin’! You guys have taught me so much! And the patience you have with me and my lack of technological savvy have not gone unnoticed! Those of you who are still young – don’t stop! Keep going until you graduate! It is so much harder once you have children and other obligations! It might make for a cool story you can blog about, but it’s really not the preferred method! LOL! Having three children, a husband, a house to clean, food to prepare, and all of the responsibilities of a full time college student, even with the help of my family, IS NOT EASY! It’s definitely the hardest thing I have ever done! I have managed, by the grace of God and my good study habits, to have made the Dean’s List or Chancellor’s List every single semester. I hope that will continue! I love being a student! I love to learn! And I can’t wait to have that moment when I get to finish this chapter of the adventure and walk across the stage of Texas Woman’s University, a teacher.
Graduation is exactly one year from now! I am blessed to be able to go to school. I am happy for all of the challenges and obstacles I face weekly. And I appreciate this class and all of you for being part of my most excellent adventure!