Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday afternoon is fading away ever so quickly... Today I finished up my LAST EVER assignment (besides stage) of my McGill career as an undergraduate. I don't think it has sunk in yet that I am done, mostly since I am about to embark on an 8-week stage, so the work is nowhere near officially over. But still, I will no longer be making the walk up that hill, or hanging out in the lounge area with cool friends, or listening to professors rant and rage about ethical dilemmas, or surfing the Internet in the Ed library, or buying coffee in the caf, or making Art, or engaging in discussions with classmates, or doing a myriad of other activities in the life of an Education student. It all feels sort of surreal, like it's gone by in a big blur. I have been at McGill for six straight years, and now it's all winding down. Pretty crazy, but rewarding. I think it's about time to move on and go out into the "real world".

But here's what I've discovered about myself: I enjoy being a student. When I first started in Education, I was dreading another 3 years of school, but now I'm finding it a little bitter-sweet to leave. Just when you start to discover the value of true education, of being passionate about what you're learning, and engaging in meaningful dialogues, and asking the right questions, and picking your brain with people who are just as into as you are, that's when it's time for you to move on! It's funny how that works. Granted, there are certain courses that were more useful than others, but I understand now more than ever that you get what you put in. I started this semester rather frustrated with the work load, but now I'm grateful for all that we had to do because I have more resources and knowledge going into the job.

It's all "real" now, I can't just brush it off and tell myself that I have plenty of time to learn this or that or gather resources. The time is now, and I have to make the most of it. I guess I've also learned how important it is to keep up with the times, to keep expanding your knowledge, to engage in professional dialogues and to have ongoing professional development. Who knows, maybe I'll do a Masters one day - we'll have to see where teaching takes me. It's all very exciting and nerve-racking. I am nervous, yes, but I don't think I have that paralyzing fear of my first year of teaching that I once had. I know that as long as I map out my goals, keep organized and on top of things, everything should work out fine.

I am beyond grateful to have become good friends with Mallory and Tania (we make a great team girls, and you too Kristin). If you're reading this chickies, as you'd say Tania, I've loved all our discussions together on break, it's been so interesting getting to know you more and learning so much about ourselves as friends and professionals. Yes, I will call us professionals even though we aren't officially. I will so miss you, but we must and we WILL keep in touch, right?

Pat and I went out for coffee last Thursday afternoon, and I talked and talked about all of this, everything that I'm feeling right now going into my fourth stage. It was really nice to have somebody listen to my long rant - he is so great at that. He also had a chance to share some of the stuff going on with him right now, professionally, but also with his mom, so I think that was much needed. I guess that was our Valentine's Day outing, even though it wasn't anything official. It was special for us to get some alone time away from the world and those are among my favorite moments with him.

Yesterday I went to the new Mansfield Gym with my mom to try a spinning class with an instructor we know. The gym is super posh - it's the one in the new Habs training facility. All their equipment is top of the line - all the cardio machines have built-in TV screens that you can plug your iPod into, and they also give you the option to watch a live-feed of your kids playing sports at the facility. There's also a private spinning room with a ton of brand-new bikes, which was nice. In the locker room, they have steam showers, a sauna, and all the supplies you could dream of, like tampons, shampoo, condition, soap, etc, and even hair-dryers and straighteners right on the spot. It was soooo nice... I was very tempted to sign up, but I don't really need to go to a gym with all the equipment and DVDs that I already have at home. It's more for my mom, who had a nasty experience at the gym she had been going to for over 10 years... I won't go into details, but let's just say the place is extremely unprofessional (and I know because I used to work there) and the boss treated her like crap, so she left once and for all, thankfully with a refund. Now she is trying out a bunch of new gyms and has to decide where to go.

Last night we had a supper with my parents for Valentine's Day (ya, so romantic, eh?). My mom made this cute little chocolate cake at the last minute:

In other news, I am currently devouring the next book in the Philippa Gregory series. Man those Boleyns are so conniving, but it makes it all the more entertaining to read about them.

Anyways, gotta go attempt to do some scrapbooking now. I hope you all have a great week!


Danielle said...

Have fun during your final stage, Ashley ! Then it's the real thing in the classroom with YOUR students, your way of doing everything, etc. It's very exciting and nerve-wracking but oh so rewarding ! I've been teaching for the past 22 years and I still love it, so glad that I went into teaching ! I know what you mean about that sour-sweet feeling of leaving the university faculty. I still remember that I felt like that when I graduated with my music bachelor and then graduation with my education degree. I loved those University years : they were just awesome ! Hard hard work, but awesome ! And as a future teacher, we can never be too prepared. Reality is soooo different in our classroom than during a stage.

Are there lots of teaching openings in Montréal ? Have you started to go to interviews and such ? Were employers coming to your University to interview some future teachers ?

I wish you the best of fun and learning experiences during your last teaching stage ! It's awesome that you and your teacher are really on the same wave length : that is so important and makes the stage so much more valuable !

Take care !


Barb said...

My goodness, life is busy. I'm glad you're spending some good quality time with the people you love... and I'm glad you're enjoying your last stage. Your description of the super-posh gym made my eyes go wide. Do you think your mom will end up there?!

Anyway, take care of yourself... enjoy this time (because you WILL miss student life... just not the poverty associated with it! lol). But most of all, be good to yourself.