consumed. what does it mean to be consumed by love, by work or perhaps by work you love? for for now and for the next 22 months i am consumed by graduate school. that's the general outline, but the details of the story are more interesting, rich with ideas and sprinkled with gems.
really, i am consumed by learning -in the best way, like how with a new love you want to spend every second together.
yes, i am busy, with a plate fuller than it's been in some time. reading, research, writing, learning, teaching. i don't select the items on the plate for the most part, i accepted the invitation to this banquet after all. in times past, this dictated order and structure might have had me chaffing and restless.
everything feels different in my life now. i am happy, contented even. how novel!
education, equity, social justice, motivation theory...it all is so fascinating that i find i am engaged fully, every waking moment. it all feels right, walking this path, earning this particular degree and entering this field. what i have learned in the first three weeks of school is that the field of school counseling is both wide and open. it's current model is a significant departure from the guidance counselor model we all grew up with, it is called transformative school counseling. the model is less than a decade old and there is much growth ahead. over the course of my career, i could choose to contribute on many levels, from hands-on in the schools to research and writing, all the way to advocacy on a national level.
already, i am in love with the research. oh, and the students. the students!
i started one of my placements this week, the year-long teaching practicum i am doing at an alternative high school. it is an amazing program that welcomed me with open arms, excited to have extra help. i am working with two humanities teachers, so i get the opportunity to observe different teaching styles. the students all have overcome huge personal obstacles and were not successful in traditional high school. these are the youth that have been thrown away by schools, society and often their own parents. yet they come to this program with a commitment to make a new life and a future they are proud to direct. hearing their stories this week renewed my deeply held belief that anything is possible. it is so easy to feel hopeless these days, with the economy, the health care crises and all the negative spin around us. but when i spend time with the raw power of the human spirit and see the hunger these young adults have to make a life, a good life -then it's hard to feel anything but awed, humbled, amazed, inspired, grateful.
this is what i came for.
to be witness to transformation. (and occasionally a guide.) to sit at the crossroads with young people and support moving their life in a positive, new direction. you can smell the fear in the room, but you can also feel a strong swelling of hope and purpose, as they are discovering strength, finding confidence and showing up for themselves.