Tag Archives: Education

Blog July Twelve

Every now and then I get this overwhelming feeling that I can’t describe. Today, I was at Barnes and Noble perusing books when it hit me. It’s like nostalgia and deja vu and… I’m not sure. Like I’ve done it before, something I’ve missed, something I want, something I have all rolled into one. It’s like something from deep inside of me has imploded? Or maybe it exploded? I’m just not sure. I’m not even sure why I decided I needed to post about it. Maybe one of you have felt it?

Something else I’ve been thinking of lately is what are my next steps in life? I’ve been searching for jobs in my field since I graduated college almost two years ago with no luck. With not knowing what I want to do with my career, it is hard to search. The few jobs that I’ve been excited about and applied to I didn’t even get an interview. Some had no contact, some came back saying that I didn’t have the right experience. I think my best bet, really, is to go back to school. Just take the financial hit so I can make something of my life instead of working at a car parts factory. I’ve also really been wanting to publish a children’s story I wrote in college for a class. I’m not even sure where to start, besides proof-reading the crap out of it. So I guess I just need to find some readers to throw me some constructive criticism. I did send it to a friend a while ago to work on illustrations, but his life got busy I think.. Maybe once I give him a more complete work, he’ll have more motivation.


The Professor

It’s my first day at Weselton University and I am super excited to start my day. What seems like forever ago, I lined up my schedule perfectly so that my first class on Mondays wouldn’t start until 1:00 pm. Which means that today, I didn’t have to wake up until noon. Which is like having a two and a half day weekend. Which is awesome.
My first class is just down the hall from the secretary’s office. I walk up the steps and see her sitting there, smiling, typing away and I wave. I’ve seen her a few times over the summer when I needed to schedule an appointment. Her smile gets bigger as she looks up from the computer screen, “Have a good first day!”
I continue down the hall to the classroom. There is a girl sitting in the front row with the class book in her hand. The email had said Bring your copy of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets to our first meeting. Yes, you will need to actually buy this one, as we will be using it a lot. The girl must be getting a head start on the book. I walk to the back of the room and sit in one of the desks and place my bag on the floor near my feet.
“Wow, this book seems….interesting.” The girl says.
“I haven’t bothered to look at it yet.”
“Didn’t you read the syllabus? We will already have a paper on it next week! This teacher sounds nuts.” She turns towards me.
“She seems interesting to me. The email was full of humor.”
“’Yes, you will need to actually buy this one’ Ha ha. Why wouldn’t we buy the books?” The girl seems to be a freshman and didn’t understand the humor the professor had uses.
“Not all the students here buy every book.”
“Why not? The teacher says you need it, then you need it.”
“Not if they only use like one chapter of it, come classes are like that. You’ll learn. Freshman?”
“Yes actually, it’s my first day.”
“I could tell.” She turns back in her chair and I look up to the old fashioned chalk board. There is writing on it that looks like the secretary’s handwriting. After looking at the schedule books a few times over the summer, I recognized it.
19th Century American Literature 1:00 PM Class. Monday, August 22
I hope you’ve brought your book
Because you’ll be kicking it old school
Form the desks in a circle
Read out loud to each other, paragraph to paragraph to page five
Then introduce yourselves to each other and just chat until class is over
Another student walks in and sits down a few seats away from the girl in the front row. Then another comes in and sits near the middle. Soon the class is filled up.
“Man that’s bullshit!” A student cries and leaves the room. I guess what was written on the board seemed like too hard of a task.
“I think it’s pretty cool” Says the girl in the front row.
“So wait, the prof isn’t even going to be here?” Says another.
“I guess not. This could get interesting.” Another student says as he stands up, ready to move his desk. One by one they all stand up and move the desks into a circle. I pull out my book from my bag.
“Woah chick, did you do some extra reading?” My neighbor says to me, looking at my book with post-it notes coming out of all sides.
“Uh, I had this book since High school…” I quickly say, not wanting to let them know I actually enjoy the read.
“Well, How about you start, Nerd.”
“Uhm, alright I guess.” I begin to read the first chapter. One by one we go around the room, reading one paragraph at a time.
“Wow. Well I guess we need to introduce ourselves.” Says the girl from the front row.
I smile and nudge my neighbor, “Your turn to start, man.”
“Ha ha, alright. My name is Travis, uhm. Junior. Secondary Education Major. And uh, I’m from Bloomington.” He looks to the person on his right.
“Jeffery, ya’ll can call me Jeff. Kankakee, Junior English. Is that all we need to say?”
“I guess. It just said introduce yourselves and chat.” Says Travis.
“Okay my turn, My name is Jane. I’m from Princeton. Also a Junior English Major.” We go around the room until we get to the girl in the front row.
“Tiffany, Freshman double English/Communications Major. I’m from Litchfield.”
“Woah, a freshman in a 300 level class? How’d you manage that?” Questions Travis.
“I worked really hard and took some classes over the summer.” Tiffany touts. The next three students introduce themselves.
“My name’s Lauren. I’m also a freshman, and before you get on me like Tiffany, I also took some classes and got special permission. I am a Journalism Major, English minor from Chicago. You know, I can’t believe the teacher ain’t here. Like, how do you find out if this is really the right class for you?”
“I think it’s kind of cool, you get to experience your classmates before some big shot gets in your way and gives you a bunch of papers to write.” Says Jimmy, a junior sitting next to Tiffany.
Travis speaks up. “Yo man, I agree. We’re going to be sitting with everyone for the whole semester. We’re going to be talking about these books, sharing our opinions. I’ve been in classes before where you didn’t find out that the quiet kid in the center of the class was in fact the most annoying and opinionated son of a bitch you’ve ever met and you don’t get to find that out until it’s too late to switch classes. Naw man, I like this way. But hold up, we still got a few people left before we start chatting.” Finally they get to me.
“Hey everybody. Actually, I agree what you said Travis, we must be in here for a reason. The teacher probably wanted everyone to get to know each other before he or she came in and took over. It takes a lot to sit with a class and express opinions. It’s like reading the first chapter of the book. Getting to know the main characters and being able to judge them. Like getting to know the background of Maggie, you get to know why things will happen later in the book.”
“Yeah, but who are you?” Barks Tiffany.
“Oh right.” I stand up. “My name is Mrs. Battas. I did my undergrad here at Weselton, got my masters at Oxford, and right now I am doing an in-progress degree for my doctorate.”
“Wait… so you’re taking a 300 level undergrad class for a doctorate?” Says Tiffany, confused.
“No, stupid. She’s the teacher!” Exclaims Travis.
“Yes. Your professor. This has been a wonderful first class students. Thank you for joining my little experiment and I hope it doesn’t scare you away and that I’ll see you next class. Now, for the assignment some of you talked about before class started, I want you to write a two page double spaced twelve point font paper on your experience today. I want you to write about the characters of class and how you learned about them in our very own ‘first chapter.’” I pick up my bag, stuff my book into a side pocket and walk out of the classroom full of shocked faces.

Blog August One

In my entire life I can only remember being disliked twice. I don’t really care, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. The first, was understandable. The second…well, we’ll get to that in a moment.

So the first time was in High School, well over 7 years ago. I was the lighting manager for our school’s theatre program. It was in January during our showcase of ten minute plays. My job was to fade in and out the lights for the plays, which I believe were about 5-6 of them (Hey, it was a long time ago, I don’t remember exactly anymore). At the time, I was dating my first ever boyfriend. He was backstage with me… and well it was dumb I know because I was in High School and had an important job. We hadn’t even had our first kiss at that point yet. We were just sitting back stage talking quietly with another friend of mine. Usually I was very good about switching the lights at the right moment, but because I was a silly High Schooler with my first boyfriend, I was a few seconds late on one of the blackouts. It was during a short play with mostly senior actors and the ending depended on the black out for dramatic effect. I knew I was wrong and I got in trouble for it by the theatre teacher. But because the seniors in the short play were “serious” about their work I heard from the grapevine one of them called me a “slut.” At the time I barely knew the meaning of the word.. And as I had mentioned, I hadn’t even had my first kiss at that point. That left me thinking “What the hell, Mate?” I make an honest mistake, get called something offensive. The girl who said it didn’t know me very well. I fixed the problem and was really good about it the next show night. I’m sure she’s forgotten about it, and I’m not still mad about it. I’ve learned from the experience.

Now the second time I’ve been told someone was mad/disliked me started my first day of my new job three weeks ago. Now, this job is pretty easy, working at a automotive gauge factory stocking shelves in the shipping department. I get a load of product, scan to see where it belongs, take it to said location. When I don’t have new product to stock, I walk around to see if any cases can be broken down and put on the shelf. Or I straighten out shelves. And since I’ve been really good at putting things away and keeping everything well organized, I’ve even had time to take product off shelves, clean shelf of dust bunnies, put product back on shelf in a very neat manner. I’ve gotten compliments from my boss on how well I’m doing compared to others of the past. Now one of the people who I work with has had a problem with me from day one. I noticed on day two when I walked in and said good morning, she just gave me a blank stare and kept walking. I’ve learned so far that the main reason she doesn’t like me is because I am not like the person who I replaced. My first few days I was learning how to do things. They had even told me that the things that I did wrong was only because they didn’t tell me the right way. Once I learned the ropes, I was still doing things wrong in this person’s eye. I still wasn’t the man who I replaced. It is three weeks since I started and I still get a certain look when I pass by this woman. I’ve since learned that she had somewhat of a crush on the man, and well I am not the man… nor am I a man in general. I’m basically hated for what I see as no reason. You can’t judge a person for the person they are not. That is what she is doing and it bugs the crap out of me. Also, my opinion is that even if you dislike a person for whatever reason, you should still be nice to them. Or am I wrong? I guess it doesn’t matter because she has put in her two week notice and I won’t have to see her anymore.

Well that’s my rant for my blogging side of my blog. What is your opinion? Am I just crazy and does she have a right to hate me?

Blog May Twenty-nine

In kindergarten, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. By first grade, it was set into my brain what I would grow up to be. During high school I did volunteer events that involved children. For my Girl Scout Gold award I taught younger Girl Scouts how to bake and then donated the goods to homeless shelters. My major going into university was a no brainer, Elementary Education. I learned quickly that that wasn’t quite the right fit for me. So I changed my major to English about half way through my college career and haven’t had a regret. My plan, eventually is to possibly go back and get my teaching certificate. I definitely want to write, hence starting this blog. I don’t think I want to write for newspapers. In fact, I’m not at all sure what I want to do. But that’s okay with me. So when I graduated I did some potential job searching and found stuff that I’d like to do and have that for when I’m ready to go out into the real world. So when I graduated, I found a job at a grocery store. Which was okay. But now four months later, I’ve come to hate it. The hours are weird. The work is okay, but tedious. I hate being on my feet all day. The people are usually nice, but no matter what environment you work in there will always be drama. I won’t go into details, as I still work there, but I have thought about quitting so many times. I’ve learned from friends to not quit before having a job lined up. I believe that it is time to find my real job. So that is my goal at the moment, to find a career that I will enjoy. Something to do with writing obviously. Publishing maybe? What else is there? What do I write in my cover letter?

Comment with your advice, or personal anecdote, or good lucks. Did you grow up to be what you wanted when you were little?