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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1016880-Encouraging-the-Nerds-of-the-Next-Generation
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing.Com · #2251487
Guided by prompts from WDC blogging challenges... and of course, life
#1016880 added September 6, 2021 at 10:56am
Restrictions: None
Encouraging the Nerds of the Next Generation
The Original Logo.

PROMPT September 6th
Do you love your job/career? Tell us why you love it, and why did you choose this career and not something else.

         It wasn't my dream to be a teacher, in fact my mom warned against it, as she was unhappy in her teaching role. She taught English and history. Originally, because of my love of animals, I wanted to be a veterinarian. That fell through when I began college and discovered my new-found freedom. At seventeen, I learned that partying was way more fun than learning. I failed out during my second semester, even failed aerobics. Morning classes are difficult when you wake with a hangover daily. So, I dropped out of school and focused on my social life. Two kids and almost twenty years later, I decided I was tired of slinging pizzas and mowing lawns for a living so I enrolled back in school. My first degree was in computer programming and design. I was stoked when I graduated, ready to take the world by storm. I ended up using my degree to work a desk job that was far from enriching for a couple of years. Extremely unhappy with where I was, I decided to go back to school again, this time in Biology. Why the heck not? I have always loved science, been a bit of a nerd. (I totally rock being a nerd by the way, no better thing for me to be) The field of Biology is so wide that I had my choice of what my field of study within it would be. I took every Biology class I could. And Chemistry and Physics. I was in my realm! THIS is what I was supposed to be doing! I loved every biology class I took and was the first student to volunteer for collection of samples in the field. I was offered a research assistant position with one of my professors and jumped on it. I was chosen over a few others because of my experience with plants. I already knew how to clone, do controlled pollination, alter growth cycles. So, into the plant genetics research lab I went! I absolutely loved research, both in the field and in the lab. I had my own growth chambers for the experiments we performed. I was lead assistant. I presented our work at symposiums. I was even a co-author on our research article that was published in Nature Communications. I thought I had found my niche. But the prof. told me there’s not much of a living to be made in research biology unless I was teaching as well. I’d be better off teaching and researching on the side. I had a family to think of after all. When I graduated, I also got my certification to teach - all science for seventh grade through twelfth grade. Over the years, I had become someone who covers their bases as much as possible, so this certification was perfect. The certification test was a whopper. Imagine taking a final exam where everything you’ve learned in all of your Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes was being tested.
         I began teaching shortly after graduating. My first gig was teaching Sophomore Chemistry, Senior Physics, and Forensic Science, which was an elective available to juniors and seniors. Oh Yeah! I found I absolutely loved teaching. I loved sharing my enthusiasm for science with a whole new generation of nerds – and those who were just forced to take the class for a credit. Teaching was so much fun, and worth the time I had to spend creating lesson plans and lab activities and grading papers. And it turns out, Forensic Science was the love I never knew I had. After that, I moved to another district and began teaching biology, chemistry, Forensic Science, and Theatre. (Wait! What? Theatre isn’t a science! True, but they needed someone to teach it and since part of my original degree was paid for on a Theatre scholarship, my boss thought I fit the bill just fine. Okay… There are stories I can tell you about that gig, but they’ll have to wait for another day.) A few years there and I found a job at a private Christian school. I would be the main science teacher for all middle and high school classes, and I was encouraged to include Creationism into my life science lessons. (It works by the way, the theories of Evolution and Creationism can both work together to explain just how we got to where we are today. They aren’t as opposing ideas as most would have you believe. This, again, could be another entry for a different day.) My day was full. I taught physical science, life science, integrated physics and chemistry, anatomy and physiology, biology, physics, chemistry, and of course my new-found love, forensic science. These were the best years of my working life! The students became like my own kids. I shared in their successes and failures. I was there when someone needed advice and when someone just needed an ear to listen. I saw many students grow through the years, graduate, and become contributing members of society. Many of them friended or followed me on social media platforms like Facebook. Some of them became friends after they graduated. But all good things must come to an end, right? My illnesses took a hard turn south about a year and a half ago and I was hospitalized. Luckily for me, my hospitalization coincided with the arrival of the pandemic to our area and the lockdown that followed. So I was able to teach remotely from my hospital bed. I even used my dialysis as an opportunity for my Anatomy and Physiology students to see what it was all about, live streaming one of my dialysis/transfusion sessions just for them. Make the most out of every situation, right?! My students and even some of my former students sent well wishes to me in the hospital through the internet. Sent cards via a co-worker. But that was the last year of my teaching. The pandemic and my illnesses made sure of that. Sometimes though, I will happen across one of my former students on those rare occasions that I go into town. Some have told me that I was their favorite teacher. Many have told me they didn’t like science until they took my class, that I made it fun and interesting. And that is why I started and continued teaching. For the love of Science and for the love of the kids. Encouraging the nerds of the next generation.

Word Count: 1101

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