Thursday, February 9, 2012

Changes in Latitude

No, not in the geographic sense, for the foreseeable future, we're staying right where we've been.  Changes in latitude as in "freedom from narrow restrictions."  As in new-found latitude.  And lots of it.  It's amazing.

OK, so it's not the typical forms of latitude.  The latitude I've been giving myself lately is that of imagining.  Dreaming.  Thinking up new courses.  New assignments.  Field trips.  Lesson plans.  Exam question banks.  Quizzes.  Yes, I'm a complete and utter dork.  I'm fine with that. 

See, for some reason, I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable in my own skin.  I feel like I can do this.  Like I can teach.  Be a professor.  Join academia.  And deserve it- because I have something to contribute.  What caused this change?  I don't know.  Really, I have no idea.  Maybe it was officially entering my thirties.  Maybe it was buying my academic robes.  Maybe it was the student offering to write a letter of recommendation for me, if it would help me get the job.  If one of my students is willing to advocate for me, shouldn't I be willing to advocate for myself?  I figured I probably should be.

And oddly, I feel ready.  I've spent so much of my time being an advocate for others, I should be great at it, right?  That's the plan, anyway.  I'm not religious.  I'm not spiritual.  I don't believe in predestination.  But I do believe in making the most of what you've been given.  The things that seemed like burdensome responsibilities I can now more fully appreciate as the training that they were.  What had been favors for friends, I can see as the horizon-broadening experiences they were.  There's nothing that lead me down the path that I chose; on the other hand, the path I took has made me an excellent candidate.

Now to show that to the world, and myself.

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