Feb 1, 2012

Back to School

It’s one of the things I’m really good at. You know, changing my mind. And if you know me at all, you know this to be a true statement. Especially when it comes to answering the question “What do I want to be when I grow up..” because I don’t think I’ve ever really known. Until now.

When I first started college I thought I wanted to be a nurse. Then I realized that if someone came in with even the littlest hang nail i’d run away screaming. It definitely isn’t the job for me and I’m so glad I found that out sooner than later and didn’t waste too much time going down that road.

So, in order to just pick a major that would get me through college, and hopefully a job once I popped out the other side, I went to business school. I figured it would allow me the freedom to do a multitude of things once I was a working person, which is good because I tend to like to venture off and want to try new things. But the problem is, I never venture into things that co-exist together. In fact, after I graduated from UNM I thought I would venture into cosmetology. That doesn’t make sense to people who aren’t me, I’m sure, but I’ve always loved doing hair, could always do my own hair and often did my friends hair growing up, so it seemed like something worth trying. Even if it has nothing to do with business. And I really am glad I tried it. But again, it wasn’t for me. So i never finished. I like to call myself a beauty school drop out just because it makes me happy :0)

Now, after having graduated with my business degree, been working in my finance position for two years, having tried cosmetology school and found it wasn’t for me, and having become a mommy along the way, I think I’ve finally figured it out!!

No more business or cosmetology. Instead, I’m going back to get my Masters in Elementary Education! Again, I’m sure it doesn’t make sense. But for me, it does. And here’s why..

The last four years I’ve been tutoring in a program called ABQ Reads. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a program developed by the ABQ chamber of commerce that brings in outside volunteers to work with kindergartners several times a week in order to help develop their reading and writing skills. The schools who utilize this program are Title I schools - or lower income schools. Most students there are English as a Second Language students, which means they come in only knowing how to speak Spanish. And trust me, it can get tricky. In fact, the school I tutor at happens to be the elementary school that I went to and I absolutely love being able to work with the students there. It's like home for me. Recently, I began working in a 1st - 2nd grade classroom too, just to gain more experience and see if this really is something I think I could be good at, and to be honest with you, I never feel like leaving. The children come from extremely hard backgrounds, but to watch them light up as they begin to understand whatever it is they’re learning, well that’s what it’s all about. To be the person who gives a child their confidence in reading or writing or math or to even just be their way of escape for a couple of hours in order to learn about the world in a safe and comfortable environment - I don’t think it gets any better than that. I know it’s not easy, and I see that now that I’ve spent some time in an actual classroom, but the reward is too big to pass up. And I’m not going to. So today, I dropped this off to the College of Education:
My Admissions packet for the Master’s of Elementary Education with Alternative Route for K-8 Licensure Program. It took me months to get everything that I needed and I’m crossing my fingers it gets me in. I debated about whether or not I even wanted to blog about this because of the possibility I don’t get in, but I’m taking the risk anyway. Because if I don’t get in now, I will try until I do. For once I feel passionate about something and I can’t wait to make this dream a reality. 

 Wish me luck!

And for a little inspiration... I found this quote the other day from Steve Jobs. To say it made me feel good about my decision is an understatement, and it came at the most perfect time. Funny how life sometimes shows you things just when you need them. 
In my own words, we should never be afraid to do what it is we truly love, or settle for things we don't.