Tag Archives: teaching

It’s August

This will be the first August in eight years that won’t end with a new fall semester. I still haven’t gotten used to the fact that school is over for me. I still have the same anxious feeling that I’ve always had trying to get my summer to-do list done in the last couple weeks before school starts. I still get excited to see all the school supplies out and longingly run my fingers over the pages of the office supply adverts.

I think even if I had found a job shortly after graduation, I would still feel these sharp pangs of sadness. I miss my campus, my professors, my classmates and most of all I miss my feeling of possibility. When I was still in school all my dreams were still possibilities. Now they just seem so silly. As if I was ever going to be able to move to Boston, or get accepted to The New School of Social Research. 

I can already feel my brain starting to lose everything I learned. I pull out my math books and flip through the problems thinking I’ll try to keep my skills sharp, but then I just get sad and long to redo my whole college experience. There’s a million and one things I would have done differently. 

My mom is really pushing me to go into teaching. She wants to give me the money for the down payment on this alternative certification programme. It’s an intense two week class on how to be a teacher, followed by being thrown in a classroom as a full time teacher. The whole idea of it scares the living hell out of me. It’s like someone teaching you to swim by throwing you in the middle of the ocean.

At one point I really wanted to be a teacher. Part of me still does, but I’m terrified of it at the same time. I don’t think I have enough confidence in my math skills to be an effective educator. I barely muddled through my last two years in college with C’s in my upper level math courses. I’ve never even taken a geometry class!

I have a tendency to blank out on exams. That’s the biggest reason I’m dragging my feet when it comes to taking the GRE.  It’s the same with the teaching thing. I know I could pass the first certification exam, but I’m scared of the content exam. I didn’t take abstract algebra or modern geometry, both of which were required to get a teaching certification. 

My fear has always been the one thing holding me back. Part of me screaming to just go for it and the other part of me is just screaming. I feel stuck, like I’m spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. 

August is here, but it’s not the same August that I’ve known for the past eight years. This August is demanding final decisions. No more daydreams and fantasies, this August wants a plan of action and most of all a commitment. 

I am giving myself a deadline. My birthday is in 12 days. I will be 32 years old. By my birthday I will make a decision and draft a course of action. 

By my birthday I will be ready to make a solid commitment to a plan. 


Good days…

Yes sometimes I have them.

Today I felt like I was part of the world again. We had an event at St. Mary’s for Sonya Kovalevsky day in honor of the first woman to get a PhD in Mathematics.  She truly was an exceptional woman and her experiences are quite inspiring.  We had the 7th grade girls from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (where I volunteer) come to the campus and participate in a day of fun math activities and guest speakers introducing the girls to the professional and academic world of advanced mathematics.

I’m always so dreadfully nervous of these things. Partly because of my social anxiety and partly because of the impostor syndrome.  I get really uncomfortable when someone asks me questions. It feels as if they’re trying to expose me. Logically and objectively I know that this feeling is irrational.  But emotionally it wrecks my mind.

But today was different. I did a series of presentations with a math major friend of mine.  I wasn’t scared. I couldn’t believe how calm I was. When they asked questions, I knew the answers.  I figured out the most efficient way to run the presentation and it worked so well. I think it’s because me and this girl naturally click well together, but it felt like there was also something else. Like things were just in some sort of alignment.  I was prepared, I wasn’t terrified of the people talking to me. I wasn’t nervous of being seen. It’s so hard to put it into words, but I finally felt like a person. Like my emotions, my mental state and my physical state were finally connected and working in unison. I didn’t feel like I was on the outside just watching the events unfold. I was actually an integral part of the event.

Today was an exceptional day.