Friday, December 10, 2010

Good News

I passed the Praxis I exam!

This is a big deal. I had some high anxiety regarding the Math portion of the test. But alas, I did it. I passed. I took the test after a crazy week in the aftermath of the penalty phase in the murder trial on which my husband served as a juror. News vans and reporters were at our front door and calling our house with more persistence than creditors. I was so grateful to have the test to prepare for that week. I needed a diversion from the circus surrounding the trial.

So a few Saturdays ago at 7AM I arrived at a Yale classroom on Hillhouse Ave, sharpened my #2 pencils and sat down for four hours of testing in a room full of people all younger than me by at least a decade. I apprently did not get the memo, as I was the only girl--uh, woman--not dressed in a North Face fleece jacket and Ugg boots. But I rocked the test. And now I get to apply to grad school for my MS and certification in special ed.

I had originally wanted to blast through graduate school as quickly as possible. But I don't think that's how it's going to play out. I have a full-time job and two children. Two boys who are familiar with friends' parents who are also taking graduate classes right now. "Does this mean you'll never be home?" they asked. "Does this mean you won't have time for us anymore?"

Absolutely not.

I'll have less time, but I will still have time. Lots of it. Those boys are my priority in life. Period. Nothing (except my own sanity) comes before them. Nothing. So I've decided not to pursue my degree in typical Moira Burn Out fashion. I'm going to do something I am only now learning to do at 37 years old. I'm going to pace myself.

I used to run track in high school. I was a distance runner. My time wasn't all that great, and I didn't even really love running all that much. But on some level I enjoyed it--especially the fact that I was really racing against myself.And I loved the riddle of it all. In pushing myself too hard and too fast too soon in the race, I inevitably had worse time than if I just paced myself. I've remembered that lesson when I've picked up running on and off in my adult life. Now I hope to apply it to the marathon of higher education.

But first I need to apply to school. And get accepted. And then get adequate loans and grants to cover the cost of my books and classes. I have no choice but to accept that it's going to take a while, right?

Part of me still wishes I could apply to nursing school, but as a full-time working mom whose salary is an absolute necessity to our household budget, there is no way I can take on the courseload (especially the labs) of nursing school right now. It would require me to be in school full-time. And I think teaching is ultimately a better fit for me, anyway. I guess time will tell.

For now, it's back to the business of being crafty for Christmas. We're getting our tree tomorrow. I cannot wait to unbox the ornaments and trigger memories I had forgotten.



Sheryl said...

Congratulations! I got to skip the Praxis I thanks to the miracle that was my SAT scores....but nothing could get me out of the Praxis 2. So I know your pain and am so proud of you for beginning what will surely be an exciting journey. You'll get so much more out of it if you let it be that - a journey - rather than seeing it as a finish line that you need to race to. Let me know if I can help in any way. :)

Sandy said...

Yes, congratulations. And let me say don't want to be a nurse. There I've said it and that is all I am going to say about it.

Those boys are your life and you are such a great Mom. They love you so much and you do so much with them. Like Sheryl said, take the time and enjoy the journey and then it won't seem so long.