Friday, May 23, 2008

What I've Learned

I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately, not because I reflect a lot on my actions, but because I had to reflect. Last week was a rough week...rougher than I care to admit. I don't know why, but I felt off. I couldn't connect with the students, and I think they felt it too. I didn't feel like I was doing my job well enough. I know I can be overly critical of myself, but I was starting to feel fatalistic about everything. I didn't feel like I could go anywhere to relax. It was probably the one and only time camping in the middle of the woods somewhere alone seemed relatively sane. It has been about a year since I started this program and more things have altered the course of my life in this one year than probably all my years combined. I am not the same person that started my graduate work. So, here's what I've learned:

I've learned that no matter how much I may want to plan out my life, I will never fully have control over it. I will make feeble attempt after feeble attempt to be prompt and stick to my commitments, but I won't always be able to.

I've learned that reading the first and last paragraph of each chapter is almost as good as reading the entire textbook.

I've learned that all things happen for a reason; I just haven't seen all the reasons yet.

I've learned that people are, for the most part, good. Very few people actually want, or intend, to cause harm.

I've learned that it's equally as painful to hurt someone else as it is to hurt yourself.

I've learned that I will live through utter self hatred and loathing, and that I have far more strength than I originally thought.

I've learned what it means to have a group of friends you can confide in, rely on, and bond with. And, there is nothing Qdoba, broomball and kickball with the cohort cannot fix. Thank you.

I've learned that I work well under extreme amounts of stress...and there's the reason I always knew I was going into teaching.

I've learned that my parents will love me regardless of the mistakes I make and money I cost them. Thank you.

I've learned that if I have to vomit in the car during rush hour, I will still make it to class, and be able to do it in such a way that I don't stain my clothes.

I've learned that I am able to still genuinely laugh when I'm on the verge of tears.

I've learned that no matter how hard I try to understand people, some will never be able to understand me. And because of this, I've learned to stop jumping to conclusions.

I've learned that after teaching 32 16 year old students at once, clowns and spiders don't seem so bad.

I've learned that people come into your life with purpose. And sometimes they lead you to the reasons you're looking for. Thank you for leading me.

I've learned that no matter how hard I try to have a strong faith, I will never be certain.

I've learned that innuendos in English Education are endless.

I've learned that some people need to be selfish; I've learned to be selfish enough to take care of myself.

I've learned to be comfortable with who I am, even if that means knowing that I will not always feel comfortable with who I am.

I've learned that it's okay to be human.


  1. wisdom distilled through hardness makes an your inner beauty shine.

  2. Hoorayz! I learned a lot this year too >.< a lot about the world, which has made me understand/and dislike myself a lot less, actually.

    Go, personal growth! (Why must you be so painful)

    I have to update my blog! But I have nothing teacherly to say that isn't about specific instances.

  3. M-
    I have read this text many times now.. and I must admit, it is the most beautiful ever...
    You put words on things in so clever way and I admire you for sharing it with us.
    "I've learned that all things happen for a reason; I just haven't seen all the reasons yet." - omg.. just wanna hug you.. :-) I still think you should teach english in Sweden :-D

  4. I love your new title image.