Wednesday, January 23, 2013

First Day of Grad School!!

Well, we're NOT in Kansas anymore ladies!  The first day of grad school was terrifying!  The best analogy I can concoct is that the first day of grad school is reminiscent of the first day of middle school. You go in feeling like a pretty confident and secure 6th grader...then you see all the "other, older 8th grade girls"and you freak out inside.  All these girls are older than you.  All these girls are more mature than you.  All these girls have more experience than you.  And suddenly you are transported back to walking through the doors at Delran Middle School wearing your Scooby-Doo overalls in a sea of actual teachers who are married, have children, actual careers and lives.  They pay big people bills, wake up early to feed their children, and have far more worries/cares/fears than I do.  Sooooo, what is one to do during the first day of 6th grade grad school?  CLING TO YOUR FRIENDS FOR DEAR LIFE!  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the girls in my cohort are seriously the best people in the world.  Truly the face of NJ teaching is blessed to have these women.  Truly the most caring, generous, creative, hilarious, sweet people of all time.  So my friends and I all huddle together in the back of the classroom.  We all exchange anxious glances and sideways eyes and get ready to buckle up because it's going to be a rough ride.  

The atmosphere was completely different than my regular undergrad classes at TCNJ.  In our regular classes the atmosphere is jovial and light and 22.  Last night's class was fun but more mature.  I have the feeling that no one will be bragging about their weekend being too rough in this room.  There was fear coursing through our veins last night.  Legit fear.  Not like my fear of rodents or cats, but real fear.  A fear that makes you sit up and realize that you don't know an ounce of what these people know.  

This class will make me work.  REALLY REALLY REALLY WORK!  I'm not saying that I don't work my butt off now, but I will be working harder than I've ever worked before.  It's usually pretty easy for me to get an A in a class but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to work overtime/extra long  and hard to get the kind of grades that I want.  

Our professor is awesome.  She is very knowledgeable and approachable but tough.  I know that I will learn an insane amount from her and I am blessed for that.  I also know that I will know what it means to work hard after having her as my professor.  She gave our class a very strong talking to and bestowed upon us a great amount of responsibility.  I'm sure this speech is given in 10000000's of classrooms and lecture halls around the globe and I know it's just to separate the girls from the women but it was still scaryHORRIFYING.  We had to do an activity with a partner, luckily my partner was my friend (phew), and our prof handed us a paper with 12 boxes on it.  The boxes all were filled with legal jargon and requested more concentrated answers then we knew.  We knew the meat and potatoes just not all the trimmings.  Everyone else seemed to know exactly what she was referring to.  The SPEDs just looked around like "holy crap, what have we gotten ourselves into!"

I am still excited about grad school, but I have my reservations about what it will actually be like once syllabus week is over.  Oh Lord I'm scared already and it's only syllabus week!  God help me the rest of the semester!  LOL  So long story short, I'm terrified but in a good way.  I still love my program and know that this is the best possible career path for me.  I am excited and can't wait to be a teacher.  I know that passing through this scary grad class full of real life grown ups is just a stepping stone towards being Dr. Erin Kitley, EdD.  I keep repeating Dori's mantra...Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming. 



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