Getting closer to the "real world"

And dealing with realities I haven’t had to face in quite a while.

I will openly admit that I am fearful about job hunting.  I think the primary reason for that is that I’m not as mobile as many of my classmates – I really hope to be able to stay in the general area.  So that raises the stakes of any particular job opportunity.

The other factor is that I haven’t even started my portfolio.  To some extent that’s been a consequence of spending so much time on the things that ultimately go into the portfolio…but it doesn’t make it any less scary to see my classmates beginning to apply for jobs, and feeling as though I’m unprepared to do the same should an opportunity arise.

I’m also still plagued by the thought that I haven’t done as much as I wanted in any area of my life – I always wish that I had been more engaged in my classes, more active at practicum, more effective at work. I’m not great at ever saying that the amount that I’ve done is enough.

Putting all of that aside, there is a larger fear.  Returning to school to finish my bachelor’s degree represented a kind of rebirth for me.  I was pulling myself out of a rut that I’d fallen into since graduating from OCC.  Working toward the goal of finishing college, then getting into graduate school, then doing well there has all energized me and engaged my passions.  I am to the point where I will be relieved and excited to finish school, but I’m nervous to no longer have that set of hoops to jump through.  I’ll have to find an acceptable balance for myself, which historically I have not been good at.  Hopefully I’ve matured some.

Anyway, in practical terms, things are going well.  I have three days left at my practicum site.  I feel guilty for not staying longer, but due to all of the things mentioned above, I think it’s important that I begin preparing for my next step.  I’ve gotten a ton of great experience with kids and with teaching, which is all I ever hoped for from this practicum.  I have a to-do list a mile long, but if I’m diligent I think I can position myself pretty well over the next few months.

PS Unconnected from the rest of this post, but occurring to me now, is the fact that Mike and I took a leadership seminar together last week.  One of the activities was to draft a vision for 3-5 years into the future.  Mine was over a page long – his was two sentences.  I may post mine, because it is all stuff that I believe in and that is important to me.  But when it comes down to it, particularly where the job hunt is concerned, all I want is a job where I can make a difference and support myself.  That’s all I ever wanted when I left the frame shop to go back to school, and I suppose it’s reassuring that the goal is still essentially the same.

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