A super-long post about my college career & God’s goodness
I wrote this in December, but haven’t posted it yet until today!
Class of 2006
My College Career…
I have wanted to graduate from college ever since high school. It was a dream that I maintained for many, many years. Yet God led me in various directions, which I am so greatful for. Some of those directions were… I attended a ministry training school, and was on staff for a few years. I helped my husband begin our media business. I worked at various side jobs so the business could get off the ground. I got married! I even found a cute, hairy beagle to call my pet. But through all of this, I always had it in my heart to finish college.
In 2002, after 10 years of on again off again attendance at various community colleges both in California and Arizona, I set foot on Arizona State University soil in Tempe, Arizona. My intention was to major in Secondary Education and Spanish. After a great school year, I spent the summer of 2003 studying Spanish in Mexico. That was an incredible learning experience. And the day I returned, I was proposed to & boom, I was suddenly engaged! (Way to go bspore). I took entrance exams to get into some really mega-difficult Spanish classes that fall, and totally bombed. Holy cow that stunk. (I still hate Spanish grammar to this day.) So I decided, after praying & freaking out (not in that order), that I would focus on building a marriage and took a year and a half off from school.
Spring, 2005. After a wonderful first year of marriage, my husband offered me a miracle. He would support me while I finished up school. Like I said, a miracle. I sat with an academic advisor to figure things out. My Spanish was certainly not up to date. Did I really have time to spend another year getting back on track so I could take those 400-level courses? Uh, no. But what I realized was that whenever I had the option, I would always take history courses to fulfill requirements. The history professors at ASU were always amazing and really, really nice. (Did I mention I had a Spanish professor make me cry once?) History it was. That spring, I encountered probably the most difficult academic semester of my life. I took three upper division history courses and one teaching methods course. I think at one point I had at least a minimum of 50 books I was actively using for research and writing. (Hello, not even a grad student!)
The fall, 2005 semester introduced me to even more terrific professors in the College of Education. The CoE is really an amazing group of people. They love education and children. I love education and adolescents. It’s a match made in heaven. I also had my history survey course where I basically wrote my senior thesis. My topic? The Jesus Movement of the 1960s! Yeah, baby. I LOVED researching for my paper because it was a journey into my family’s. I researched the ministry my parents and uncle led that was in and around the UC Berkeley campus. It ROCKED.
The spring, 2006, semester was all methods courses. Since I had to intern in actual classrooms for a minimum of 10 hours a week each semester, I was getting a little tired (especially of the internship). I had an amazing history methods course where I actually won a learning-plan (similar to a unit plan) contest among all the other classes! My learning-plan was posted on the Arizona Historical Society’s website, and I was invited to present my learning plan in the fall at the Arizona Social Studies Conference. Holy cow!
Summer, 2006, my husband and I once again led a youth summer program with our church (this was our 4th summer!). However, school-wise, I was short 2 classes! So, I had to take two history online courses in the midst of travel and working with the students. (Check out: refugeblogs.com/mississippi). Anyway, I passed those classes successfully. Bored yet? I’m almost done.
Fall, 2006 was my student teaching semester. 80 seventh & eighth graders at Greenway Middle School here in Phoenix. With an average of 50+ hours of work per week as a real teacher, I’ve been so tired! (Busy is an understatement.) But I really love the students & each one is so amazing in their own unique way. I really have seen what it takes to be a teacher and the sacrifices teachers make. Teachers really do want to make a positive impact on society. It’s an amazing and under-appreciated profession, in my opinion. One highlight of this semester was presenting my learning plan at the Arizona Social Studies Conference at Arizona State University West. Talk about intimidating. I presented to about 50 teachers in a workshop. My old professor and my current mentor teacher (from student teaching) were there to support me in this effort, which was great. It was a wonderful experience.
As I’m nearing the end of my student teaching, I look forward to graduation. What a miracle to have been able to complete this journey. After 14 years of keeping this goal in site, I am so excited to see the finish line in site. I thank God, my husband, family, mentors, and friends for encouragement and strength. All things DO work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. That’s you & me!
What’s next? I sort of breathed the words “graduate school” to Brent a few months ago, and he gave out a long sigh! Yes, I think I’ll always be a life time learner. No matter how long it takes. But for now, I think I’ll sub, and, of course, help my husband with our amazing business, Synergy. If you read, all of this, you are certainly a trooper. Thanks for listening and God bless you!