Welcome to Lows & Highs, a Stories from the Stairs weekly-ish feature! Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs from the week in the comments or by posting a link to your own lows and highs blog post.
Over the past week, I began sharing a big, life-changing announcement with family, friends, and coworkers. They had mixed responses and I am experiencing again what it is like to tell people news that is exciting for me but sad for them.
The Sad Part
I resigned – with two weeks’ notice, of course – from the fun, fascinating English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher assistant job I have had for a year and a half. I have enjoyed working with students who do not speak English as a first language, working with a sweet (though constantly changing) department of ESL professionals.
The Happy Part
On Friday, I accepted the one job in town that I want most of all, the job I trained for, the job I muscled through three years of grad school for: College instructor
Starting January 26, I will embark on a new adventure of teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). I am thrilled to have a job that fits my education and experience as well as the opportunity to work with students from a wide variety of countries and cultures.
Besides the job – naturally the best part of this change – I also get to work at Barton Community College, an institution I really like. I will freely admit that I am biased about the school. Over the eighteen-ish months I have lived in Great Bend, Brian and I have built a lively community of student friends through the Campus Christian Fellowship we lead with our friend, Clay. To support various student friends (and because we find it entertaining), we have attended concerts, plays, volleyball, basketball, art shows, and graduation festivities. I am looking forward to being on campus and being even more involved in campus life!
How has your week been?
Filed under life, milestones
Every Monday, I post and answer a selection from my collection of good questions. This week’s question is “What didn’t last forever but was still worth your while?”
College Friendships Didn’t Last Like I Expected
In my experience, most friendships are seasonal and do not last forever. This perspective never seems truer than in college. As students, we arrived eager to do something that mattered to us, to be who we thought we were, to belong to a community. From the beginning, we planned to be in college for a short time – a year, four years, six years. Most of us made friends despite the “expiration date” of graduation day. We made friends with people knowing not all of the relationships would last (or promising each other that we would be the exception). In the end, life and distance and a whole host of post-college experiences filled our time and most of those college relationships changed or faded away altogether.
Although I still chat on the phone or schedule in-person visits when I’m in the right area, most of those college friendships have faded into distant memories or maybe into keeping up whenever we appear in each other’s Facebook newsfeeds. I used to feel badly about not maintaining the relationships to the extent I had intended but now my philosophy is that it is natural for friendships to change.
We will never again be teenagers or twenty-somethings living in college dorms and apartments together, complaining about cafeteria food and joking about professors and asking each other hard questions. Nevertheless I value those inside jokes, hard questions and stories we lived together. I enjoyed my college years in a large part because of the friends I made during that season where our lives intersected in time and space.
If you are one of my college friends, I still remember you and tell stories about fun times and life lessons from our season together. College friends, getting to know you was undoubtedly worthwhile.
Now It’s Your Turn to Ask & Answer
Take the questions and ask your friends or family. I would love to hear your answers in the comments (seriously. that’s why I ask, after all)! If you have suggestions of questions for me to include, let me know.
I am back from my semi-unintentional three-month vacation from blogging! Here is a summary of what has been going on in my life. What have you been up to this summer?
At the end of April, a school where Brian applied in Oklahoma called for an interview. He had three rounds of interviews for one teaching job in May while preparing for our wedding.
At work, I wrote and updated what felt like 100 pages of procedures and trained people to cover my job. Let me tell you, it is challenging to explain how to analyze information I have handled automatically for the past eight years! My last day as a factory accountant was May 29 and we still did not know whether we would be living in GB or Oklahoma when we returned from the honeymoon.
We rehearsed, got married, and went on our honeymoon without major catastrophes. (There are fantastic stories and photos to go with each of those experiences, so they will have separate posts later.)
At the end of our honeymoon, we found out the Oklahoma job was offered to someone else. For three weeks, we prepared to live in GB and started packing my whimsical, single girl apartment with its lavender living room, sunshine-yellow kitchen, and royal purple doorway.
We made a home-hunting trip to GB again and bought a ranch-style house (more details in a separate post). Closing was mid-July, so we lived in Brian’s bachelor pad apartment for three weeks while he taught summer school in the afternoons.
We closed on our house and moved everything from both apartments. We are still sorting and finding places for things and decorating (it will take a while!).
We are preparing for student ministry kick-off as college students return for the fall semester.
Side note: I updated my blog header, The List, and About today and have more stories on the way!
What is one thing you hope to change?
I am looking forward to changing my job someday. I am currently an accountant but will finish my M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). I would love to teach English to college students or adults.