A Cause for Absence

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It’s been several months since my last post on here.  Many blogs fall to the wayside as people get busy, their motivation changes or they lose interest.  The reason for my absence is due to the first, but not in the typical sense.

I’ve wanted to post and attempted a few, but I couldn’t get over the hurdle.  The reason was because I wasn’t ready to say why my motivation had teetered off.  I don’t want to go into huge details, some friends didn’t know about it until months after things took a turn for the worst.  On April 20th, my mom passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Last year my moms cancer returned (she had been in remission for 4 years from breast cancer).  She was sick off and on until they found a drug that worked.  She was living with stage 4 cancer, metastasized breast cancer. People can live for decades with it. However, things took a turn by the fall when the cancer spread to her bones.  they started new drugs which seemed to keep the cancer at bay.  Then, she got sick with the NORA virus.

After that she got progressively worse.  She went to the Anderson Center in Texas and got very positive response…but she was putting on fluid and in pain.  She was too sick to do a scan and it’s likely the cancer had spread to other parts of her body.  She got worse and became bedridden.  Hospice was called and she was in and out of consciousness and the hospital.  A month after her appointment in Anderson she passed away.

Suffice to say, I have been a complete wreck the last few months.  There is a lot of documented research on the effects of losing a loved one, especially after an illness.  Reading through them, I see it in me.  It’s affected my job performance and the stress of not doing well has only made things worse.  This has been the hardest period of my life and I still feel like I’m in a fog.

During this time, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received.  I’ve felt very loved during this time and overwhelmed by my friends and family friends.  Several came to visit, 5 came to the funeral and I still get daily checks from several people.  I am beyond blessed to have the people in my life that I do.

My mom was an amazing woman and I don’t just say that as her daughter.  The people who told me stories of how she had changed their lives, of her talents of her being one of a kind….they all lead up to her.  There are people who remind you of others because of who they are, but of the thousands upon thousands of people I’ve met, none have reminded me of her.  And I’m not alone in that thought.

Today is Mother’s Day and I know it’ll be a rough day.  The constant reminders of what holiday it is breaks my heart.  My mom was the person closest to me and the person who kept me grounded.  However, I go forward in her memory, striving to live up to me a person she is proud of.  I received several messages and had several people approach me in the midst of her funeral saying how proud of me she was, how much like her I was.

Heading forward, I plan on doing more frequent posts (plus school is ending in 27 days…) .  Positive things and vibes coming soon!

 

2017: The Year of Adventure

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The morning of January 1, 2017 started being in the presence of friends.  2016 seems to have been a rough year for many, myself included.  The emergence of 2017 didn’t mean an end to the strife that existed in 2016, but it did represent a new chapter, a new chance to try and make things better.

The travel bug proved stronger than my fatigue, as I was running on 5 hours of sleep.  I gave into it and drove down the interstate with no sure destination in mind.  Ultimately, I pulled over and mapped out a beach.  Sandy Point, located in Maryland was the one that popped up first.  Making my way through DC, I made it to my destination and was walking on the beach with other beach-goers before 11am.

From there, I journeyed to a nearby local coffee shop around Kent Island before heading back in time to meet up with friends for board games. In that time, I was contacted for an interview as a voice actor for a video game. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time (I have 12 years of theater experience and have only stopped it since leaving college). Update: I got it!

As I traveled, I was reminded of my big goal for the year, adventure.  I’m going into 2017 with a plan for more adventures. Given the prep/research and purchases I’ve made so far towards long distance travel I think I’m on the right course.  I’ve already volunteered out of state once (as of this writing) and if this month is setting the tone for the year, it really will be a year of adventure!  Below are my goals 15 Adventure goals for 2017

 

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1.Go hiking.

With several trails around me, this is something I just need to plan a day to do…once it gets warmer!

2. Visit at least one abandoned place

I have a huge obsession with abandoned places.  I went to an abandoned mental hospital two years ago and had some interesting things happen.  I’d love to do it again!

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3. Travel to 3 states I’ve never been to before

I’m planning on taking a road trip through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois this spring or summer, which will quickly knock this goal out.  I’m hoping to do a fall New England trip  which will add 1-2 more states covered on my travel map.

4.Visit museums

There’s a couple in Vermont and Connecticut I’d like to check out (just not the one with the Annabelle doll).  Living outside of DC, I’ll also have ample opportunity to see those as well!

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5. Attend at least 2 conventions

Generally I go to 2-3 conventions a year.  Last year I ended up going to 3, a tie for the 3 I did in 2015.  I generally have fun at them, but I’m staying clear of Wizard World based on my bad experiences at Philadelphia last year and some other issues from past cons.  Toomanygames is definitely going to be one (3rd year!)

6. Galloping Ghost

It’s in Illinois and it boasts around 500 arcade machines.  You bet I’m checking it out!

7. Visit a friend in Indiana

Three years ago one of my friends in Indiana came to visit me and another friend in Virginia.  It’s time to return the favor!

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8. Go to California

I’m trying to decide when to go (either as soon as school is out for the summer or in April).  It’ll also be my first west coast trip!

9) Volunteer for Heifer International

One of my favorite organizations and I’ve already signed up to volunteer in the spring and during the summer!

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10) Visit an abandoned theme park/location

I have a *small* obsession with abandoned places and there’s a crazy amount located in the United States.  Some that I want to check out are actually open periodically, despite being *abandoned* and I hope to pay those a visit.

11) Go abroad

Despite my love of other countries and cultures, desire to travel and what not, I haven’t been outside the United States.  I’m planning to change that come summer with a trip to the United Kingdom.  Currently my biggest debate is whether to do a group trip or look at cheaper alternatives.

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12) Restaurants and Coffee shops

When my friends visit or vice versa, we often make it a goal to check out new restaurants or coffee shops. I set a goal of 20 new restaurants & coffee shops a year and often exceed that.  I can’t be the only coffee lover who doesn’t love going to a new town and checking out the *best* local coffee shop?

13) Road Trip

There’s something about hopping in my car to go someplace, over an hour away at least, that I find exhilarating.  I plan on taking a week long road trip sometime this year (knocking out a few other adventure goals on this list) and can’t wait!

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14) Fly on an airplane

Embarrassingly, I have yet to fly in an airplane (or anything for that matter).  This is definitely a must do for me if I plan on going to California and the United Kingdom this year.  The great thing is I live near a major airport!  The bad thing is I’m very nervous about flying, but the anxiety is dimming as it becomes more of a reality I’ll face.

15) Attend more festivals, events

There’s a ton near me (living outside of DC/in the Northern Virginia area) and I’m hoping to attend more than the measly 2-3 I attended last year.

 

 

What are your adventure goals for 2017?

December Emerges

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If I were to file the last 5 months (August through December), it would fall in the category of ‘being overwhelmed’.  I tend to label times of my life with good, neutral and bad traits and reflect on them in passing.  It helps me to see the overall view of things, and to prepare or prevent.  In the case of the last five months, neither preparation or prevention could have taken place.  I had to take a class and I’m a first year teacher in an academically driven school.

To combat the high rates of anxiety and stress, even failure that I felt, I strived to live one day at a time.  Thanks to a combination of that, making sure I spent 2-3 nights/days a week with a close friend or friends, and limiting travel, I kept sane.  Going forward into next year, I’ll keep the good rhythm I have going at work (scaling down to 50-55 hours a week!) and NOT take a class in the coming semester.  I think classes will have to be kept on hold until summer months in the future.

It’s too much for me to manage my personal life,  a class and teaching without turning into a mess at points (crying, locking myself away, feeling really anxious).  In terms of where I file the last 5 months, it falls somewhere below my senior year of college (both semesters), my freshman year in college and before my middle school years.

 

With that out of the way, it’s December!  When I was a kid, December seemed to drag and I remember having dreams about Christmas being skipped.  December is shaping up to be a pretty busy month as I make plans with friends, family, attend Christmas celebrations and  get everything done I need to before the end of the year.

 

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Ten years ago, the trailers for Final Fantasy (then FFXIII: Versus) began coming out.  I was in high school then.  This past week, Final Fantasy XV was finally released and so far, it was well worth the wait. I’ve clocked in ten hours so far and hope to put in some more later today.

I’ve played every Final Fantasy 1-X-2 at least once, with little play be given to XIII.  I still have yet to play XII and either the of the online games.  I’ve played a few of the tactics games and recently bought Final Fantasy Worlds as well.  I love the series and while FFXV is different, it’s different in a good way.  With stunning surroundings, beautiful music, great gameplay and pretty amusing dialog, it’s become a game I have to spend at least 20 minutes playing every day.

If you own a PS4 or Xobxone and enjoy RPG’s, give it a shot!

 

What are you looking forward to in December?

 

 

A weekend Retreat

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This weekend I volunteered at a retreat center that for two years I spent most of my summer (college and post college).  It was out of the blue a one-time friend, contacted me, inviting me to come back.  God must’ve been listening to my thoughts, as I had been thinking about the organization for a few weeks prior and my desire to return (it’s been 4 years).  It was an organization I love deeply, but after a nasty break-up with a friend (who is deeply involved), I felt that I was not allowed back, even though it had no relation.

Thankfully, that was not the case and I made a joyous return there.  My stay was amazing and I sincerely can’t wait to go back.  The staff has mostly changed, but everything there felt right and I found peace in my time there.  I served as a host and assisted a group of bishops (from around the U.S. and abroad).

I stayed at the retreat in a simple room that, being a minimalist, suited me perfectly.  A bed, good desk, couch and bathroom in a not too big, not too small place was perfect.  Being cut off from technology also aided in my peace and renewal.  As much as I can rely on technology, I’m the sort who has a love-hate relationship with it.  I really wish I could’ve been part of my parents generation before this technology stuff became all consuming in our society!

 

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As I sat eating breakfast with a table of bishops this morning, the discussion of minimalism came up.  One brought up that she once had a large house, but sold it in favor of a 1 bedroom apartment with adequate space for one.  Another chimed in to say it was hardest to part with her books.  So the conversation went, which made me reflect on my own thoughts of minimalism.

Recently I sat down and began mapping out, on paper, my plans in the coming months and through 2017 to reach my undetermined minimalism goal.  Starting large won’t work, so I’m in the process of setting a few objectives towards minimalism as a whole.  I’ve been working towards this over the last 2 years, but now I’m ready to buckle down more.  This year has been another stride towards that through;

  • Buying high quality items (particularly clothing and accessories)
  • Continuing to go through things every few months
  • Being more considerate of what I buy and use

 

Next year I hope to (this is my ‘so far’ list)

  • Buy less things than I get rid of
  • Invest in only high quality items that I need
  • Replace furniture I don’t want/need with things that will last for a long time
  • Move into a smaller apartment (with hardwood floors)

 

Off-shooting from minimalism, volunteering this weekend reminded me of my true self and calling.  I love helping others and being in a place where I help and travel renewed me.  On a spiritual level, I felt more connected to God (nature has always done that for me, along with minimalism, volunteering and aiding others).  This weekend was meant to be, so to speak and I look forward to the lessons, growth and change I will accomplish in the coming months and through next year when it continues to happen.

 

 

Writing milestone

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved writing.  Whether it was a list, short story or a research paper, if I could write I was golden.  I can’t even leave the house without some sort of paper and writing utensil.

On September 24th, I completed a major writing milestone, one that I’ve longed to do since I finished my first novella in 9th grade-I wrote a book.  Currently it clocks in at over 300 pages and over 80,000 words, which is pretty standard for a Science Fiction novel.  I told friends about (I kept it a secret save a few close friends) and I was overwhelmed at the amount of support I got from it, plus 6 dedicated beta readers!

Even during the writing/first draft process, I tried to edit at least two chapters a week that I’d already written.  Currently I’m finishing up my first edits with another 8 chapters to go.  My goal is to finish my first draft edits and get the first ten chapters through a second draft edit by Halloween.

I had one of my beta readers sample my first chapter over the weekend and they gave me some great feedback.  The most important thing was that the pacing was on point and there was only a minor edit I had to do to the overall structure.  Everything else involved small spelling/grammatical edits and I used different word choices (synonyms) in a few spots.  That’s one chapter ready for beta reading at least!

One of my friends has written several books and they’ve been giving me a lot of pointers on where to go next.  I’m pretty set on self-publishing at this point, so I’ve started researching into it more as I move through the editing process.  I have six beta readers waiting to read my story, which is motivating me to edit quickly.

Once my beta readers are done and have given me feedback, I’ll do another really good edit, then go into publishing from there.  It’s possible I could have a published book sometime in the first quarter of next year, that’d be amazing!  I’m really enjoying the process overall and if all works out well, I’d love to write another one!

 

Of course, my book does explain my absence (though work and life are contributing factors as well).  Hopefully now that I’m in the editing process, I will be writing more as a reinforcer to finishing a chapter or two.

 

How I plan on staying sane this school year

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Tomorrow is the first day of school.  I have spent a lot of time over the last three weeks working on my classroom (we didn’t have to go in until two Fridays ago for training).  The room hadn’t been cleaned out in 6 years, so it was long overdue.  This has put me behind on other things, but a lot of work now means a smoother year in the long run!

Like most teachers the first 1-2 weeks of school, my stress level is high.  I’m going in for no more than 3 hours today, then just resting.  Day 1 plans are done and I’ll finish the rest tomorrow during planning.  Week 1 is a introduction week and we’ll start getting into material later this week, but mostly it’ll be assessment based.  Week 2 will be the official jump in week.

I have one planning period a day (45 minutes) with two extra 45 minute periods on Tuesday and Wednesday.  This is amazing!!!  I plan on getting into school an hour or so before students arrive (plus eat breakfast and fuel myself with coffee) to make things smoother.  Which leads me to the title of this post–how I plan on staying sane this school year.

 

  1. Remember what matters most and don’t sacrifice it

A job isn’t always going to be there.  Cutbacks happen, things change at work, anything could happen.  You know what will be there if you wind up losing your job?  Family.  Friends.  God.  Is that lesson plan really more important than spending time with those who matter most to you or focusing on your health and spirituality?  Nope.

 

 

2. Planning ahead

This is true in the classroom as well as in your personal life.  You should have back-up plans in your classroom because things happen and yes, you will need them.  Spending 5-10 minutes planning out your week and 5 minutes adjusting it each day will make your day run smoother and prevent tension headaches later!

In terms of personal life, plan ahead as much as you can be it making doctor appointments ahead of time, making freezer meals or packing your lunch the night before.  Little things can save you a lot of stress later.

 

3. Know yourself

Are you someone who gets stressed easily?  Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  What helps you relax?  This isn’t something you learn overnight, but comes with age and maturity.  When you know YOUR limits and when to stop, you are well on your way to a successful school year.

Example:  I’m an introvert so I need down time.  I go into work early and make sure I have time in the evenings or a full free day during the weekend to be ‘people free’ or ‘people light’ (I’m a social introvert).

 

4)  Use reinforcers and don’t forget yourself!

Microsoft may not think ‘Reinforcer’ is a word, but if you’re a Special Education Teacher, it should be a word you use daily in the classroom…and outside the classroom.  We give students reinforcers for doing well and you should do the same with yourself!  It requires some self-monitoring (and maybe taking data on yourself!) but you should use it too.

Don’t focus on just food items or drinking (for those who do), but focus on things that you like.    For me it could be a number of things from it’s spending time with the people I care about, having alone time, playing video games or window shopping (to name a few).

Remember your health-mind, body and spirit are important and shouldn’t be forgotten!  An unwell teacher isn’t a good teacher!

 

5) Remember, it’s ok to feel like you failed

Maybe that wasn’t such a good lesson.  Maybe your classroom management isn’t as good as you wish it was.  That’s ok.  Teaching is a dual learning experience and you will make mistakes.  Even veteran teachers make them.  If you’re a relatively new teacher, don’t be afraid to utilize your mentor teacher too!

 

6) Have fun

What should be the most reinforcing thing in the classroom?  YOU!!  Your students should want to be in the classroom because YOU are teaching them things and making it fun.  I have an unquenchable desire to learn myself and I want my students to share in that.  Sure, school isn’t going to be the most enjoyable thing for everyone, but there is something every child can enjoy and love about school.  If you have fun with it, your students will see that and remember the most contagious thing (aside from yawning!) is a smile.

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I have a very good feeling about this year!  I just need to get over the beginning of the year hump, the one that all teachers dread.  I have my ducks in a row in terms of the hours I’ll be working, a strong support system and a ton of materials and ideas.  Let’s get started!

You Look like a Gamer

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For as long as I can remember, my hobbies and interests have navigated towards what society would say are ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’.  Of course, being interested in hobbies that are ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ has become the ‘in’ thing.  Everywhere you look someone is sporting a marvel shirt or talking about a popular video game.  The culture is viewed differently by those who 10-20 years ago would have judged its participants negatively.  How the tides have turned.

Two weeks ago a new Teaching Assistant at my school approached me and asked me if I was a gamer.  Which led into a conversation about Pokemon Go.  I’ve avidly been playing the Pokemon games since 1999.  It ended up being a conversation about what Pokemon Go was.  I dare say, a coworker and I went on a few excursions after the students left to track down nearby Pokemon.

Where am I going with this?  Simple.  My previous entries have revolved around thoughts and reflections.  Talking about my hobbies is a topic I haven’t hinted at (though my “About Me” page discusses it).  My interest in Marvel/comics, video games, board games, card games (looking at you Magic the Gathering), Doctor Who and others give me joy.  My ‘geeky’ hobbies give me joy, but they don’t define my life, that’s left up to friends, family, helping others etc.

….I mean my living room is decked out in movie posters, geeky decor and a shelf of video games.

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Reflecting back on my coworkers comment, I’ve had others who meet me and claim they get the same vibe.  At my school, multiple coworkers shared the same interest and it made me feel at home.  How many times did I use my classroom smart board to watch new movie trailers?  How many times did I have to force myself away from a conversation about video games?

When I lived in Charlottesville, the opposite was true.  Charlottesville has a different culture than Northern Virginia, if that makes sense.  I could dedicate a book comparing the two!  In Charlottesville I never found my niche.  I still talk to my best friend in Charlottesville and her husband several times a week and a few other friends on occasion.  Perhaps the reason I never found my niche (aside from being far from close friends and family!) was that I never found a group to fit into….only 5-6 people shared my interests.

In Northern Virginia, its different, not just in my workplace, but several college friends live here.  In college, we had multiple game nights a week and that’s still true.  Listening to Zelda music while we game?  Check.  Making references to shows that most people wouldn’t get?  Check.  Outside of work and friends, there are more places to enjoy things like board games, comics, video games etc. than Charlottesville could ever offer.

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…I’m not even going to talk about my hometown which is cow central.  My friends and I were the geeky kids who hung out in the corner talking about Zelda and Pokemon.

While my geeky hobbies are important to be, they don’t define me.  I have plenty of outside interests, but I wouldn’t trade my nights of playing Magic the Gathering, going to a midnight showing for a Marvel movie, playing board games until the dead of night OR my memories of meeting celebrities who played my favorite characters for anything.  They’ve grown with me and without my love of ‘geeky’ things, I wouldn’t have met or befriended the people important to me (outside family).

Thanks geeky life for making my life great.  I wouldn’t trade my interests for most things and not for the memories and joy it has brought me.

 

 

 

Regret in a Photo

There was a safeway in my hometown (the only grocery store other than food lion) and since it was cheaper, that’s where we shopped mostly.  A classmates mom worked there and I was 7.  She made a comment about how she didn’t know what to get her son and I made a snide comment about him being a bully.  All I remember after my words was that my mom scolded me.

I remember regretting it from the comment I said it. It was the second moment that I can distinctly remember feeling regret.  The other time was when I ran to pet a job with my grandfather watching and he AND the owner of the dog scolded me.  As an adult, I give both the ‘things you do and say without thinking’ card, granting myself forgiveness.

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Mistakes are different than regrets.  Mistakes are the things we did not knowing better, but learn from.  Regrets are the things we didn’t do and wish we had or did knowing it was a mistake.

Regret is a strange thing.  It changes and evolves as you get older.  When you’re younger, you are more likely to do or say things that you wish you could take back. As an adult, I think of the things I didn’t do as my regrets.  Sure, there are still things I regret saying or doing, but they’re few and far between. Most mistakes we make are part of the learning experience or prove that we’re human.

Earlier today, I saw a picture that reminded me of something I still cringe at.  In my early 20s, I was not as articulate as I am now and public speaking was a weakness (now, not so much!)  I was the maid of honor in my best friends wedding and wrote a speech which wasn’t bad…but after hearing the best man speak, I realized errors I’d made in my own writing and I completely flubbed up my speech.

Now that I think about it, I did sit in the wrong spot at another friends wedding (and the rest of the wedding party followed suit).  For the record, the other two weddings I was in I didn’t goof up!

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There are things that I regret not doing that continue to haunt me.  Going back in time to change things is impossible–but that doesn’t mean one can’t learn from it.  Maybe parallel universe theory is true and there’s a pocket universe version in which you made a different choice.  Though, believing that could be a skewed coping mechanism.

I’ve always been a strong believer in what is meant to be will be, but lately I’ve been questioning it.  Do people have free choice or is everything we do already determined?

At the end of the day, even the best of people make mistakes and have regrets. How to internalize them is what counts.

5 Important Life Lessons I’ve learned as a Teacher

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Last May, I stepped into a Special Education classroom as a first year teacher.  As an undergraduate, I’d had very successful placements and worked part-time as a substitute teacher starting my junior year of college.  However, after a rather traumatic student teaching experience, I decided that a general classroom wasn’t for me.

Then, I started subbing in a Special Education classroom the year after I graduated college. I was in that awkward post college transition year and being in that classroom was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me.  Flash forward 3 years and I became a Special Education Teacher.

The opportunity presented itself and I rose against self doubt which had been placed in me during student teaching and subbing.  My first year hasn’t been easy, but its been a transformational year and one that has brought me opportunities to change lives.  To me, that makes all the hard days worth it.

As I reflect on my first year (as summer moves along towards an upcoming year), 5 big lessons come to mind.

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Lesson #1: Your life is more important than a job.  It will not always be there nor give you a hug when you need it.

Often I was told, after deciding to become a teacher, it would be a lot of work.  I was used to working, but I also knew the importance of a healthy life/work balance.  Student Teaching had stripped my life away and I vowed to never do it again.  Granted, some of the last year has been crazy and required weekends, but if I have to choose a day with family or finishing a lesson plan, the lesson plan can wait (isn’t that what sub plans are for??)

 

Lesson #2: Haters gonna hate

Most people can think of someone at work who seems to thrive on negativity or belittling other people.  I’m sorry to say, my school has more than a few individuals like that.  Truthfully, you have to look at the people doing it as people and remember it’s a reflection of them, not you.  As terrible as it seemed at the time, they really toughened me up and helped me to stand up for myself a little more.  So thanks haters for making me a better person!

 

Lesson #3:  Stepping outside your comfort zone

I talk to my students parents on a daily to weekly basis.  When I first had to start, it was hard partly because I’m introverted and suck at phone calls.  The other part, it was new and I wanted to do my best (hello anxiety).  Now, I can call a parent without feeling anxious, conduct big scale meetings and my articulation (which is quite good) has gotten even better.

This is just one example.  There are many ways you step outside of your comfort zone and grow as a teacher.  Regardless of whether you have a good or bad experience as a teacher, you will walk away a better person.

 

Lesson #4:  You will dramatically change someones life for the better

This year I had a student who we’ll call Axel.  I work in a private school that is an alternative/private school.  He was ready to go back, but some people fought me on it.  I didn’t back down and said he was ready.  Guess what, I was right!  He’s grown so much more than I could do given my resources and I often think of him.  I’m glad I became a teacher if only to see him succeed and go further than what others thought he could.  Of course, the same could be said for many of my students.  I love them all.

 

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I could add hundreds of lessons I’ve learned as a teacher, but those four stand out because they’re the lessons I didn’t expect to learn.  While I don’t plan on being a teacher long-term, the experiences I’ve had and students I’ve had will last me a lifetime.  Good or bad, I don’t regret a second of it.

 

Weekend Thoughts on lost skills

 

As early as Middle School, the push to determine what you want to do when you grow up becomes stronger. Already we are picking classes or electives based on our intention as Spanish, higher math classes, agriculture, art and other courses take on a new level of intensity.  In high school it becomes more pronounced as by electing to take AP classes as early as our sophomore year, we are preparing ourselves for college.  Admirably, the push isn’t as strong in the United States as it is in other countries.  In Japan, for instance, the push can begin as early as Preschool.

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I knew in middle school that I was going to go to college.  What for I wasn’t sure, but I knew that my education would continue for an indefinite amount of time.  Once high school started, I took courses that would transfer into college credits or prepare me for more advanced college courses.  Still, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, even once my senior year hit. Here’s a small sampling of careers I seriously considered;

  • Psychologist/counselor
  • Japanese Translator
  • Game designer
  • Web developer
  • Librarian
  • Teacher

If I were to go back and choose my career again (teacher), I would cross teaching off the list .  I’m an excellent teacher, based on my evaluations, student success and what have you, but it wasn’t the right choice.  Do I regret my experiences?  Of course not!  The lives I’ve changed and the changes I’ve had thanks to teaching I wouldn’t change.  Would I opt to change and see what another career could’ve been?  Absolutely.

Here I sit, in my late 20s, not in regret, but in renewed aspiration for something new.  I haven’t just been thinking, however.  Instead, I’ve been developing skills I have lost and gaining new ones.  It hasn’t been a passing fade as over the last three weeks I’ve focused myself to study outside of work and this is only the beginning.

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Japanese

One of the things I’ve been restudying is Japanese.  In high school I knew Hiragana, Katakana and some kanji like the back of my hand.  Almost ten years later, I still know quite a few, but some have been lost to me.  I’ve been really enjoying going back and restudying it for 10-30 minutes everyday and hope to enroll in a class sometime in the future (for credit and authenticity).  I’ve been doing tracing for writing, using an app and playing a game through Steam called “Hiragana Battle” which is quite good.

 

Audio/video editting

In my freshman year of college, I started to study how to make videos.  I even did some decent beginner videos which are still on youtube.  Then…I transferred colleges and gave it up.  Recently I’ve been playing around with video editing and the audio program Audacity. Random trivia: I was involved in theater for 12 years and enjoy doing different voices (to the amusement of my students).  I know your voice is supposed to sound strange to you, but I definitely sound like a kid.  Thus my dreams of being a twitch streamer fade…

 

Writing/editing 

I’ve always wanted to be a writer and love to do any kind of writing.  Heck, I wrote my first mini novel in third grade!  However…its been something on the back burner for a long time since writing is a saturated market.  Despite this, I’ve been doing more writing as of late and working on my editing skills more.

 

Moving forward…

It’s only been 3 weeks since I started this journey of rediscovery and I’m excited to see where it goes.  In the future, I have a running list of what I want to work on next in addition to fine tuning the above.  Next up-I’d like to work on HTML5, data entry (which I do at work surprisingly) and brush up on my German.