Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How Much Frozen Pizza is Too Much?

I'm not dead. I could leave it at that, but I have a few minutes and I miss you guys and haven't felt good about dropping off the face of the planet.

My youngest is starting kindergarten this fall, and it's been a huge struggle for me about what I want to do. I will admit that my greatest hope was that I would get an agent and a book deal, and there would be no problem with me staying home and writing for 7 glorious hours a day while my kids are at school. Alas, we have bills to pay and college and weddings to prepare for and I have no book deal so far, so I will be going back to work and have started grad school.

I've mentioned some of this on facebook, but not told how everything has fallen into place. So here goes.

Being a teacher is a good job for a mom, so that's where I started. But when I looked at the teaching certification requirements, I realized that although I have a bachelor's degree, it's not in education, and I did not have enough job experience to fit their program for career changers. So I applied as an assistant teacher, and decided I needed to go back to school, and I should get my certification as a behavior analyst while I was at it, since that's what I really love to do.

I put all of my experience as a line therapist in there, hoping to get placed in an autism classroom, and set about finding a certified behavior analyst who could supervise me. I sent an email to a behavior analyst who was willing to do supervision and he invited me to come in and talk and bring a resume. After about three days, I woke up one morning from muddled dreams with the crystal clear realization that I was going to a job interview. Which I got, and am so very excited about.

While this is going on, I had applied at the University of West Florida as a non-degree seeking student and started taking the masters level behavior analysis classes I need, took the GRE and applied to the Exceptional Student Education masters program, which I was accepted to a couple of weeks ago. I am taking my first midterm in 13 years in a week and loving it.

Tomorrow I'm going in to the Autism Academy for orientation and will start full time when the kids go back to school.

It all feels really surreal, but right. Sometimes, when you want something, you have to struggle and fight for it to even be a possibility. And sometimes, when the time is right, the way is opened. That's how this has felt.

I had looked at going back to school a year or two ago to start working on this degree, but didn't. I wanted it, searched the same programs for schools, for supervisors, for a job, but nothing came of it. This time, it all fell together, and even though I don't feel any different, the outcome is totally different. It's funny.

I'll have a fairly heavy class load and be working 9-4 every weekday, plus trying to fulfill my other roles as mom, wife, and my calling at church. I predict we will eat a lot of frozen pizza. But hopefully I will be done with my classes by next September and ready to take the certification exam.

I may not check in here too often, but I would rather work really hard and get past this part than to take it slow. I hope that I'll be able to sneak in a book to read for fun every now and then and tell you about it, but I don't know.

I'll come back on Thursday and give you the summer reads I've enjoyed so far and tell you how my first day went. Thanks for the support!
Glutton for Punishment?