Lately I started thinking about this blog and it might very well be because the year anniversary of its inception is coming up in a few days. Or it could be because I haven’t exactly been keeping up with this the way I had intended. As each semester or quarter ends, I get excited and look forward to a lull in academics for a short time, but I realized since starting grad school that the way I’ve gone about my classes has resulted in no real break in between sessions due to some of them overlapping each other. This is what happens when you pursue something big and decide to just jump right in for fear of giving it too much thought and chickening out. Needless to say, I jumped, I didn’t chicken out, and life has taken on a whole new level of “busy”.
A year ago I was doing some soul searching because my plans of becoming a physical therapist were fizzling. I was getting that gut feeling that was easy to ignore when I first decided to go back to school, and earning top scores in my life science courses convinced me that this was the path that was meant to be. A year of volunteer work, as fulfilling as it was to work one-on-one with rehab patients, helped me realize that I loved the people interaction, but hated the seemingly endless time spent on the computer doing paperwork. It seemed very boring and tedious to me. However, as stubborn as I was, I decided to just keep going because ultimately I knew I had to make a decision with what I was going to do with all this schooling under my belt. How on earth could I choose a different path when I hadn’t considered any other detours?
Ironically, a physical therapist was a frequent participant in one of my Bodypump classes, and she asked me if I had considered going into Health Education. This immediately made me think of my days in high school, muddling through health class half asleep, and I walked away from that conversation wondering why she would think I could be a teacher. But a little bit of research brought some enlightenment, and I found a graduate school which offered a dual program in Nutrition and Public Health, with (get this) an option to pursue a concentration in Health Education. What’s even better is that this school is down the street from me, and I realized a friend I had met randomly through other friends a few years ago was the department chair of one of those programs at this university.
If there was ever a time in which things were meant to be, this was one of them. It was a though there was a giant neon sign placed in front of me that said, “THIS! DO THIS!” And indeed, it is what I have been doing since September 2015 when enrolled in one more year at the junior college to take three additional prerequisites for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness Program, but I decided to get a jump start on the dual degree option and begin the Master of Public Health component in January of this year.
And so, January was my last blog entry, when I was giddy about finally being all grown up and in a different stage of academics, but at the same time trying to get used to a new way of thinking. This was no longer memorization and regurgitation of facts but the endless assimilation of research and analysis in weekly discussions and papers. In June I was accepted into the MS in Nutrition and Wellness program, which gave me the green light to keep trucking through the summer with two classes, one online and one on campus.
This past academic school year also involved many changes for my kids, with one starting high school, another starting middle school, and the youngest being by herself for the first time in grade school. I must say they had a good school year of “firsts”; my older daughter played on the basketball team, my son loves playing the clarinet and had a role in the school musical, and my younger daughter continues to hold onto her innocent, spunky sweetness even though she is growing up a little too quickly for my liking.
And then there is my husband. A few years ago he was a single guy living in a quiet little apartment. His life was simpler then, I’m sure. He did his own thing and I doubt anybody got in the way of anything he wanted to do, whether it was travel, train for and compete in triathlons, hang out with the guys, or just be in a state of peace and quiet. And then he met me and within a year of getting married I decided to go back to school. I keep waiting for him to complain or say something negative about what I’m doing because it does seem like it’s gone on forever and I don’t see an end in sight. My time is spent studying, and when I’m not studying I’m learning choreography and teaching. Yet, through this craziness, he has been my rock. Sure, it gets frustrating. My teenager can be difficult, with the my preteen son in close second, and even though my youngest child is so independent and care free, there are always the pangs of guilt that make me want to take care of everything, from folding their laundry to making them dinner. But my husband has been there, doing what I can’t do in the best way he possibly can.
So onward I go, now as a bonafide graduate student. Summer quarter is well under way and Fall quarter is already planned. And if I’m not mistaken, I may actually have a month off after this quarter, which I am hesitant to get excited over because I don’t remember what it feels like to have a break. What on earth will I do with myself??
Oh yeah. Marathon training. Gosh, I do have a lot to write about.