July 31, 2011

July 9, 2011

New Beginnings

This week marked the first week of my MAT year! I worked with all of the other wonderful interns in my cohort as camp counselors this week for a Gear Up camp put on by Quantum Learning. The kids who we worked with came from four Prince George's County high schools. They all have shown promise in their schooling; however, when they get to that point they will be first generation college students. Therefore, we all came together to work with them on study skills, and interpersonal skills so they will have all of the necessary tools to make it after high school.

Before we go any further I would like to give everyone some background on how things have been going in my life for the past few months. Let's start back at the end of April...I had finished writing my SMP (St. Mary's  Project, thing undergraduate thesis) and sent it to my adviser. I had a pretty solid powerpoint and scripted speech to present on May 2nd to the entire history department, my friends, and my family. When, as stories go, May 1st rolled around and my hardrive crashed. I had my SMP backed up, but not my powerpoint and script. Needless to say I was a mess. Then on the way to Annapolis to have my hardrive replaced a rock flew up, hit my windshield, and cracked it. Margaret was in the car with me and I hate to say it, but saw me at my absolute lowest. But she was a trooper and kept me sane.

All in all the presentation went well. YAY! But that whole experience put me in such a funk.

Gala was wonderful. I got to see several tipsy professors, always a fun thing. Graduation came and went. The moment everyone looks forward to I approached with lots of apprehension. This whole year I have been comforted by the fact that I would be back on campus. I didn't have to worry like everyone else about impending adulthood. And then the world fell on me all at once. My. God. I'm really here. I had been talking about getting a Masters since High School when I found out I would be going here. But now it was a reality. My five year plan was complete. After this, I'm done.

My mine was on rapid crazy chaotic mode. Where do I go from here? I hadn't had to think about the future, and I had finally put on the shoes that I was so grateful I didn't have to worry about my senior year of college.

This pressure haunted me for the six weeks that I was home. I began to look into PhD programs and look inside me to figure out what in the world I wanted out of my life. Where do I want to be by the time I'm 30? 50? 100?

I'm a worrier. And I think I had perfected the art by the time I got here at the end of June. I was so concerned that this program was going to start and I was going to realize that I really hated the one thing I have ever wanted to do with my life, teaching. But I can say without a doubt after this camp that I know I am working towards everything that I want and need out of my life.

Do to the length of this post I'm going to put the rest of my week with the camp in another post.....more to come soon!

June 6, 2011

Where do we go now?

You know those moments when you meet someone who you know will change your life forever? I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven the other day and have been thinking about the lessons and stories that are told within the pages of that book. They are as follows:

1. When one person dies or leaves our life we shouldn't focus on the loss, rather we should focus on how we can grow by having had known that person. "Birth and death are part of a whole".

2. Always aspire to sacrifice. For you do not know how one small sacrifice might help to improve someone else's life.

3. We should always forgive, "Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves."

4. "Life has to end...Love doesn't". Love should always be our number one goal, above anything else.

5. Even if we don't think we are where we are supposed to be in our lives, we need to trust that we are on the right path. We all have a purpose, even though we might not see it right now.

School is ending, and graduates worldwide are being told they can do anything. We can change the world. We have the tools and opportunity to make civilization better. And to some, this might be comforting to hear. We can change the world.

But I find this horribly intimidating. I do want to change the world, but I only want to change it for the better. If I had it my way war would end, diseases would stop spreading, and every person on this planet would never feel hunger, pain, or sadness. And my greatest fear is that I will do something to change the world for the worse!

But I find my hope in the last sentence of Five People.  Eddie, the main character, share's his lesson about life; we should know, "that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one."

We are all one people. And what I do in my life will inevitably affect the whole. In the five lessons listed above I see one motif that all share; love. And I know that the Beatles said it better when they simply said, "All you need is Love". But that is where this rambling has gotten me. Maybe all we do need is love. Love for ourselves; which gives us hope and trust in the future. Love for others; which allows us to be our best self in our community. And Love for Love; so we can continually be inspired.

On a more personal level. I graduated from college in May with my Bachelors in History with minors in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Education. I will being my Masters program to get my Masters in the Art of Teaching in July. It's summer so you will probably hear more of my ramblings until the work picks up!