Professional Uncertainty

Grad School, Day 12. I get to school fifteen minutes before my class starts and drive all around that side of campus without finding a single parking spot. Now, I think, do I drive to the other side of campus on the slim chance that there’s actually parking left there, or do I try the “Center for Tomorrow” lot mentioned on all the signs? (“If lot full, use Center for Tomorrow lot.”) I get to that lot to find that it barely even has parking spaces—people just kind of leave their cars wherever they want. This has to be the sketchiest lot on campus. Then I walk all the way back to campus, getting to my class about seven minutes late. Since it’s a big class and I’m the last one there, I don’t get a desk and have to balance my notebook on my lap for the whole three hours. After the first hour or so, I start planning to go to the Tim Horton’s stand on the next floor for tea during the break because I could use the caffeine. The professor gives us a break later than usual, and when I get there I see the woman just closing up. Tea-less, I walk back to class and sit down just to hear some of my classmates talking about how long the homework took them for our class tomorrow—homework I haven’t even looked at yet because I’ve been too busy doing the homework for all my other classes, and trying to eat and sleep occasionally. When class ends, I go print out the assignments for Thursday (having to wait 15 minutes for them to print because there are SO MANY PEOPLE at this school) and make the (approximately) four-mile trek back to my car.

Yeah. Grad school. Why am I doing this again?

Because I want to teach. …I think. I’m not 100% positive that I want to teach, and I’m even less positive that I’ll be any good at it, but I’m never 100% positive about anything, so I’m going to throw all my effort into this and see how it goes. Some days I actually start to feel like a teacher, or at least an aspiring teacher; but then other days I’m just full of doubts. I look at the teachers around me and wonder if I can ever actually be like them—instinct says no. But then, that’s not necessarily a problem. No one said I had to precisely emulate anyone else in order to be a good teacher. In theory, I can be a good teacher and still be me.

In spite of the frustrations, grad school is going pretty well so far. It’s more intense than I’d expected. I’ve been spending most of my week swamped with homework, just trying to get a decent amount of sleep—hence the lack of posting here. But! I am actually learning. It’s not like I’m taking courses that might never have a practical application: EVERYTHING has a practical application. I feel like I am definitely getting my money’s worth in education here, and that, if nothing else, is pretty comforting.