Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tim Gunn would be proud

Tomorrow marks the beginning of week three of the semester and I am making it work!

The amount of reading and prep required for class is still an adjustment since there is a lot, but I am slowly getting used to it and finding "extra" time to work it all in. Switching from my purse to simply carrying my school tote makes a huge difference.

Thirty minute karate class waiting on the kiddos? That's thirty minutes to work through a chapter for class. Sitting in the carpool line to pick up kiddo A? That's fifteen minutes to review notes and start my literacy reading responses.

It is strange to spend a weekend reading class materials and completing assignments when before my homework took maybe an hour. The program director wasn't trying to intimidate us when she said this was a rigorous program. It truly is going to require more dedication than any of us imagined in order to do well.

However, the more work I do and the more time I spend in class discussion and at retreats with others in my block (like the one on Friday), I begin to feel even more motivated to do well. I feel even more proud of the fact that I was accepted to the program. I feel even more excited about what is to come.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

be careful what you ask for

My mom came over on Monday (MLK Day) since we both had the day off. She and I went through my syllabi, grabbed some lunch, scored two great blazers at Goodwill, and raided the Children's Literature section of Barnes and Noble. It was awesome.

However, the best point of the day may have been about five minutes after she arrived at my house. You see, my mom reads this blog and, after my last post, showed up at my door with my very own Yoda bobble head.

He has been dubbed Study Buddy Yoda and lives on my nightstand when I'm not doing school work. It's a nice reminder of my mantra (Do or do not.... there is no try) and of all the people I have rooting for me while I complete my program.

And the force must really be with me because I got an idea for my ABC's book today that is so full of win even Tom Brady is jealous. I'll post more about that once the assignment is complete and I have my book published. No need to tempt people into stealing the idea. ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where is Yoda when you need him?

This first week of classes has shown me a few key concepts about what the next 2 years are going to be like in the College of Education.

1. I will need to get myself together and get organized

It's the first week and I'm already a bit overwhelmed. One of my classes has a 27 page syllabus. Half of which is explaining the various projects we are responsible for. It is incredibly intimidating... especially when I was nervous in the first place. All of my classes are pretty much based on two or three big assignments that I have to complete simultaneously while in my field placement... which requires its own projects/assignments. Having never taken 15 hours at a time, this is a huge adjustment.

2. Between work and class, I am going to be a zombie by Spring Break.

Tuesday was a 12 hour day for me. Starting next week I will have three 12 hour days in a row preceded by a 10 hour day. Thank God Fridays don't have any scheduled classes so I can study before work.

3. If I can handle the work load and schedule, this semester is going to be really worth it in the end.

All craziness aside, the projects we are doing this year and the time spent in the classroom will definitely be worth it. It will also be a huge indicator as to whether I can handle being a teacher. I'm freaking out at the present moment, but once I digest the information and get into the swing of things I know I am going to learn so much more than I expected... mostly about myself and my abilities. If I make it through the semester successfully then I may just put my fears from Sunday night (and 4 years ago) to rest.

4. There will be tears and new friends.

There already have been a few tears over this semester. It's bound to happen when you really want something and habe to stretch way beyond yoru comfort zone to get it. Yesterday I foudn out that GSU isn't doing December graduation ceremonies anymore. When I complete my coursework in December 2013 I'll get my diploma, but if I want the ceremony then I have to come back in May. I'm insanely disappointed. However, I've already made a bunch of new friends to hang out with during class breaks and study with. Everythign is easier when you have friends to share it with.

I feel like I need my own personal Yoda to get me through this semester. The popular quote "Do or do not, there is no try." has been my mantra the last couple of days. Especially while attempting my math homework.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

thinking about tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of the spring semester and my level of excitement can only be surpassed by my level of nervousness. Everyone I know has told me many times that I have nothing to be nervous about. Steve is practically blue in the face from telling me I have nothing to worry about.

And I do believe him... them... everyone. I believe that this is absolutely the right path for me and that tomorrow, sitting in that classroom, is exactly where I need to be. Hence the excitement.

Still, the fact remains that I ran away from this exact scenario four years ago because it was intimidating. It still is intimidating and apparently, it is supposed to be that way.

I have a very distinct memory of a discussion I had with my Educational Foundations professor back at Columbus State University during my first attempt at my education degree. During this conversation I expressed my feelings of intimidation and their basis in fears of somehow doing more harm than good for my students. My professor replied with a big grin on his face and said that all the best teachers have that fear. He said that particular fear is what helps them make good choices and truly enrich the lives of their students.

With that memory playing on a near constant loop in my head today and after organizing my materials for tomorrow, there is only one more thing to do... get a good night's rest.

In an effort to do just that as well as calm myself down a bit, I've decided to add more structure to my evening routine. Just before bedtime I am going to set aside at least 30 minutes to have a hot cup of tea and read a chapter of whatever book I happen to be reading. Not a textbook or lesson plans, a book just for fun. This way I can clear my head and relax.

I have a feeling that will be important as I face down my fears over the next few semesters.