Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5.14 Reach - Taking on More

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the fourteenth day of each month is "Reach."
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I'm teaching more this semester than ever before and it's been hard. It takes me forever to research and prepare my lectures (about five to six hours for every seventy-five minute class period), but the time costs of writing assessments, grading, answering emails, attending staff meetings, and doing the readings for the classes add on so many more hours.
But this semester has  also been delightful. I've stretched my abilities, as well as the list of classes I've now taught at the college level. I'm sort of co-teaching one of my courses with a colleague and the give and take of ideas has rekindled my love of what drew me to academia in the first place - the collaborative nature of learning, the sharing of ideas, and the generousness of spirit with which knowledge is passed from one to another.
I struggled with finding my place when I dropped out of my graduate program without obtaining a doctorate.  I beat myself up for being a failure. I made myself sick with worry that I would never stand in front of the classroom again. I silently chastised myself for setting back the cause of womankind for relying on my husband's income. I not-so silently lamented that my days of feeling mentally challenged and stimulated were left behind.
These trees again. I can't help it. This time of year is so fleeting. I need to document it.
But now I am filled with optimism. I won't get tenure. I will live with the uncertainty of a semester to semester contract. But I will get to teach young people, hear their thoughts, and learn from them.  I am learning so much from and about these students. I will do research on things that interest me, send articles out for review, and get rejections back without the fear of losing my job because that one reviewer didn't like the format of my graph.  I will do something here.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

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