Those of you that hate landmark threads will no doubt be glad.
Oh well, I really didn't have an idea of what I was going to post anyway.
So, let's see. What can I do to make this a memorable post? You guys pretty much know all the important stuff to know about me.
I've shared some of my writing before, don't want to do that again.
I guess I'll share why I want to teach. What memorable people influenced me and made me want to do that with my life.
I was a depressed child. Looking back, after receiving therapy now, I can see that.
At the time, no one understood that. They just wrote me up as being an introverted type that liked to be alone, since I spent the majority of my time in my room by myself reading, or walking outside with my dog. We literally wore a path in the backyard, I would walk alone for hours, not going anywhere, just avoiding everyone else. Of course, I'm not an introvert, anyone who's met me can attest. I need to be around people, I need conversation, interaction with others.
Now, I see how obvious all the symptoms were. The withdrawal, the lack of care about my appearance or any other aspect of my personal self, I was neglecting myself, and didn't care about much of anything, except reading. I was acting totally apart from my personality, I needed people but I spent most of my childhood alone.
My therapist and psychiatrist both tell me now I should have received help at about 9 years of age. I didn't however, and it was more than 20 years later until I did. I don't blame anyone for that, no one knew.
I remember very little of childhood or teenage years. My therapist says that is normal, considering. Most of my memories are very bad, vivid episodes of violence or feelings of betrayal or intense periods of isolation. A few good memories stand out, and of those, a lot are associated with teachers and school.
See, I failed utterly at being a kid at home, but I was a great student. At school I felt more alive, I could interact with folks and especially teachers. I never had a lot of friends, but I enjoyed school all the same.
My fourth grade teacher, Ms. Bradley, really took an interest in me. She was concerned about me, pulled me aside several times to ask about what was up at home, etc. I never told her anything, because honestly at that age I thought my life, my feelings were normal. I hadn't really known anything else. But today I remember how much she cared, how hard she tried to reach me.
In high school I fell in love with literature, and my teacher Mr. Lawley. It wasn't a crush kind of thing, it was a hunger just to be around him. No fantasies of marrying him or such, I think I wanted him to be my father. He listened to me. He liked me. He treated me with respect.
Our relationship was close but never, never improper - he didn't spend time with me alone, he never touched me except to give me a hug the day I left. I would come to his class when I had free time and help him grade papers of lower classmen. Sometimes he'd even ask me while I was there to read to the class for him, which was my first taste of being in front of a group of people and sharing my knowledge with them. If I needed something, I knew I could turn to him. But again, I never told him about my life at home. At that time, I was old enough to be ashamed of many things, including the way I lived. I didn't want anyone to know I walked around in circles in the back yard to avoide being inside the house. Being around him, I felt comfortable to be myself. English and literature was what I ate and breathed those three years of high school.
I left that school when I was a senior to follow my parents to New Orleans. There, I had another English teacher that impacted me. I remember little of that class, that year of my life was very dark, but I do remember going up to her desk once to give her my thoughts on a poem we were reading. I told her I saw it a different way than she taught it, was I wrong? She just smiled at me and said "You're going to be a wonderful teacher some day." I shook my head and said "I'm not going to become a teacher." She just smiled and said, "I think you will. And you'll be great at it."
I told my therapist about that conversation, told her how I remembered it so vividly, I can see her sitting there, I can see her smile. Nothing else from that period of my life remains in my memory so sharp. My therapist said the reason I remember it is because she was speaking to the true me, the one that was buried under the depression, the anger, the resentment of that time. Maybe she's right. I don't know.
In college, I had a literature professor who took us outside and taught class under a 100 year old oak tree. We were a small class, 20 people maybe, and we got to know each other, and I looked at that class as an oasis, a place I felt safe while my life was crumbling away everywhere else.
Then, things came crashing down and I quit school and walked away.
When did I decide to become a teacher? I'm not sure. But as the years have gone by since I walked away from college, I've felt this pull to go back. And when I felt that pull, I always pictured myself taking English and becoming a teacher. It just sort of happened naturally over time, like it was prearranged. There was no "AHA!" moment when I said - "That's it, I'm going back to school so I can teach!" I just felt it was the right thing for me.
My therapist said I'm called. She says that is God's plan for me. I guess she's right. When I've gotten on my knees and asked God what I should do, I get such peace about teaching.
So there you have it - why I'm going back to college in the fall to get the degree and certificate I need.
Not much of a landmark post, maybe, but it'll do.
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