Friday, January 23, 2009

Motivation and Pivotal Point

I've been pondering the whole lose weight scenario for..... years. But more so the last few months. I watched most of last seasons "Biggest Loser: Couples", and have felt quite motivated. Well, somewhat. :) I've got plans in the works anyway. Yes I know they are camped out in a far away place where they are watched over 24 hours a day with meal plans and are fed to them three times a day, and a gym full of every possible work out equipment ever desired. But, I'm pretty sure I can begin my own journey. Hopefully. Doesn't Michelle look fabulous??


Since I was in 7th grade, whenever someone would ask me, "What are you going to be when you grow up?" I would respond, every time without fail, "A teacher for the Deaf." Well, after 13 years, I think I'm going to change my mind. Holy Cow, I know! This is huge. All my schooling the last 7 years has been ASL classes. But I am so stoked for my decision. It feels really great.
Some of you might remember when I worked at The Learning Center for Families. When I was a senior in high school I was in the service club, R.A.S.K.A.L.S. (random acts of kindness and little surprises). Debbie Justice, the director of TLC, was invited to come in and share about TLC and the great things they do. She briefly discussed internships that were available. I went home that day, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I decided to call her and find out more info. I then discussed it with one of the counselors at school and the possibility of having it count as credit hours. It worked out, and the last two quarters (equivalent to one semester, AKA four months- anyway, like you care!) of my senior year I was able to spend half my day playing with kids. My first period I was a TA for Mrs./Sister Lafaele, and then I headed to TLC till halfway through 5th period. (Laf's class was doughnut runs and movies, and 5th period was Mrs. Bucholtz, whose class was the first class I ever ditched. A bunch of fun gals in the class (Jocee, Laura and Carly {smile}) convinced me to skip out of class one time because I miss half of it anyway, and to go hang with them at Carly's house. I thought, sure, why not. The WHOLE time I felt so guilty and squeamish (is that a word...?). Well the next day in class they all got in trouble except for me! She just assumed I was still at TLC. Fun memories!) During the last few weeks of the school year Debbie offered me a job. I was so excited! I began at the bottom of the totem pole, and didn't get very far- but I loved it! I work for two years as a classroom aide smelling like clorox for those two years. Meeting some of the most beautiful children, and making the closest and greatest friends. Some I will have for the rest of my life. I learned how to look inside of person to see who they really are, and how to find joy in small accomplishments. Such good things.
I left for a great opportunity to mentor and interpret for a class of Deaf students. Also a fabulous opportunity. During the summer of my second year with the Deaf kids, I happened to pass Tena on the road. I followed her back to the center. Lo and behold, she was about 8 months pregnant! After a year and a half absence, I once again returned to the land of TLC :) Another year later and a half, I left it all and served the mish. And now, almost four years later, I am preparing to return. It's just so good!
So, this is what happened. Honestly, I haven't been too thrilled about the whole ASL/Deaf stuff. It hasn't quite floated my boat for a while. I haven't been as excited about it as I was in the past. The point that I have arrived at hasn't been as enjoyable. Class wise, I am done learning vocab and now all classes are in ASL. And I've learned something, its hard to hear but its the truth- in class, we are all judging each other! Its true!! And very sad. We are all interpreters and we judge each other by our ability to sign. Most of those opinions are negative. We are a sad little group.
Also, when people ask my major I get a basic three responses. #1: "Death education....? Oh! You mean DEAF education." #2: About 3 minutes after saying my major, "Oh, so you must know sign language. Do you know some sign language?" #3: "That is such a great goal. It will be so great for you to help those people." And I am done with struggling to come up with an answer less than 30 seconds long in defense of the Deaf, against the ignorance of people. It's just so hard.
Anyway, last week UVU was having a career fair in the "freshman building". As was headed to calss, jammin' to my ipod, I looked over and there staring back at me, were pictures of little ones sitting in red and blue chairs playing with yellow and green toys. My heart swelled just a bit. I knew right then, I needed to make a change. So I'm going to!
A couple weeks ago I went in and chatted some specifics with my academic advisor, as I already mentioned, that I only need two semester till I can receive my Associates Degree. So, I'm going to work towards that goal, and then move on to changing my major to Special Education/Early Childhood stuff, focusing on children birth to five. I'm so excited!

9 comments:

Camilla and Tim said...

This is awesome Monica! You sound so excited about this change in your life! Congrats! You've always talked about working witht he kids and I could tell you loved it SO much! Good luck with it all, you will do amazing!

Camille said...

Congrats my friend! Its always so great to have those a-hah moments where things become clear. You of course will do wonderfully!

Brimaca said...

Did you know I majored in Special Ed. and taught for awhile? It was very rewarding and I used sign language every day (I only know about fifty words however). Congrats to you and enjoy it!

KelliAnn Christensen said...

Wow, Monica, how exciting. You will do a great job in your new career path, I am sure. Good luck!!

Ashley said...

Way to go Monica! It's so hard to find out what you want to do for the rest of your life. That's exciting!

rebecca said...

im so happy for you:)

Burlene said...

Yeah, keep working on your goals.

ChrissyLee said...

i like people like you! how fun that you worked at TLC! we are spending a lot of time there right now! as you probably already figured out, we think our daughter is autistic! so...it's great to hear that people are actually wanting to be there helping our little ones. thanks! :)

Caralee said...

Monica I am so proud of you for having the guts to follow your dreams! The major that you are going into is what I hope to do someday also. Only I want my focus to be on children with autism. There is an amazing ABA autism preschool in Provo that thought me so much. Anyway congrats on following your dreams and I truly hope that you are happy with your decision!