If you’re a grad student like me, today might have been the start of the semester for you. Of course a grad student like me would be one who starts school after labor day because their school plans things like that, and then doesn’t have her first class until Tuesday night.
Also, if you’re really like me, which I hope you’re not, you were sobbing three hours before class started and then composing a really depressing blog post because you are somewhat of a wreck mentally and while looking for God to point out signs to help guide your life on a non-disastrous path, you got blinded by burden of suffering.
That post didn’t get published, but this one will, because this one gives a fuller picture of the situation, and this one will make me happy.
So, after crying I went to class, lost and confused, questioning my future and whether I wanted to be a teacher at all, and then several things happened that kind of turned things around.
To start, my teacher explained to us all that she was super nervous, and that she is always terrified on the first day of any class, and at certain moments in her teaching career, she would rather be anything but a teacher. However, at other moments there is nothing she would rather be doing, and teaching is the best thing in the world, and if one asked her during the moments whether she would live her life differently, she would do teaching all over again.
After this short statement, our teacher went into greater depth and began to explain her humble beginnings as an English tutor in her home country. She furthermore explained that her situation was so overwhelming at first that she wound up crying most nights after she finished tutoring kids, and questioning whether it was even worth it and why she was doing it. Ultimately, she moved on to actually teaching English classes, and now she realizes how valuable those tutoring years were in preparing her for now, and how much joy teaching brings her in general, and how even when we think there isn’t a plan for us, there is, and life is amazing.
That was pretty much the summary of her start to class, which was pretty much exactly what I, the person crying three hours before class about what I was doing in my life and whether teaching was worth it or God even wanted me to be happy or if that was part of the plan, needed to hear.
Following that, she went over the syllabus. When I had first looked at the syllabus at home in my room by myself, all I saw were scores of assignments that looked impossible to do and made me feel like life was a compilation of suffering. When we looked at the syllabus in class, miraculously, I had a strange feeling of calmness and hope, and it looked like the assignments were really just alterations of what I had done in previous classes. I thought to myself “As long as I get stuff done early I think I can handle this.” In an effort to plan ahead, I started thinking about what presentation I wanted to do, and realized that earlier would be best, and I looked at the topics and thought I would definitely want to do one of the first three. Then there was an icebreaker and class ended.
After this I had my final class, in which I discovered I was actually interested in the topic we would be studying, because we were learning about what makes learning a second language easier or more difficult as one ages, and I definitely want to and am weakly trying to learn a second language. So learning about those things was actually strangely helpful.
After class ended one of my classmates from the first class walked up to me and did three things, 1. Asked me to be her partner for the group presentations, 2. Said she wanted to get the project done early because she didn’t want to have a lot to do at the end of the semester 3. And said the words that had pretty much exactly been in my head and namely, that one of the first three topics would be good.
I responded positively to all of these things, and then kinda stood amazed that she had somehow read my mind without reading it at all.
That was my first day of gradschool. Just a few hours before class I was a wreck and questioning my life choices and needing affirmation and strength and support to help me get through it, and I broke down in tears in front of my mom who then prayed with me and for me, and then I went to class and everything just seemed to work.
This is my life, I don’t always understand it, and I get flippin frustrated sometimes, but somehow God eases the burdens and makes things doable.
Thank you God.