Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Journey to Becoming Educated

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This post is a little different from my others as it was an actual assignment I had to turn in for one of my present grad classes....I thought it showed a little more about the person I have become in my 26 years on the planet...

My Journey to Becoming Educated

               I was four years old, had jet black hair, a tan that would make Pocahontas jealous, tom-boyish tendencies, and I loved to talk.  Not only was I one year younger than everyone else in my class, I was an over-aggressive, super excited, extremely talkative member of Mrs. Walker’s kindergarten class.  Looking back on it now, I am almost one hundred percent positive I would have been every kindergarten teacher’s nightmare, but my lack in age 5 maturities set aside, I was a good student, excelled in my academics, as well as kept up with the other members of my class.  My grandmother says my excellent achievement was due to my early years spent at the local Kindercare, I think it’s because I was simply an amazing four year old.

               Ok, that last statement leads me to the characteristics that got me through the rest of elementary school, up into junior high, made fun of all throughout high school, and hated in undergrad, simply put these characteristics are sarcasm and confidence.  Alone these are the two things that have molded me into the somewhat hard to take, slightly obnoxious, at times hard headed, K-6 Collaborative Alternative Master’s seeking student sitting here right now.  It’s a lot harder to take in the type of person I am when it is actually put in writing, but all of these things have given me the courage, strength, intelligence, and drive it has taken for me to enroll, and excel in grad school at Auburn University in Montgomery (AUM).

               Regressing back to high school, I used all of the aforementioned characteristics to participate in every female sport offered at Autauga Academy, including basketball, softball, and cheerleading.  I also participated in every club or organization that I could, including but not limited to, Spanish Club, Science Club, the Yearbook Staff, the Newsletter Staff, and the Senior Beta Club.  I have often looked back on my high school career laughing, because while I was in school I thought I was super cool, and popular, now I know that I was actually a loser and the truth of the matter is, I was pretty dorky.  Using my experience in athletics, multi-tasking several classes, clubs, and practices, I tried out for cheerleader at a junior college in little old Wadley, Alabama, and what do you know?  I made it.  My freshman year of college was what I like to classify as predetermined, because the Grandmother that was mentioned in paragraph one wasn’t allowing her granddaughter to throw away a free education, so I packed my bags and became an inhabitant of the dormitories of Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC). 

               Being forced to go to SUSCC was the best thing that could have happened to me.  Having attended a very small high school, I wouldn’t have done well in the real world of the large four year university in a buzzing college town, because I just wasn’t disciplined enough to crack down and hit the books.  A small town without a red light and the nearest town with a Wal-Mart being over 20 miles away is probably the sole reason I didn’t flunk out of my freshman year.  I did pass my freshman year with A’s and B’s, but then at the end of my second college semester the cheerleading program was cut from SUSCC.  Having already planned to transfer to the University of Alabama at the end of my two year stint at SUSCC, I tried out for the cheerleading squad at Shelton State Community College (SSCC) in Tuscaloosa just to see what would happen.  What do you know?  I made it there too!  So I spent another year cheering at a junior college, but my academics didn’t fare so well.  I did really well my first semester at SSCC receiving A’s and B’s in all of my classes, but then in my second semester the party bug bit hard and my academic achievements suffered so severely I almost flunked out.  My academic troubles pushed to the back of my mind, I tried out for the cheerleading squad at the University of Alabama and what do you know?  I didn’t make it.  I bet you didn’t know that.  In hindsight it was a master part of God’s plan for my life because if I had stayed in Tuscaloosa I more than likely would have flunked out of college sealing my fate in the waitressing industry. 

               Since the cheerleading door had been shut at the University of Alabama, my mother sent me on another path.  She told me that Troy University hadn’t had their tryouts yet so I should try out there.  Giving cheerleading one more shot at the collegiate level, I tried out for the Trojans’ All Girl squad and as luck would have it, I would make it there.  I packed my bags and moved from one T-town to another.  After talking to an athletic advisor I was informed that I could not get my teaching degree in the next two years.  This negative news was of my own doing since I didn’t pass one single class in the second semester of my sophomore year at SSCC.  My grandmother wasn’t too happy about having to fund more than four years of tuition, so it was decided that I would major in a program I could get a degree in, in two years. 

My grandmother always thought I was the best writer/speaker in high school, and with this being her decision, my new college path was broadcast journalism.  Troy was my home for the next two years, and since I had enough of the failing classes’ game; I got myself together and graduated from Troy University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism in the summer of 2007.  For the next two and a half years I waited tables and bartended at a local restaurant in my hometown.  Although I made enough money to be a responsible member of society, I wasn’t happy at all.  Working day to day not knowing how much money I was going to bring home stressed me out to no end causing way more gray hairs than any 23 year old should ever have.  Christmas of 2009 my luck would change.  vonGAL Corporation chose to have their Christmas party at Islamorada Fish Company, and I was carefully chosen as their waitress, another part of God’s plan.  After impressing my present boss with my memory and social skills, I received a call a few weeks later asking if I was interested in an Administrative Assistant position that had recently opened up.  Three interviews, and one drug test later I was the new and improved Sales Admin of vonGAL Corporation. 

The increase in income, along with its consistency still wasn’t enough for my aching heart.  I still yearned to be in education, and I still wondered how my life would be if I was molding the lives of young people on a daily basis.  One night’s pillow talk with my husband led me to the decision that I had to know if I was teacher material.  In December of 2010 at 25 years old I applied, tested, and was accepted to the Alternative Master’s K-6 Collaborative program at AUM.  Now, after one full year, eight classes, and over 80 hours of lab and observation hours, I know without a doubt this is where I am supposed to be.  The road may have been somewhat twisted, crazy, and scary but I believe the road I traveled has led me to the person I need to be, but most importantly it has given me the discipline and determination to graduate AUM with my Master’s Degree and a 4.0 GPA.  So far so good!

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