I haven't posted in awhile.....Last week had a few nights where I almost gave up and ran away. Merritt had 2 nights in a row where she got up every 2-3 hours. And the week before, Brent was sick for 4 days with a fever and while he tested negative for the flu, I am sure he had it. Luckily, no one else got it. Emma and Merritt did get colds, and we've gone through a lot of Kleenex lately. Brent's dear grandmother passed away last Wednesday also. It was expected, but sad nonetheless. She was 99 and one of the sweetest, sharpest ladies I've known. She loved to drink beer in a can and had the best stories. Sadly, the girls and I didn't attend the funeral. The flu has been really, really bad in eastern NC, and one cousin already was sick in bed with it....then Brent's mother tested positive immediately right after the funeral. I am so, so glad we did not go for that reason. But super sad not to have been a part of the service. Grandma would have turned 100 in March, so we are planning something special for that day. Let's hope the flu is over by then!
Last week I also cleaned out my office at Peace for good. Gosh, it had been a long time coming. I announced in August my plans to "retire" :)
But wow, the feelings.
10 years of memories. Some good, some painful.
I started thinking back on all the students I had known, all the tutors I had trained. I feel like I am walking away from something that was such a huge part of me. I started working there immediately after I graduated Grad school, and only took 1.5 off and then returned. I worked my way up from the bottom, and literally built the tutoring program there. We had 4 tutors there when I started, and I leave it now with over 20. I created the tutoring center, fought hard for a designated space, and spent countless hours creating handouts, study aids, and other materials.
I formed an official training course for tutors and evaluation process. I worked hard with other departments on campus to make sure students got the support they needed. I conducted numerous workshops, visited classes, and taught hundreds of freshmen.
I advised hundreds of undecided major students, mentoring them in their first 2 years of college. I watched many students, whom others said would not make it past their first semester, go on to graduate. I offered kleenex to countless homesick kids who felt the world on their shoulders, but somehow found refuge in a tiny office with a quirky teacher.
I watched many dear colleagues come and go as the times at Peace changed.
Wow, I accomplished a lot.
But it stings.
I know in my heart that I cannot fully commit to the job anymore, and haven't been able to for some time. My heart, my thoughts, and my energy is on my family. And that's ok. I gave what I could. But it feels like I am closing the door on an era and I feel pain and worry knowing that I can't get it back.
I love my new role...I love taking care of my family. But I loved my students, I loved using the $60k education my parents so generously bought me:) I loved academics. If I could have stayed in college my whole life, I would. I loved learning and collaborating.
And I loved sharing that with students who were struggling to love learning. I loved helping them find their inspiration and motivation to accomplish their goals.
But the time has come to grow up and into a new person. I hope one day I can return to teaching and mentoring students. But for now, I am feeling all the feels.....and missing all my Peace peeps a little bit more than usual.