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I’m not sure how I’m going to finish up the night. I, of course, have tons of things that could be done, but I need to figure out what I want to do. I think I want to work on some homework. It’s not hard work, just tedious at times. I don’t really mind though. I just love learning stuff, and always have. I used to cry when school was cancelled because of a snow day – dork! The odd part is that it never occurred to me to teach until I was in grad school.

I remember once my dad saying, “Those who can’t, teach.” – we were in the car heading to a college for a visit – I was a senior in high school. I kept talking about how I wanted to do something in theatre or English or lit – my parents wanted pre-med. So when he asked me what I would do with those degrees, I didn’t have an answer – I was 17! So I said, “I don’t know… teach?” Then he made his comment. I remember scooting back in my seat and thinking about that. Was that true? I had never had that before – so all my teachers in high school were just frustrated historians, sociologists, accountants and actors that couldn’t make it in their field and had to teach because that’s all they could do?? I couldn’t believe it. (Note: I was raised in a very Catholic household – very strict, and incredibly naive. Whatever my parents said was gold. I didn’t know it was possible for them to even be wrong.) So, I knew I didn’t want to say that I would teach because that would mean that I failed in my chosen career. Well, guess what – I majored in pre-med with a theatre minor. Odd combo, but it made everyone happy for awhile.

I stayed a pre-med major my first year. I learned a lot that year! I learned I could declare a different major and didn’t have to run it by parents. They had always told me that all paperwork must come to them first. (odd how they knew so much about college when neither one of them ever went to college themselves)

So, my sophomore year I declared theatre with an emphasis in performance and dropped my bio and chem classes. They, of course, asked about my schedule and I told them that this semester I was focusing on theatre, and would pick up more med classes second semester. Ok, I was terribly afraid of them. They controlled everything. They paid for everything and kept me from being in the poorhouse like lots of my friends. I finally got enough nerve over Christmas break my sophomore year to tell them I switched majors. My dad just shook his head and looked down. My mom looked nervous and scared. I didn’t care. I was starting to find out who I was and I liked my new-found freedom and independence. I also LOVED theatre – the people, the teachers. For once in my life I felt like I truly belonged. I know theatre people have an odd reputation, but they welcomed me more than anyone had ever welcomed me my whole life. I knew I made the right choice.

So, I continued my education and knew I was going to go to grad school. There was no doubt about it. Finally in grad school, at the end of my first semester. I had a breakthrough. I realized I wouldn’t mind teaching. I was a TA and loved it! I loved being in school. Plus, I had this wonderful teacher that kind of nailed it for me. She was so difficult – I actually cried once in her class. She taught me more than most people. I respected the hell out of her. I got to know her and she talked about how when you’re a teacher you have to keep learning – it never stops. Every day, you learn. I knew then. That’s the life for me.

So, here I am. Doing what I love. I adore learning. I love the challenge. I try and remember what it was like to be a college student. The late nights, the hangovers, the procrastination, the homesickness – I think if you ever forget what they’re going through you don’t become as effective of a teacher. I want to understand them. I don’t judge them if they don’t do an assignment, or bomb a test. Hell, we all did that, didn’t we? I want them to know that they make their choices. They can ask my advice, but ultimately it’s up to them. They have to take responsibility and made their own decisions. It’s part of life. I don’t judge them, my job is to enlighten them and make them aware of what’s out there.

I’m glad that other job for Mark didn’t pan-out. I would seriously miss teaching too much. Don’t get me wrong – my summers rock! But I do love being in the classroom. So, what does my dad say now? Not much. I think he’s proud, but I think he still wants more. That’s a whole other issue in itself. No time right now. But I have a sweatshirt that says, “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, teach.” I like that.

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