"These are the times that try men’s souls.” Okay, I’m pushing it, I get it. So maybe the tail end of fall semester of your senior year isn’t quite what Paine was talking about in Common Sense. You have to admit, though, it isn’t a walk in the park either. I can attest to that. Far from being the “sunshine soldier” Paine scolded in his famous treatise, I have bravely endured what senior year has to offer. Last Wednesday is a testament to my academic ardor. With a test the next morning and a paper due in the afternoon, I decided, of course, to wait until Wednesday night to buckle down and take care of everything. My thought was, “I already have three pages of my essay done, and I’ve already studied a considerable amount for my Ecology exam, so why should I shouldn’t I be in bed by 1:00 a.m.?” It turns out I greatly overestimated my ability to simply finish an assignment. I didn’t go to bed until 6:00 the next morning. The paper, I thought, turned out just fine. The test, however, didn’t go so well. Though I aced the multiple choice section, the short answer questions left me confused and frustrated. How was I supposed to know what effect Gypsy Moth immigration might have on Lyme disease outbreaks in some hypothetical community? And, who cares about the Island Biogeography Theory and its applications?
Such, however, is senior year. In other, more important news, I find out tomorrow whether or not I got the Teach for America position. Needless to say, I’m anxious. It’s amazing how one outcome has the potential to make or break your fall semester. Now, I have back-up plans, and I haven’t, to use a cliché, put all of my eggs into one basket. If Teach for America doesn’t work out then I still have IU’s grad program in Higher Education administration. And, if I find out that Teach for America isn’t an option, then I’ll also apply to the Indianapolis Teaching Fellowship, as well as Higher Education programs at Vanderbilt and possibly Penn State. I just really want the job. And, you know what, it’s not so easy to understand why. I’m not sure if it’s always been my ambition to be a teacher, or if there’s just some part of me that recognizes that Teach for America would be an interesting challenge. What I do know, and what I really can’t explain, is that I want to take on Teach for America. I love the idea of having my own classroom and teaching my own students. I refuse to be the “sunshine patriot.” I want my spirit and soul to be tried. For, I believe, it is only when we really push ourselves that we discover what we’re made of. I’m not convinced I really know who I am just yet. I’m not trying to sound profound. I just believe I have yet to discern a true sense of self in coursework and academia. I’m ready for a challenge. Until next time.