Friday, August 06, 2010
What did you want to be when you grew up? Why did you want to be that, and did you do it? Did you consistently plan to be whatever it was, or did you change your mind often? Did you do anything like volunteering or interning to give you a taste of your future occupation/role? Were you as happy/satisfied with what you became as you thought you would be? What surprised you? Would you choose it again? Do you still want to be something else - either in addition to or instead of?
My early school years were not pleasant, until I hit 4th grade and landed in Miss Deborah Keeney's class.
Oh, the difference one teacher can make.
She had such an edge on previous teachers. She was born in the same century we were in. She smiled before Christmas. And after. She may or may not have been the most beautiful lady I had yet met. She definitely was nice to me. And she read aloud to us every single day. The two novels I remember most are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte's Web. I even baked my first cake for her.
Miss Kenney inspired me and made me want to teach 4th grade. Not just teach, but teach 4th grade. Basically, she made me want to be her.
I held onto that dream until I met my 9th grade English teacher, Sondra Seibold, and at a slightly more mature level, but not that much more mature, my goals were re-birthed as I sat in the classroom of someone born to teach.
My goodness-she knew what she was doing, and she influenced me in many ways, including my decision to major in English Education at Ball State University.
In college, I was disillusioned with the education portion of my program. All theory, no practical helps. Egotistical profs. Lazy public school teachers. No time spent in classrooms early on, only in the last two years of my degree.
By the time I student taught, I hated it, wanted nothing to do at all with teaching.
Over the years, I have harbored a fondness for positively influencing youth and for writing. For a short time, I subbed in English classes here in town. I tutored at a Sylvan Learning Center. I tutored someone in my home. I have always respected teachers and lived vicariously through their inspiring and challenging stories.
But the flame for teaching burned out for me long ago.
So I have held various part-time jobs, my favorite being a meeting leader at Weight Watchers, where I loved to encourage people and discuss health and nutrition and the emotional side of weight management. And I guess I enjoyed subbing, but not enough to stick with it.
So finally, 7 years ago, I landed in a youth ministry office. Occasionally, I work with the youth, but mostly I create documents and send a lot of mail.
And you know what? That's really OK. People don't realize the amount of creativity I am encouraged to contribute to our programming and to all of the documents we generate in our office. It's difficult to explain here, but it's way more than an office job.
Except on those certain days when I literally spend all day stuffing and labeling envelopes. And then I think about my degree and graduating magna cum laude all for naught, and I wonder if I missed my calling. George says he thinks maybe I did.
All I know is, I'm basically content in life, and I know a good gig when I see it. God has been good to me, and I think I'm at Oneighty for a reason.