Positive Changes

Graduation is almost two months behind me.  As much as it feels like the time has gone by in a flash, a lot has happened.  The book sale is over and was successful!  I’m still recovering a bit from the insane amount of work that went into getting ready.  I was very nervous about it, particularly dealing with the book vendors.  Luckily they came and went pretty quickly, and the rest of the weekend was just a fun blur of activity with many of my favorite patrons stopping in.  Friends and family volunteered to help, for which I’m so grateful!

Even with all the prep work for the sale, I’ve been successful at keeping up with my training schedule for the Iron Girl.  I can bike and swim the full distances, and I’m about halfway to full distance for running.  I think exercise has been key to keeping my sanity this summer.  

In addition to training, I’ve been practicing yoga more regularly and have already learned so much about my mind and body, a lot of which I can transfer to the classroom (weird as that sounds).  I’ve long suspected that a short breathing exercise and a stretch at the start of class can help students switch gears and focus on library time.  I’m now learning that yoga teaches attitudes that make me a more patient, more confident person.  At its most basic level, practicing yoga makes you aware of yourself as a living being of dignity and worth, even when you’re not striving or succeeding or accomplishing anything.  You find a certain kind of confidence in that, and it deepens your empathy for others.  I’ve also learned a little bit about the practice of ahimsa – nonviolence.  My instructor talked about how worrying about others can be a form of violence, as it indicates a lack of faith in them and in their inherent ability to succeed.  She asked us to consider whether such an attitude can coexist with love.  This was a revelation to me.  I worry about everything and everyone.  I would inevitably have worried about my students, but I really believe that every student can learn.  Approaching them from a place of supportive confidence will do much more for them than worry.

Interestingly, it was not yoga, but The Bachelorette that made me feel a bit better about my job hunt.  I do not generally watch the show, but it was on at the gym and I had misplaced my Ipod.  Watching a crowd of guys making fools of themselves thinking they have a shot, while idealizing the girl, reminded me very much of being among a pool of applicants, hoping to be picked for an interview.  It made me realize that it’s silly to make myself crazy trying to play up how I’m the perfect candidate for every job.  If the fit is right, I’ll get my chance, so I should really just continue to be my best self in order to make assessing that fit easier.

That said, I was crushed to learn that I was not selected to interview for either of the positions in my home district.  It was a tough blow, but there are several other really excellent opportunities that I hope will work out.  Everyone keeps reminding me that things happen for a reason, and I know that in hindsight I will find that to be true.  Although I had looked forward to the chance to work with people that I think of as mentors and friends, I know that I’ll find new mentors and friends wherever I end up.

The good news is that three of my closest friends have found jobs in their ideal locations.  I just keep hoping that I can do the same!

Next week is VACATION!  My time has been thoroughly occupied with book sale preparation, job applications and training, and I’m feeling a little disconnected from my academic side.  I’m taking along my Kindle and using the travel time to read some articles I’ve been holding onto.  Other than that, I’m going to relax, celebrate finishing grad school and prepare myself for this next phase of life!

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