Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busted: An A to Z Dropout.

I have no idea what letter of the alphabet I'm supposed to be using as today's prompt, but that's okay.  I'm sure somewhere in this post I will include each individual letter anyway, so let's just call it even.

Quiet, zebra.

(Covering all bases.)

The blog took a dive for a few days when I was sick, and bouncing back can be tough to do.  Of course it doesn't help that I continue to smoke when I'm sick.  Yes, I'm one of those people, hacking their brains out (from the sinus problem) while kicking back with chest-Vicks radiating throughout my passages, while lighting up.  I'm fairly certain a fruit fly has more common sense than we who call ourselves "mankind" (or "womankind," if you're into that sort of thing).  It's quite ridiculous.

In the meantime, another common mistake made by folks who swear they're "starting to feel better," I moved the living room furniture out to the porch AND planted a vegetable garden.  Not at the same time though.  I may be a domestic wonder, but I haven't figured out how to multitask that well yet.  I also changed my whole life's dream around, changing majors a mere month before I was to begin my bachelors in Education, but I feel really good about it.

Much to my dismay, getting a degree in Education became like pulling teeth.  And not just like pulling teeth, but pulling teeth and then going out and buying yourself some $2000 toothpaste.  Suddenly you look in the mirror and have that moment of, "Why?  Why am I doing this?"  The $2000 toothpaste tastes great, but you've got no teeth.  Similar concept.  I graduated with my AA last summer, then decided to go into Education, only to find I still needed four classes to get into the program I'd wanted:  Middle Grades Language Arts.  So I register for those four classes I needed and then come the classroom observations.  They make it sound so easy.  "Here, just print up this letter and take it around to each school you want to observe."  Fine.  Except it's like pulling teeth to actually get in to observe.  I found a way to beat the system was to simply "volunteer" in the classroom and write my observations later.  The schools are always looking for volunteers, because they are in dire need of assistance.  What they are not in dire need of, apparently, are people to sit in their classrooms and simply observe.  Point taken.

To top it all off, I found that out of the three grade-level schools at which I "volunteered," the one I disliked the most was middle school.  I remembered middle school English as analyzing the great classics.  Stephen Crane, Jack London, some Wordsworth thrown in for good measure.  Robert Frost, Emily Dickenson, William Faulkner.  Instead, I sat in an 8th-grade English class where they read a piece of crap story from their piece of garbage textbook and had to answer some questions.  The story was something about ladybugs.  Non-fiction.  WARNING:  MIDDLE SCHOOL HAS COMPLETELY DUMBED DOWN FROM THE DAYS WHEN WE WERE THERE.  It was an embarrassment.

So now I'm stuck paying for four classes out of pocket because I am not considered a "degree-seeking student" because I'm not yet enrolled in the College of Education because I needed these four prerequisites before I can apply, AND, as if that weren't horrible enough, I just found out I've got no desire to teach 8th-grade students to read, or how to find the main idea, or John please turn off your iPod.  That absolutely was not what I'd had in mind.

I've got a son in 2nd grade.  There is a program at my school for Early Childhood Education, which would allow me to teach anything up to 3rd grade.  Okay, maybe I'll give that a shot.  Well guess what.  Now I've got another seven prerequisites I need to take before I can get in.  Thanks but no thanks.  That's not going to cut it, either.  I cannot go to school full-time and not receive my GI Bill.  Someone's gotta live around here, right?  I mean, I've got vegetable gardens to build, for crying out loud.

I put my thinking cap on and came up with a plan.  If all goes well, I'll be double-majoring in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice.  My fingers are crossed.

So yeah, maybe it wasn't the sinus garbage that kept me from blogging.  Maybe, in addition to writing my novel, I just got a bit too busy to pay attention to what letter of the month it was.  There's always next year.  For now, I'll leave you again with my thought for the day:  "Quiet, zebra."

Good zebra.