I love it how there are times in life when I’m really struggling, and God will step in to remind me that in the end, everything will be alright.
I’ve had a lot of little moments like that in the past week. Between everything going crazy with the insurance, school midterms, and academic obligations seeming to seep into every aspect of spare time I thought I had, I’ve had gentle reminders that I’m on the right path.
Last week was the first time I got to sub in a classroom at Community. Although it was in Junior Kindergarten, I think my summer experience really tamed me in regards to my impatience with that age group. Well, that, and the fact that they’ve got a REALLY great group of youngin’s this year. The other classroom teacher remarked that this is probably the most “emotionally mature” group of kids they’ve had in several years. It’s true. I loved getting to spend that afternoon there. One of the best parts was that there were a couple of kids there from camp, so I got to see some of my kiddos. The other best part was when I was nearly run over by one of my (now) 3rd graders when she blind-sided me with a hug. It was a great reminder that the work I’m doing now will hopefully benefit kids who don’t get to enjoy the kind of environment that I got to teach/sub in.
Another reminder arrived this morning. I’m in a Public Policy Analysis class this semester, and I’ve often felt like I’m barely surviving. It’s very economics heavy, and between only having one micro and one macroecon class, and NO political science classes, there are many times where I’m just downright lost. After being told I had to restart the semester project, due to choosing too complex of a policy to analyze, I was practically ready to give up. Policy clearly wasn’t my forte.
I spent the last several weeks tackling No Child Left Behind at the suggestion of my professor. He felt like it was less complex than my other project (Turner v. Clayton), which I disagreed with, but I complied because I did recognize the issues attached to tackling an unresolved piece of legislation, opposed to one already in place. Although I had to start from scratch, and was technically two weeks of research behind everyone else in the class, I managed to find an angle worth pursuing, and churn out a 10 page analysis in time. I’d been worried because some people got feedback on the day we turned it in (last Monday). Usually, the longer it takes the professor to grade (typically due to errors), the longer it takes him/her to send something back. So, a week later, I was worried. Then, this morning, I get this:
This is a remarkable piece of work. We are very proud of you. You are probably the first student in the class to have really nailed it.
Say what?? Now THAT is the kind of ego boost I needed, especially since the midterm is tomorrow. I feel like the bar has been raised, and now I’m challenged to do just as well on the midterm as I did on that last paper.
I know my first semester is supposed to be a struggle. Like with everything in life, there are going to be ups and downs. I’m just grateful that I’ve been reminded that occasionally, hard work does pay off. In the end, the struggle will be worth it, and hopefully I’ll be in a position to put out research that will actually make a difference in someone’s life, other than my own.