Friday, May 31, 2013

The College Story: Part Seven

Happy Friday!
Let's just say that I have mixed emotions about this weekend...
I had a CRAZY week (with school letting out and having to pack up my classroom) 
and am very much looking forward to relaxing.
But Monday starts Summer Camp 2013 at the YMCA...
and, well, I'm not feeling completely prepared for it.
I'm hoping and praying for a peaceful weekend
and I wish the same for all of you! <3
My babies were so excited on the Last Day of School :)
To continue (and hopefully, FINISH) my college story...

I didn't pass my Re-Entry to Radiography Exam.
Again, I was close...not as close as my Final Grade situation,
but I was still pretty close.
I needed a 78% to pass the exam.
I got a 69%.
My instructor had graded my exam right in front of me
and I managed to surprise even myself 
when I didn't completely dissolve into a puddle of tears
when she informed me of my score.

In fact, I felt...peaceful.
Borderline numb...but mostly peaceful.
I was able to calmly thank her for the opportunity
to retest into the Radiography Program.
She once again expressed her opinion that I belonged in X-Ray
and that I should try again in the future when I had the money to do so.
I told her I would reconsider the X-Ray program in five years.
I left her office with my heart full of questions 
but my head held high.
When I reached the ICC parking deck,
aloud I said, "Okay, Jesus, what now?"
(Haven't we all been there a time or two?)
There was no giant crash of thunder or bright strike of lightning 
informing me what His next plans were for my life.
I didn't really think there would be.
I just had an overwhelming sense that 
everything was going to be okay.

 The door to X-Ray officially closed for me on January 30.
In the months that followed (and even now), I occasionally felt...at loose ends.
Even after writing this College Story,
it's sometimes still difficult to talk about X-Ray.
Because I still love it.
And I DEFINITELY miss it.
And I'm still not quite sure what the point of the whole experience was.
I've got some ideas about it...but I'm not 100% sure.
That's not to say I regret being in the program.
On the contrary, I learned a lot during the Radiography Program
and not just about X-ray.

Of course, I learned how to position a patient correctly
to produce good images.
And I learned the criteria for what makes an image "good".
I learned good patient care skills and how to work with people 
who resented a student's presence in their hospital.
But more importantly, I learned things about myself as a person.
I learned that I DO tend to be a little naive.
I learned that flexibility is NOT one of my natural God-given talents,
but rather something I REALLY have to work on. 
I learned that no matter how hard I try,
I'm NEVER going to please everyone.
Someone will always have a problem with something!
(Feel free to write that down...I think I will...)
I learned that I was "brave" enough 
to stand my ground when my faith was challenged.
I learned how to be a witness.
Those lessons are priceless and I will always be grateful 
for the opportunity Radiography gave me to learn them.
For the record, this is NOT a spectacular chest X-ray...:) I haven't forgotten everything yet...
My boss at the YMCA knew I was taking my Re-Entry Exam
and was anxious to find out if she was going to be losing me (again).
Her worries were put to rest when I informed her 
that I was still hers on a full-time basis for the foreseeable future. 
She immediately set about acquiring the tools 
I would need to plan and coordinator Summer Camp 2013.
She was beyond happy to pass that burden onto me
and I was actually happy to take it on.
Camp planning is pretty simple and enjoyable.
Just the kind of work I needed after the stress of the X-Ray situation.

And my babies at Concordia Lutheran School...
well, they are my little sunshines,
who can make me smile even on my lowest day.
(I'm really going to miss them over the summer...)
Sometimes I don't know where I would be without them.
I have these kids 3 hours a day on average.
And during that time, I try to have a positive effect on them.
I want them to know I believe in them
and that I'm there for them in any capacity that they need.
But, more often than not, 
I think they have a bigger effect on me 
than I do on them.
I hope my impact on them is half as effective 
as theirs has been on me.
I feel blessed beyond measure to have them in my life.
They were a great source of support and unconditional love 
throughout the X-Ray situation.

In late February and early March,
I looked into Photography school and was actually accepted 
into the online program through The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
But, once again, money was an issue.
The Art Institute would've cost me over $9,000 for an academic year
and financial aid could only get me a $3,600 grant.
So, I graciously turned down the offer to be a student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

So, right now, and for the next little while at least,
I'm just working for the YMCA 
(and doing a little photography on the side)
And, actually, I am actively looking for a second job 
to help with these student loan payments.
Sometimes, I think that God has me in a time of rest.
I'm not completely sure of this, but I strongly suspect it.
Whatever the reason for this season in my life,
I know He knows what He's doing.
There's a purpose for this that I don't understand yet.
I may never understand it in this life.
But someday I will.
"Now we see things imperfectly, 
like puzzling reflections in a mirror, 
 but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. 
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, 
but then I will know everything completely, 
just as God now knows me completely."
I Corinthians 13:12 - The New Living Translation

Thank you for going on this College Story journey with me.
As I've said many times, it was something I needed to do for myself,
but I appreciated the company more than I can express in words.
Knowing you were there waiting to hear the rest of the story
kept me writing even when I really didn't feel up to telling it.
I'm looking forward to some more FUN writing on my blog now...:)
(Including my "Tree of the Week"...I haven't forgotten!
Just got caught up in this College Story)
I hope you will continue to read!