The semester is only halfway over. Yikes! I feel like I’ve been on autopilot and just going through the motions because my brain is already fried. In the last few years in grad school, I’ve definitely been challenged more than ever in my life. The papers, the observation hours, the assessments and going to class two nights a week for 3 hours takes a lot. And I would say that up until now, I have been pretty much constantly stressed. Stressed to the point that I can still function and have fun as a person. But this is the first semester that sometimes I feel like I cannot take one more thing or I will just lose it. And then another thing comes along and I have to deal with it. If I wasn’t as organized as I am, writing reminders and post-its everywhere, I WOULD lose my mind (like good ‘ol Johnny here).
To be perfectly honest, when this devil semester started, I was questioning if this is really what I wanted to do. (I can already hear my mom’s voice in my head yelling at me for that one, “What do you MEAN…you aren’t SURE this isn’t what you want to do?! You’re TWO YEARS into your program!). Well, I was scared because I wasn’t happy. I still am not as happy as a clam. I can’t go out and do fun things and relax much. But happiness has to start with me and how I look at things. I just have too much work to do for school that I don’t have time to analyze my “glass half-empty” outlook. Ironic, isn’t it?
Then I took a look around my class one night. I looked at each and every person listening to our professor (while I should have probably been doing the same). EVERY single person looked just like me. Exhausted. On the brink of a nervous breakdown. Hungry. Confused. And this sounds bad, but it made me feel better. I wasn’t alone. Everyone was just as stressed as I was. Everyone felt this semester was evil.
After that, I took a look at myself and thought about what part of the day I enjoyed the most. My favorite part of the day (besides the part when I get to go to bed) was being at Mary Lyon and doing my clinical work. The part when I actually get to teach kids. I mentioned this to a friend and fellow teacher and she said, “Lauren, that’s all that matters.” All this time spent, and papers written and classes attended doesn’t matter in retrospect. What matters is that I love teaching and I am going to be great at it.
You know how I know this? When I was in high school and even in college AND now I struggled greatly with math. I asked my older brother “When the heck am I EVER going to need to know or use this?” The answer was “Umm never. It’ll teach you to keep working at something.” The point wasn’t because I’d need to teach kindergarteners the Pythagorean Theorem. (Although it might be if we continue to allow people, with no knowledge or experience teaching children, to make our education policies. But THAT’S A WHOLE OTHER BLOG). He meant that the whole point was to learn perseverance. How to persevere. How to push myself, even if I don’t understand. How to solve problems. Not division problems. But problems of life. And was he right.
Everything I am doing now (even if it stinks…a lot), will in some way, teach me something. What to do, what not to do, whatever it is. I am going to succeed and I am going to be great at what I do…simply because I know how to work hard, I HAVE worked very hard to get to where I am and because I am strong.