This is about my educational journey thus far.
|During my sophomore year of college I changed my major from Psychology to English Literature. My dad's question, "what are you going to do with that, teach?" At that time, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had never wanted to be a teacher but figured that it would be an option if no other wonderful jobs surfaced upon graduation. My real reason for majoring in Literature? I love to read. I love stories where the impossible is possible and fantasy is real life. Reading has always been like an adventure for me or a movie that I can watch in my head where I alone decide what the characters should look like. So I graduated with my Bachelor's degree and went straight into my Master's in Literature. I loved every minute of most of my classes. I was inspired by my professors who seemed to possess such passion when discussing great works of poetry and fiction. It was then that I decided I wanted to be like my professors, I wanted to inspire. I wanted to instill my love of reading and art and literature in others. I graduated with my Master's in English and British Literature in 2002 and began teaching a few undergraduate classes at another state University. For this, I was embarrassingly unprepared. I had never had an education class or any kind of class that would teach me how to be a teacher. I had the knowledge of the assignments that I had completed in college to go on and not much else. I soon found that I had no idea what I was doing and I'm pretty sure that my students also formed this opinion. I was illprepared for my job and felt uninspired. I taught college classes and was a substitute teacher for a few years before changing jobs and going back to school for a different degree.
I began working for a nonprofit organization in their child care program and started on my second Master's degree in Library Media Education. My new job gave me a renewed sense of inspiration in life. The kids I worked with would tell me about the books they liked and I found that I had more in common with them than most of the other adults I knew. Children still have the ability to believe in the impossible. They look at the world through innocent eyes that the world has yet to taint with cynicism and daily disasters. I sometimes feel that I learn more from children than they learn from me. They have opened my eyes to a branch of fiction that I never really explored much in the past. I now routinely check out books marked for young readers and young adults. I still read voraciously and often discuss what I'm reading with 9 and 10 year olds. They even bring me books to read on occasion and seem to like that I take an interest in something they like. Kids are often my source of information on new books and authors and I almost always like their recommendations.
In 2008, I graduated with my Master's in Library Media Education. When I started work on this degree it seemed perfect for me. I couldn't imagine any job more perfect than working in a library surrounded by books with all their unread stories and places I had yet to travel. Another reason I chose this particular degree was that it was all online and would not really disrupt my daily life. Perfect, right? It turned out not to be. I made good grades in my classes and scored above average on my teaching exam. So what is the problem, you ask? My online degree and placement didn't really teach me how to be a librarian. I learned to shelve and check in books, but then the students in the elementary schools where I did my placement knew how to do that. It has now been almost 3 years since my gradutation and I am still working my part time job in child care. I have had several interviews in the past but for one reason or other have not been successful in obtaining a position working in a library. I often ask myself what my second Master's degree has given me, other than more student loan debt than I can ever repay. The answers are few and unfortunately not profitable. I can't say that I wasted my time because I believe that education is never a waste. I feel that I did learn some important things, however. I've learned that online education is just not the same as being in a classroom with a teacher and fellow students. I now know that teaching in a classroom or otherwise is probably not in my future. Most importantly, I know that literature is still my big love (other than my husband) and will probably be the only subject I ever have an interest in studying. With the realization of these things and my long desire to write a book of my own, I have once again began the journey of the student seeking knowledge. This time my eyes are open and I know that very few of those majoring in creative writing actually become celebrated authors but I have the desire. I want to create something new and lasting and even if a handful of people read and like something that I write then I will feel successful. So knowing these things, I filled out an online application to graduate school for creative writing yesterday. It will be some time before I know if I have been accepted but I have high hopes for my education and my future. I believe everyone has a story inside them but it is up to them to search out the tools that will enable them to tell it.