It’s been some time since I’ve graced my page, too long for my liking. Life on campus is coming to a close for this veteran academic, and needless to say, it has been one heck of a ride. This testimonial is not an implication that my journey through scholarship is finished. No, because for those of us that sacrifice time, family, tuition, and sometimes bits of sanity, we are fully aware that this calling is a lifetime one. We cannot escape the inexplicable fulfillment of making room for expanding our brain cells, and more importantly, demonstrating to our students the endless possibilities of such an endeavor.

It is a selfish and selfless road we traverse, which may be some of the reason why students feel so conflicted about this journey at times. The nights of cramming, reading, writing, equating, experimenting, researching, discovering, and doing it all over again when we hit a wall, working seamlessly into the early morning hours. The point at which we determine sleep is insignificant, but forms of caffeine are welcome with open arms. When the cell phone continuously goes off causing fits of aggravation until we decide it’s one less electronic mess to deal with and turn it off. We cut ourselves off from the world, and sometimes consequentially those we love, immersing focused into what we what we love to do.

I have come to understand why I love to do this, beside the obvious benefit of learning beyond myself. I am a creature of curiosity. I have been since I can remember. I’ve worked my way into my dad’s tool box numerous times, having an odd obsession with the rainbow colored magnets that stuck together on one end, and magically push away on the other. I was enamored of my mom’s make up kit, and the fragrant allure of Cover Girl, woking the electric blue shadow onto the tips of my fingers and wondering how such a thing could make her eyes so pretty. As a little girl, I made huge messes of muck and grass on my grandpa’s workbench in the back yard, as I had prepared our mudpie suppers. The pièce de résistance was granny’s jewelry box, not the goods that grandpa had spent so many hours at Chrysler working to award her with, but the trunk stuff, bobbles, pendants, ridiculous tiaras that she must have picked up at yard sales to tickle my fancy with, this was my treasure trove. This habit of play is what nurtured a habit of curiosity, and to this day I credit these experiences, because they are what taught me what working toward something means. They made me the curious mind that I am.

So, since I have been at Eastern, I have been desperately trying to find a position that fits my place in the world. I have utilized the values that my curiosity molded, trying to find the place that is carved out for me. This has not happened yet. As a matter of fact, I feel that there is no place carved out for me. Sometimes this feeling makes me very insecure, as though I’m not worthy of having my dream job, and sometimes I’m frustrated that the world hasn’t made room for me. As I am reaching the pinnacle (for now) of my academic career, I’m realizing that this journey wasn’t paved by the world for me to enjoy, it was paved by me to appreciate the world. So…with that admission, I am on the next journey. This is where I go back to the basics, for although teaching and education is my passion, writing in my heart. Thus, perhaps I haven’t found this niche yet, because I have been looking for the wrong thing. Maybe getting back to where I began as a student will help me locate where I might go next. I have decided to keep all options open and begin my search for my place in the world, by getting back to what I know, back to what I am. I am a writer, and it is by nature that this has refined me, not me it.

So, I will being to write as writers do, and all the while I will keep my perspective open to the opportunities that my passion may unveil. If I am fortunate enough to take the path leading to education and instruction, wonderful! If not, it is okay, because my writing has brought me this far, and has provided me with opportunities and accomplishments that I never dreamed I would witness in this life. I teach because I love it, but I write because it has loved me.

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