Reformed Grits

Why I chose the wrong major
April 7, 2008, 8:47 pm
Filed under: I plead ignorance

When I was a junior in high school I was totally enthralled by an anatomy and physiology class.  I excelled in it.  I got it.  I loved it.  I wanted to DO that– I wanted to be a nurse but work with babies.  Someone told me that that meant I wanted to be a neonatal nurse.  (Actually, what I wanted to do was be the newborn nurse in labor and delivery, but I was  mortified to think that people might think I was weird to want to be around women giving birth so I went with neonatal.)  So that’s what I set my sites on for the next year.  I signed up for advanced, prep classes my senior year that would prepare me for nursing school including chemistry. 

Chemistry.  Which by the middle of the third quarter of my senior year threatened to mar my 4.08 cumulative GPA with, oh I dunno, an F, so I suddenly decided I wanted to teach little kids… and I’d be best served by spending the rest of my senior year using my chemistry period to be a teacher’s aid in a 1st grade classroom.  So I dropped it, and decided that there was no way I could do chemistry in college if chemistry in high school was too hard.  So I gave up my dream, and spent the next 3 years making lesson plans about "plus one,"  folder games, models of interesting classrooms, and collecting poems and recipes for homemade play-dough.  It was easy and got me a sheepskin.  Big whoop. 

After college, we moved back to our hometown and I got in a major slump.  I was terrified of entering the public school system.  It overwhelmed me.  All I wanted to do with my 20 year old self was stay home and have babies.  But being the older and wiser one, Mr. Grits didn’t feel so inclined at that point. 

So when someone I didn’t know called me up needing a part-time nanny for 2 little girls on the reference of someone I knew and trusted, my maternal urge jumped all over that.    It was just 3 days a week and they were 2 and 4. 

Have you ever seen Rosemary’s baby? 

Just wondering.  I babysat her.  The baby slept most of the time– probably to get away from the demon child who was the 4 year old.  She spent most of the day running away from me and screaming like a devil child about to be sprinkled with holy water.  (As if…)  The one girl ruined it for me.  I couldn’t even enjoy the other.  A few weeks later, I was over it (it was temporary) and relieved.  I took a temp job at an office and it was brainless. 

I should have stayed there. 

Shortly thereafter, I got a call one day at work from the principal of my high school alma mater.  They were looking for a second grade teacher for the fall and heard I had graduated and was back in town.  I was 21 years old and they wanted to give me a room full of 7 year olds.  Hm. 

I left my better-paying temp job (upon leaving, the company I’d been with the whole time offered me a full-time job for even MORE money which I foolishly declined with a noble, "This is what I’ve trained to do…!") and started teaching some very delightful children.  2 days later I got pregnant.  But that’s another story for another day. 

I tell my children that when you teach or do anything of that nature, there’s always one. The one who spoils it for everyone.  The one who makes it difficult.  The one who you find nearly impossible to love.  The one that, when they are absent, everyone rejoices and you have a good day.  The one you have to make exceptions and allowances for.  The one you have to make special plans for.  The one that, when you call roll you hold your breath with the hope…  (I also threatened their lives if they ever became the one…)

The ONE ruins it for me.   I had 16 children in my class.   And one of them was the one.  The one is a joy-sucker for me.  I just can’t get over it.  They are why I dread going in the morning.  I never get that.  It’s horrible, I know.  But the one is why I don’t ever want to teach again.  NEVER.  I tried some leading or teaching little things, like a summer MDO class.  I had one.   I have taught VBS.  Yep, you bet.  Each class had one.    I’m just over it now.  I have NO DESIRE to teach children ever again.  EVER.  Maybe I just never learned how to handle the one.  Maybe it’s because I lack compassion.  (Stop… no, really, I do… haha)  Maybe it’s because I have no patience for that sort of thing as I just always did what I was supposed to in the classroom and don’t "get" why you would act up or misbehave.  I don’t know what to do with that. 

I often think back to the day that I decided to drop chemistry and "be a teacher."  I remember it vividly and specifically.  Even though I look back now and see how it was just the easy way out of a hard situation, I’m sure God’s hand was on me that day.  I still don’t get it, though.   I often think about how I would have enjoyed maternal/infant nursing, especially now that I have traveled that road of motherhood.  I think of how, even now I could work flexi and have some days in occasionally if I wanted to. 

I really don’t have some great conclusion to all this.  I was just thinking about it today and thought I might depress you.  I guess if I have learned anything it’s that I will know how to differently encourage my kids when they begin to choose a life’s work.   My professors always said I was a "natural-born teacher" and I think I could have been good at it, had my heart been there.  I just wonder why my loves lay elsewhere. 


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wow…hmmmm….eye opening.

You had me laughing at the whole lack of compassion comment. hehe

For any lack of compassion you make up for in patience. I have learned a lot about patience from you. Really.

Comment by caroline

Get yourself back to nursing school (you know with all your free time!)HA!! My sister LOVES her job–labor and delivery nurse!! Although, she has had quite a few sad days–not good outcomes.
You need to teach my sweet sunday school class–for once there isn’t the 1!!
In all my years in public school (32 4th graders) there were always 3 or 4!! I too NEVER want to go back. There were a few out of the 3 or 4 that always became some of my favorites–especially after I saw some of what they lived in/with. Do not give up on going back to another major–in another season of life!

Comment by kent

Oooh, I so get this. Not that I was a teacher, but whole sacrificing the “permanent” on the altar of the immediate thing. I ended up with a fairly useless degree because I lacked the nerve to study what I really wanted to. And while I don’t think it’s really possible to thwart God’s sovereign will, I do sometimes wonder, “was this seriously His plan for me?”
I don’t like to do the Monday Morning QB thing too much; I mean, I realize that rehearsing this “mistake” won’t get me anywhere. And finally I’m looking into grad school.
They say it’s never too late!

Comment by Sue

You know this, but it bears repeating. Every experience in life makes you who you are, therefore, you are who God made you to be. You are who Mr. Grits needs. You are who those lovely children need. You are beautiful inside and out. No experience (or college degree) is a wasted one.

Comment by disty

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: