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Time capsule

Ten years ago, I was just starting as a full-time college freshman at my local community college. The college was three minutes from my house and its campus consisted of one building*.

Though it was comically small, I was thrilled to be in attendance. It was my first time consistently going to classes, as desks and droning lectures aren’t a typical mainstay of homeschooling.

Attending a community college that only offered two-year programs might have been the dipping-your-toes-in-the-shallow-end equivalent of experiencing college, but it was right for me. I saved a significant amount of money while earning an Associates degree and knocking out my core classes. But, that’s how I ended my time at GMC.

At the start of 2010, I was delighted by almost everything my tiny alma mater had to offer: The English professor with the deep voice of a long-term smoker, assigning me to write about which The Breakfast Club character I most identified with, and why – I chose Brian, because of course I did. The computer lab where I earned extra credit just by speaking with a tutor. The seemingly endless list of elective courses I could take, like Art History, Bowling, or Criminology.

I took all of those electives and a handful of others, too. I was still figuring out what I wanted to do and figured a few random classes couldn’t hurt in that journey. Spoiler alert: I now have my degree, and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.

Still, in January 2010, with a world of possibility at my fingertips, I chose to start college eight months earlier than most of my peers. As I began my college experience and wondered at what I should do, I doubt I considered a future where I was teaching, much less living in another country. Plenty of things happened between then and now to lead me here, of course, but it’s nice to look back. Maybe the optimism and curiosity that motivated me to take unnecessary electives is the very same force motivating me today.

*Please note a second building as was also built during my brief tenure there. It made a big difference.

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Run The Day

The Tuesday back from a 3-day weekend is not very forgiving.

I suffered a minor annoyance early in my day (when I realized a document I worked on last week didn’t save, rendering an hour of my time useless) and my colleague was quick to provide me with a few nuggets of advice:

  1. Take a breath
  2. Let it go
  3. Move on

She didn’t actually list them off like that, though. Instead, they trickled out as I heaved mulitple sighs and SMH’d over the dumb occurrence.

The point is, it’s stupidly easy to let the little things weigh you down. I can spend hours obsessing over a weird, passing comment someone made to me. I probably would’ve spent my whole day stewing if I didn’t have a coworker gently tell me to get over it.

In practice, avoiding the small stuff that gets under your skin so easily is tough. But it’s a rewarding battle. There’s a sign hanging above my desk that reads “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

I think Tuesday won this time.