Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Field Experience

I received my assignment for my Field Experience. I will be in a Special Ed classroom at a brand new high school in the next town, about 20 minutes from my house. My first day of class begins Aug. 26, and I have to report to the high school on Sep. 2. I will go there every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30am-11:30am. I then have to rush back to the college for class at 12:30pm. I guess I'll be packing my lunch on those days!

I am excited about starting this new semester, but at the same time, I am extremely nervous. I am taking 6 classes total this semester, and with the arrival of Taco, it's a bit overwhelming. I have been asked often (too often!) why I am even taking classes this semester, and the answer is simple- the classes I am taking are only offered during the Fall semester. If I don't take them now, I have to wait an entire year. I am at the point in my degree where I have to take these classes now, called the Field Experience semester, and then finish up with my full-time internship (student teaching) in the Spring. If I take a year off, I have to begin paying back my student loans, it prolongs graduation by a year, and it will be more difficult to get back into the routine of taking classes. Even by having the summer months off, I have to discipline myself to better manage my time; I can't imagine how lazy I would be after having a year without classes! Plus, to be honest, I just want to be done with school.

I have been working on this degree for so long (since high school), although at this particular college for 5 years. I am ready to move on to bigger and better things, and figure out a new "normal" for our family (currently "normal" is mommy and daddy taking classes and doing school work in between loads of laundry, dishes, nap and bed time, in the car, etc.) I want the ease of not thinking about that. I want to be able to fully enjoy my days (and nights!) without having assignment deadlines looming over my head. I know TJ feels the same way, and I am amazed that, come December, he will have completed his Master's Degree in such a short time (14 months of full-time courses). He is completing his final 2 courses this semester, beginning next Monday.

I have been asked if I would have made different choices in my life regarding school decisions. Yes and no. No in that I still would have joined the Air Force out of high school. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and although I didn't always think so, I am so thankful to God for allowing me to follow through with that decision. I really needed to get out of Ohio, and the Air Force is the only way I could have done so. I can't even imagine what my life would have turned out like if I had stayed. Despite what some may think, friends and family greatly influence a person's life, and I was surrounded by a ton of friends and family. Once I left Ohio, I was more removed from situations and better able to see the big picture. As an aside, my sis and I often talk about that. Now that she's moved away, too, she sees what I see, and neither of us ever wants to move back. Not that we don't love our family, but there is so much drama and chaos when so many people with various opinions get involved in something. Plus, if I had not joined the AF, I would not have met TJ, or the many friends involved with Special Olympics, and my life would be completely different.

The changes I would have made would be to take more classes while we were still in California. I took many classes there, but I would have made a greater effort to complete even more before having kids. TJ was able to finish his entire degree while we were there, and although I wouldn't have been able to do that because of my major, I could have worked harder to complete my Associates degree while we were still there instead of doing it once we moved to NC. But, hindsight is 50/50 and having kids and taking classes has only made me more determined. Well, that and the fact that some family members said I'd never be able to complete my degree and be a mom to young kids at the same time. It's difficult, but not impossible, especially with a husband like mine. The Lord has really blessed this endeavor for me by providing childcare, money, everything needed for me to go to school. If it wasn't God's will for my life, I would have faced many obstacles and road blocks.

*I am thankful the semester is beginning again. I am close to finishing, and that is a GREAT feeling!*

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