Sunday, August 15, 2010

Big Wheels Keep on Turning

I could have given this post a title about the winds of change blowing because they are around here, big time!  A little over a week ago, I closed the books on my last on-campus class at Eastern.  All that's left for me before I graduate is two semesters of student teaching, the first of which starts in a little over two weeks!  There is one short year between me and my bachelor's degree and I absolutely can't wait for that achievement.  I know the year will fly by, which is a good thing on one hand and a bad thing on the other since it also means I will have a two-year-old by then.  It's unsettling to want the time to fly by so desperately and at the same time want it to slow down so I can hold onto my baby a little bit longer.   

Student teaching is called the "capstone experience" of my degree and I can understand why.  There is so much resting on my performance during this one semester in the classroom, it's a little intimidating.  At the same time, I'm very excited and very ready to put everything I've learned into practice.  I've already gotten my feet pretty wet with my substitute teaching experience but this will be different.  I will actually get to know these children and I will feel like more of an influence in their lives.  That's what it's all about for me anyway--this career choice I've made.  I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of children.  I hope this coming year is the first in a long line of opportunities for me to do that.

But oh I am terrified!  I'm not even sure exactly what I'm scared of.  I guess just the change.  I'm nervous about being a guest in another teachers' classroom.  I've met her and so far I really like her, but what if we don't get along?  What if I don't agree with her teaching philosophies? What if I overstep my boundaries in my efforts to be self-motivated and independent?  What if she doesn't like me?  And I'm worried about my feet too.  I need some good shoes but money is very limited for us at this stage of the game.  I already have issues with my ankle and I know standing on my feet all day every day is going to exacerbate that. 

Then there's the incomprehensible balance between work and home.  I know people do it all the time but I'm not sure how.  I wrote about my feelings on this a little bit in this post but they are still largely unresolved.  I've been dreaming about leaving our son in daycare.  All the dreams have been affirming ones but still, I am very nervous about this change.  I know that the only way for me to make peace with it is for it to happen and for everything to be fine.  I know that I just have to suck it up and get over the fact that someone else is going to have almost as much time with my son every week as I have with him.  That is much easier said than done though.  Even knowing I really like the woman who will be caring for him, it's so difficult for me to let go and trust the fact that he will be fine and he will adjust to the new situation.    

To add to the mix, we also have major car problems on our plate.  Buying a car, even an old one, is simply not an option for us at this point.  We really need tho old ones to hold out for this one final year, until I can find a job.  The current chariot of choice, meaning the one that gets us where we're going, is our '99 Ford Taurus.  My parents gave us this car when it was old but still in relatively good shape.  Now though, the transmission is in the advanced stages of certain death and there is a hole in the exhaust line such that the car literally roars from place to place.  How in the world am I going to maintain my dignity and put my best foot forward at my new school (which, by the way, is also the school that I would really love to work at someday) when I'm arriving in that junker every day?  The other option we have is to fix our 2001 Toyota but it's in need of repairs that are likely to run in the thousands and that is not something we can even consider. It just is what it is.  Luckily the school is not far from home and both of Michael's jobs are relatively close so the driving we will need to do is minimal.  Still though, there is only so much coaxing and praying that can be done before all the wings and prayers run out. 

To end on a positive note, we have a much needed family lake vacation coming up next week that will, hopefully, be a relaxing closeout to summer.  We'll be staying in a cabin right on the lake with my whole family, which should be lots of fun.

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