Hi Meltingpot Readers,
Did you know I was supposed to be a teacher, not a writer? In college, after earning a C in my first creative writing class, I decided writing wasn’t going to earn me a living. Because I was only 18 at the time, yes I cried and cursed the fates that I couldn’t follow my passions, but in a short amount of time I simply decided I would find some other profession where I could use my many talents. After a summer working at a camp for Milwaukee’s disadvantaged youth and coupled with my insane love for children, I decided I should major in education, teach in the classroom for a few years and eventually work my way up to becoming the secretary of education so I could overhaul the entire public education system in America. Yes, I always dreamed big.
So, in the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I declared my major in education and did everything I could to learn about childhood development, alternative education, the history of public schooling in the United States and teacher training. When I left for Spain for my junior year, I made sure I’d be able to take education classes at the University of Salamanca so I wouldn’t fall behind with my major requirements. And everything was going fine until Spain seduced me with the idea of rekindling my love affair with the written word. Something about having all of that siesta time to consider what I really wanted out of this life, as well as all of that leisurely time to put pen to paper, I came back from Spain determined to try again at writing. And you know how this story ends. Writing has been very good to me and for me. But guess what, there’s still a teacher inside of me.
So, I land at Temple University for part two of my professional life. And while being on tenure track means I have to publish, publish, publish, I also have to teach. And dear readers, I love it. I am finally in the classroom where I always suspected I’d be able to make a difference in a young life. Yes, I always envisioned my students to be younger, but I actually really like teaching college students. They’re poised on the brink of starting their lives and really need good teachers. I work really hard at being a good teacher but like writing, it’s something I enjoy so the hard work doesn’t hurt.
And here comes the sweet part of this story. Yesterday, at our final all-school faculty meeting, I was given the school’s award for excellence in teaching for a junior faculty member! The award is a simple, but lovely plaque but it meant so much to be honored for something I almost feel called to do. It felt good.
And now I must return to publish, publish, publish.
That is all.