Alma mater:
University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas): BSE in 2005, M.Ed. in 2006

…at age 17, I began my career. For some, this is considered too late; for others, too early. To my recollection, it was the built-in, natural entertainment of understanding the way of the universe. Wojak was our guide, and we found him to be enlightening, if not a little psychotic. The doom of the course was that we soon learned that we exhausted our ability to answer all the questions (a beautiful and terrible thing all at once). Thus, many of us went on to study the universal hows and whys with others across the nation.

In Kansas of all places, I found that teaching was a passion. I like people, and unlike many of my past classmates and professors, I seemed not to be furious about others’ immediate incomprehension. (I suppose I didn’t care as much.) By pure luck, my education ended and began again in a location that is undoubtedly in proximity to your own.

In my first education, sitting still while comprehending various languages was a challenge. Therefore, it can be said that I was labeled the very definition of “average” and “shows potential.” C’s tended to define my being (with the lone exception of actively explaining the interactions of matter in the universe). Now in my new education, 30 sets of eyeballs per hour attempt bore into my soul. Many give up early and often (much like me during my first education). However, more than the aforementioned succeed and drive past the exterior into a deeper judgment of my being. Each time, I panic with the intense fear that when they look hard they will be seeing an infinite nothingness. Something that is blank. Something that cannot be used. Then the realization hits. I understand that I am me and that the judgment matters not with respect to the task at hand. The task is in fact to learn the rules of nature, and that is something I get (to an extent). The eyeballs fade to a human intensity that is more exciting than intimidating and more trustworthy than most would feel comfortable to admit.

I watch the young physicists work. Now, in my second education, I still feel the judgment moments, although not as bad as in the past. They are good people. They fidget, nod off during times of importance, suffer from forgetfulness, suffer from stress, cut corners and become cynical. They are by definition humans managing to cope with reality. They remind me of me wanting to know the whys and hows. It makes me sit back and reflect on when I was…