Apologies for those who might have wanted to hear how my return to college went this year. I survived-more than survived in fact. But I was totally caught off guard with the depths of reflections, soul-diving, casting out of past demons from a few years of bullying by administrators, and just simply adjusting to my new freedoms and the loss that constituted a huge part of my life.
Grieving takes time. I have grieved for those left behind, the teachers who are still being bullied, the students who are not receiving the best education or optimum opportunities to succeed due to the state of education, in particular at my previous school district. Grieve for the loss of contact with students daily-that which has shaped me for the past 30 years. Grieving for the many who died this year “back home.” Those that I knew were fighting cancer, those fighting other demons, and the unexpected. There were times when it seemed there was a death a week and being 13 hours away, on a student’s salary, you just don’t jump in the car and go.
Successes? Hell yes! Meeting new friends; learning that I was using valid and successful teaching strategies, that my professionalism paid off, that there are people who do value my knowledge AND experience. Several research projects, some unexpected but interesting, and most of all just plain old fashioned learning. And an “A” G.P.A. after two semesters of graduate school. Working with faculty at several different community colleges and universities. Did I mention learning? Absolutely the lust of learning has been fed but not satiated.
Regrets? Only that I didn’t make more time for my husband, family, and friends when I was living back then and there. That I let teaching and doing what is best for ALL of my students take precedence over family. I cannot change that. And the realization that I too often let others take the forefront-their needs, their desires, their lives. That sometimes I walked away from conflict not because I was afraid but because it wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t going to change their minds, feelings, or opinions. I had better fights to fight, projects to finish.
I have always been independent in many ways. But I as all good teachers serve our students. I don’t regret that. Now though is the time to get back into my running routines (I dream running with my hair flowing out behind me–but it isn’t that long any more and I am not that fast. Thank you wind!), eating healthy, growing my own back porch garden (weeding takes all of ten minutes), and having time to relax and reflect.
I have much to share and reflect. So will do better at posting here. Again make it a habit. . . .