Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Last First Day of School

You'd think after doing this every single year for pretty much my whole life now, I'd have mastered being a student.  A year or two of preschool.  A year of kindergarten.  Five years of elementary school.  Three years of middle school.  Four years of high school.  Another four years of undergrad.  And now two years of grad school.  And I'm still shaking in my boots.  In fact, I think there's a chance that my level of anxiety is directly related to the number of years I've been in school:  the longer I go, the more anxious I get.  Shouldn't it be the other way around?  I decided to blog in an attempt to calm my nerves a bit.

I have a few theories on why this seemingly backwards relationship exists.  For starters, the classes just get harder and harder.  I had to work my little butt off last semester for classes that I thought were killer, but they were just the foundation of what I'll be studying this year.  As Brett put it so eloquently, "By the  time you're done, you'll have no more butt."  Probably true.

Secondly, now there's the teaching aspect of going to school, which is still brand-new to me.  I have forty College Algebra students under my care this semester.  Forty students with whom to share my love of math, most of who could care less about the topic.

Finally, the anxiety may be building up due to pure excitement.  I'm so close.  One more year (two semesters and a summer), and the pressure is over.  I can finally be a teacher, a dream I've had for as long as I can remember.  (Hanna knows this better than anyone else.  I would force her to play school with me for hours after coming home from real school every day.  And guess who never got to be the teacher...)

But, all in all, though I'm always scared about starting each new year, I always end up loving it.  It hit me again in orientation last week--How lucky am I to get to both study and teach what I absolutely love?  Feel free to remind me of that as the year progresses...

So tonight I'm headed over to the fancy new "Math Emporium" to put some tutoring hours in, followed by my one night class, of which I'll spare you the details.  And then tomorrow it's full swing with teaching, office hours, my own classes, and some more tutoring.

Here's to my last first day (or night) of school.  As a student.  For now, at least.

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