Accepted! Graduate school! I’ll be a Master!
Course load. Navigate it. Online/residential combined. So many students, who’s my advisor?
Advocate for myself.
Take the sub job; keep my foot in the door, my name top of mind!
Take the writing job; sock money away, the collectors are hungry, I’ve got to!
What’s my homework this week?
Something due Tuesday, something due Wednesday, due Sunday for the rest.
Reading, writing, find another teacher to observe, find all the schools, all the grade levels.
Advocate for myself.
The phone’s ringing again – take the sub job!
Discussion board posts, lesson plans, original sources? Which library has those?
The client’s emailing again – get writing!
Laundry, dishes, cook, scrub, repeat. (Thank you, babe, for cooking again!)
Ouch. Toothache. Tooth break. Funds to the dentist, always the dentist.
1% chance of this procedure failing? That’s me! See you 8 times a year, dentist.
Time to go, time to travel – two weeks on campus.
Oh how time flies (thank God, this is torture)
Prep coursework, more sub jobs, keep running, stay fit!
Travel east (thank you family for coming along with)
Classes and adventure and it’s over so soon -
Or has it only just begun? What’s wrong with these bug bites?
Break from classes for two exams with a twist
(That’s how you order a drink with Lyme, right?)
Get it together, House, fight the lethargy, fight the disease, no rest for the weary-
Classes back in session.
Subbing back in session.
A new job, steady, fun.
Juggle the deadlines, chain myself to the computer
Which university department screwed up now?
Advocate for myself
Online for classes, online for work, eyes hurt.
Winter in Virginia
(Avoid the great outdoors)
Icy weather anyway, kindness of strangers saves the day
Student teach! Full time hours, no pay.
Full time hours for the first time in almost 4 years.
No pay, no rest.
Clients still email – answer them!
Work to grade, plans to create, stay in shape, House.
Stay on top of it.
Glasses! Get them! Headaches scratched off the list; at least that’s one thing.
Loan confusion – should be in deferment!
Advocate for myself.
Tally the days but they’re all a blur.
Log my hours, all three spots every week.
Discussion boards, portfolio. Homeworkneverends.
Work on work emails at the gym.
Piles of laundry and traceable dust, sorry babe can you cook again?
May? May! Time has come…
What do I do?
It’s all done.
I’ve learned a lot these past 18 months – far beyond the psychology, philosophy, and pedagogy of education although those clearly made up a bulk of it. And thank goodness, as this is the degree I have obtained and paid for, after all.
I can confidently say that I’ve learned that I was in need of refining far greater than I was aware of, and this time of graduate studying has (painfully at times) brought me to a place where I could receive it.
I’ve learned that we can finish what we start, and we can finish strong. My final course of grad school somehow resulted in the highest grade you can get (that of 11 points over the maximum allowed). Does it make sense? Nope, but I know that if I can finish strong, so can you. This goes in hand with my simultaneous love of running and getting tattoos; it’s the same lesson. Yep, it hurts. Yep, there might be battle wounds. But keep going. Push through it. 9 times out of 10 I find myself thankful for whatever irritated me about a daunting task in the first place, so shut up and move.
I have learned that there’s a difference between multi-tasking and multiple responsibilities. Multi-tasking really can be counter productive, but juggling multiple hats (student, teacher, assistant, elder, wife, friend, etc.) is possible. The thing is…be present. In whatever moment you are in, in whatever role you find yourself, be fully in it. I have seen the effects of hanging out with a loved one while writing a paper in my head or thinking about the emails that I need to answer. It’s horrible. It’s unkind to the person I am with, and I have learned that if it means spending less time with my friends because I have work or school to finish by a deadline, that’s what it means. BUT that also means that when I do have time for them – I really do have time, and instead of offering a distracted Emily, I can give the best of me. It’s what you all deserve.
This journey has taught me that we are capable of far more than we can imagine. That very good things have very high price tags. That, as a clearly repeated theme stated, if we are going to succeed we must be advocates for ourselves. Be educated on what you need for your particular situation and take responsibility to ensure things fall into place. I’m a big believer in faith, but I save that for God and gravity, not organizations and procedures.
I’ve made the mistake of too much self-reliance during this journey, and for that I apologize. I took friendships for granted and I deeply thank you who have stuck by my side and come to my rescue. Inward processing has its place, but too much is lethal. I’m not going any further down that road. I am so grateful for all of you who have stuck by and supported me through this journey – it’s not just my graduation day we’re celebrating.
It’s done. 36 credit hours in 18 months. The fastest 18 months of my life — I’m ready to slow down and enjoy life a little bit more. Join me?
From Philippians 3:
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.