Photo from BEd graduation, circa spring 2009, courtesy of this guy.
I vividly remember–still freshly cap and gown’d–the innumerable (and inevitable) post-convocation conversations. Wonderful and well-meaning people would ask me, the English major in the teacher education program, so what are you going to do now? They, of course, innocently assumed that I would be teaching, desperately scrambling for that full-time posting, teaching those infuriating-but-inspiring teenagers. Hm, well, perhaps… but actually? My perfect world would involve working as a substitute high school teacher, and working part-time at a bookstore.
Shock, dismay, et cetera et cetera, and I depart the conversation with a gleeful grin pasted on my face into the blue-sky sunshine of my future. And I made that dream land/perfect world a reality; I did what I wanted, and I worked myself into the depths of the earth.
So I did teach, and it became something involving a bit of contract, and it was a great experience. But, then, in the absence of teaching, when not teaching was woefully forced upon me by my lack of bilingualism, I realized how good it felt. How much of a relief it was to no longer face the impending doom of those dreaded first three years in “my own classroom”. How valid my education was in a non-education context. How work was not The Most Important, and was not the centre of my human identity.
And then (also) that perhaps teaching was not even what I wanted to do at all.
And so (thank goodness) after many a conversation with my job share partner, she–ever so gently, in her 30+ years of teacher wisdom–eased in the idea of counselling. Also known as: Me being a counselor (and, Christian kids, not of the camp sort).
Oh no no no no no no no. Not me.
(This is when I self talk, and say “Christie, when have we said that before?”, and rightfully feel all the ‘I told you so’s.)
Three years later (after helpfully seeing a counselor myself, I must add), I put on my big girl panties and applied to grad school. Not for an MEd, nor for an MA in English, nor for anything else I originally imagined… for a Master’s in Counselling & Spirituality. And, the strange thing is, I wasn’t–relatively speaking for me–the least bit stressed* about applying. At times, I even felt quite ambivalent about the results of my application.
* If you know me, you know that not being stressed about something can be a fairly good indicator of the aforementioned something being awesome.
And (then), in the midst of all my (much appreciated!) God-given peace, I was granted an admissions interview. For grad school. Very, very shortly after that (meaning I barely had time to tell friends how the interview went), I received my official letter of admission.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am legitimately
on my way to grad school.
* Obviously, there are details: Deferring for a year, taking two Psychology courses online to meet the requirements, manifesting money, etc. Will elaborate later.