Friday, September 24, 2004

Ray Charles and The Week That Changed My Life

Rarely do I give reasoning for the perspective in which each post is written. Of the 39 posts I've written, only a few have been highly personal... "Methods of Higher Education" is the only one that comes to my mind immediately. Personal- as in it pertains to me on an individual level. Though they all have hit me somehow, (why else would I rant about Cat Stevens?) I'm a rather closed off individual when it comes down to it.

Not today. This week I have been having quite the battle with myself. At ISU to enter the teacher's education program or the special education program you have to take an entrance exam. I would have been ready in January to take that exam. You have to apply to take the exam and this would have been the week for me to do so, but I've been debating whether or not that is what I really want to do. I've always said I would do special ed, that I'd change the world somehow with my dedication to those kids, this week I changed my mind. I've been somehow connected to the special ed population my entire life, from my earliest memories to my current place of employment. I'm ready for a change.

The battle itself hasn't been in deciding not to go the special ed route, because I've been making that decision for the last several months, from the time I went to Texas until now, but the battle has been in coming to the realization that this is my future and maybe that I'm losing my connection with home. I'm expected by certain people to do certain things. Everyone seems to have some sort of plan or dream for me. That is the battle. What is my dream for me?

I've come a long way in my life to be where I am right now. There was a time not so long ago that education maybe didn't matter to me the way it does now. I wasn't mature enough to realize that I've been given great opportunities and that the logical answer to that is to make the best of them. I now understand what an opportunity education is.

Not intending to go into this, I just want to say a couple things that might help other students that are in my position. 1.) Education isn't the piece of paper you receive when you leave an institution, education is the understanding you find within yourself of how you fit into the bigger picture and what you have that will benefit the people you will meet down the road. 2.) What we love is who we are, not necessarily what we should do for the rest of our lives.

Sometimes we aren't intended to do what everyone else sees fit for us, maybe we aren't intended to do what are parents have done, sometimes what they've done teaches us what we don't want to do...All that matters is that we choose the path that will make us the happiest.

That's what I've learned this week. I hope maybe it helps someone else who struggles daily with the expectations of the world around them. If I've learned anything in my life it is that we each have a talent, it's my Ray Charles philosophy, and that talent is unique to only us and can potentially change and influence an entire society. Our job is to find it, work hard at it, and love every minute of it.


Nick Speth said...

Just a word of encouragement. I'm a recovering journalism major myself, and I changed that, having never met a journalist that I'd want to work with. But whatever you decide, you're smart enought to make it work. Im sure you'll do well. -Nick

Anonymous said...

Tara if I knew your background in special ed I would love to give you some concrete advice, but because I don't I just want to tell you that you are a gifted individual and whatever path you choose will be better off for having you. Good luck!