School has been overwhelming, successful, time consuming, difficult, eye opening, beneficial, and most importantly….life changing.
Friday was my last “official day” before Thanksgiving Break. The crazy part is that I have been looking forward for a break from school for so long, and then I was extremely busy with my classes that I thought I still had another week before break. That makes this break even better. During this next week I want to spend time with my family. I want to take my nieces and nephews out for one on one time with me. I want to watch the movie The Help with my mom and my sister. I have a brand new canvas sitting in my room mocking me…it has been doing this for about 2 months now…I am going to paint. I want to become “caught up” on all of my readings and other assignments. I want to sit in my house with a cup of tea with raspberry honey from Colorado and read a book. I want to go to a few hot yoga classes with my roommate. I want to sleep in. And then I want to get up early. I want to go through my closet and cleanse my stuff. I want to make big payments and get my financials in order even more than they are currently. I want to still go in to my 2nd grade class and teach on my “day off.”
It amazes me how quick this semester has gone by. Before classes started I was worried about getting up early and being prepped and ready to teach 4 mornings a week from 8am to 11am. And now I am complaining that I only have 3 weeks left in the class. I don’t want to say good bye to my students. I have become extremely comfortable with them. I listen to their stories, to their problems, to their goals, to anything they want to tell me. We read together, we write creative wonderful stories together, they see me…smile…and give me a hug. They are always sad when I leave on Wednesday’s because we won’t see each other until Friday. (I have a class on campus on Thursday) My cooperating teacher has become one of my friends. We text on the weekends and during the evenings. She has given me an awesome book to help me while writing lesson plans. She knows about my life. She is interested in my future. And she wants me to try and get a job in the school once I graduate. One of the students told me, “I think you should be our 3rd grade teacher here, so then we can see you again next year, and then we can be your first real students!” How adorable are 7 year olds? The days that I am tired or having a difficult time…I walk into the classroom and they are able to sense it. Those days they are sweet and caring, they ask me about my day, they want to sit right next to me and hold my hand when we are walking in the hall.
I know that my student loans are outrageous I realize this. I know that I could have applied for the education program when I was in my first 4 years of college, but would I have truly loved it then? Would I have worked as hard in my courses as I do now? Was I ready for that experience when I was only 20 years old? I don’t think I would have. I think I would have just passed my classes to be done with them. I don’t think I would have been comfortable up in front of 25 students teaching. I wouldn’t have felt like it was the right choice. But right now at this moment I know that it was.
Going back to school was the perfect push I needed to make my life better. Looking into the future is similar to dreaming for me, but instead of just imagining the “what it could be like” I am able to say, “I am going to have my own classroom. I am going to become an elementary teacher in this area. I am going to love my students. I am going to make this happen soon.”
I understand that it is going to be a lot of work. And at moments it will be very difficult, but after being in the classroom (even for just 3 hours 4 days a week) the good moments, no the wonderful moments out number those difficult times. I am ready for all those exciting moments ahead. I am ready to have an apple on my desk and my students at their desks.
Time to teach! 🙂
There are many things that Iowa can offer someone. Not only do we have farmers that are literally in our backyard growing food for our tables. Or the livestock that we are lucky enough to eat that is healthy, and not filled with hormones. The people that live here. The people that are raised here. The have values that are unheard of in other parts of the country. Iowa is one of the best states in education, even if the stats say otherwise currently… I love this state. Even though I have my Texas pride in my heart (I have to represent my birth state). But I was raised in Iowa. I am an Iowan. I love to say that I am from the Midwest, and that I want to raise my family in the Midwest. There is one thing that is a little crazy that I will never understand about this state…the weather.
How can it be cold enough in the morning for scarves and heat on the drive to work, but then by 1 o’clock you are wearing shorts and a tank top, then once 7pm comes around you’ve got jeans and a sweater back on again… tell me how many other places is able to have that amazing weather change in a few hours. Well if you have ever lived in Iowa (or anywhere in the Midwest) you can say, “Oh yeah, I know exactly what she is talking about.”
Those days when you spend the extra 30 minutes doing your hair, because when you went out to feed the birds at 6am it was nice and cool with a gentle breeze. Then by the time you walk out the door dolled up in your cute outfit, coffee in hand, and hair curled. Wow. Mistake. Hello frizz. You realize then a second after being outside that the humidity is rising, and it is going to be a scorcher. You could have slept for that extra 30 minutes and thrown your hair up into a bun instead of wasting your time. And this is the beginning of a normal Iowan summer day.
There are some days that are beautiful. Those days are cool, with the sun shining, and a clear cool evening. You can wear jeans, a tank, and flip flops. Even better a sun dress with a thin sweater. Or if you are an “odd one” like me, your perfect day has a crazy thunderstorm. Those are the best days. Days that are warm, with the sun shining, and then all of a sudden the dark thick clouds come rolling in. You can hear the thunder miles away, you are just waiting for the storm to come. The temperature drops. The wind beings to blow, and then the rain comes. It is amazing when you can see the rain fall in the same fashion of an ocean’s wave. If you are outside (and if you can run really fast…) you could maybe stay dry.
When I was in high school there were many hours spent swinging on the front porch watching and listening to the storms. My family has taught me to appreciate and love nature. Every aspect of it. The good and the bad. The hot and the cold. The dry and the wet. We would sit together and talk, spending time outside. Enjoying the weather. Loving the memories that were being made. One of the times we were sitting outside watching the storm was the night before my mom and papa’s wedding. (Papa is my stepdad.) I was a sophomore in high school and I was a little awkward. I had braces. I hadn’t exactly grown into the body I have today. I was skinny. I tripped a lot (okay I still trip a lot to this day…) So we were outside on the back porch. It began to rain. Then it began to pour. Then the wind picked up and the hail started to fall. Papa pointed out a huge piece of hail that was out in the yard. We all saw it and agreed it was a pretty big piece. Next thing I know I was in the backyard. Pops had given me a little “help” into the backyard. I guess he thought it was really necessary to get that piece of hail. Luckily I also thought the piece was pretty sweet and so it wasn’t a big deal to go out in the storm to grab it. At that moment I know that pap was going to fit right in with our family 🙂
Enjoy the weather. Go outside and get soaked from the raindrops. Maybe run out in a hailstorm once in your life. Lay out in the sun (with sunblock of course). Sit on the porch with your family, have a cocktail, and share some stories. Don’t just sit inside in front of the computer or TV. Get up and move around. Have some wonderful clean Iowan air move through your lungs, energizing you to run. Smile that we are able to have all 4 seasons here. Each year I get to live through extremely hot days with my curly hair, cool breezy days with beautiful leaves, freezing days building snowmen, and perfect days with thunderstorms. And I love each and every single one of them.
Here are a few photos from a day this summer where my best friend and I were sitting outside watching her boyfriend’s soccer game and the thunderstorm came rolling in within minutes. Man, I love Iowa.
And here comes the storm….
Black clouds took over…
Goodbye blue sky…
And then the rainbow peeks through the darkness…
until again, alc