A Career Chosen – A Passion Discovered
When I went away to school, I was not an education major. I hadn’t really put that much thought into choosing a major or a career. I was the first in my family of many, many cousins to head off to college. Going to college was a big deal in itself! There were no college visits to choose the best “fit” for me. I chose the school where my older brother had taken me once to hang out with his friends. I walked around the campus with very big eyes and, as only a high school sophomore, I was sold. I wanted to go to school there and didn’t really think about any place else.
So two years later, off I went to college as a political science major. I had no idea what political science was. I just knew that I enjoyed my social studies classes and my high school counselor pointed me in that direction. There was no talk of passion in those days (at least not in that way!). I spent almost two years as a political science major. I spent almost two years not following my passion!
One day, a college miracle happened! I was sitting in my Spanish 2 class and the teacher read an announcement from a piece of paper (there was, of course, no email or internet back then). The announcement explained that there was a new grant program in the college of education and that there was going to be a meeting for any student interested. I vividly remember to this very day, sitting in that class listening to that announcement. I instantly thought of my second grade teacher and I thought, “A teacher!” “That’s it! That’s what I want to be! That’s who I am!”
So many thoughts rushed into my mind all at once. I thought about the way my second grade classroom looked – the neat rows of desks and the long row of windows looking out at the playground. I thought about my second grade teacher – the dresses she wore and the way she smiled at me every day! I thought a lot about second grade. I also felt a pull. A pull toward something big, something really big.
We didn’t call it passion back then. But, now I know that being a teacher was, and still is, mine! I look back at that day now and I realize that was the day my passion was unwrapped, like a gift. So, Miss Omson from Westdale School in 1972, this slice is for you. Thank you for giving me the gift of teaching and the gift of sharing my passion with others.