Friday, February 29, 2008

Morphing the Dream

David pointed out that I'd been silent and he was concerned. :) My good friend, JS, has been letting me pop in to visit as her schedule allows. My sister is calling me every two weeks now. So what's up with me? Well, as the title implies, I'm morphing the dream.

Several years ago, a good and beloved friend suggested I become a teacher. His wife had been using my semi-expertise in computers. "Why not," I thought? "I'm good at it!" So, with the help and encouragement of friends I stepped onto a path.

This was about 2 years after my marriage broke up. I'd never changed careers before. If I had I might have tackled it differently. The path I took was designed to be short. It turned out not to be short. It was designed to get me in a job quickly. There were none to be had. So things went on for a while with me knocking on doors and taking training workshops. They called this the alternative route. I eventually took a job doing something much lower in the teaching field. I became an aid in special education.

My job taught me much. It opened my eyes about the education system. While working in it I found that I really love children. I like teachers. That I love the learning environment, I already knew. One-on-one teaching is something I excel at. Something I'm not good at is arguing. And kids today really seem to know how. I'm also not good with large groups of people be they kids or adults. If I'd thought about the type of person I am, because I already knew some of that, I might have rethought public school teaching as a career.

Because I was challenged and happy, eventually I went back to college and got even more classroom experience. That was so much fun and I loved being creative with lesson planning. There were signs that I was on the right path, good grades, success in lessons planned and given, people who believed as I did put in my path to guide me. Then came the moment every education major dreads, student teaching. That was a different sort of learning experience. In student teaching I felt like I had hit a wall.

Someone once told me, "intelligence is not level across the board." Well it seems that I've met a ceiling. And it is a very hard ceiling. Down I crashed. Determined I could learn from this experience I mustered my resources and bravely, albeit with some trepidation, tried again. Again I hit the ceiling! This time I didn't even see it coming.

The thing that surprised me the most was, I felt relieved to be out of the public school classroom. That doesn't mean that I'm not good at teaching, or that education in some form isn't the right path for me. It just means that I should train small groups, preferably adults who value education, and find a job that will use some of my other strengths. So, with the help of a responsible university, caring friends and family, and my own desire to grow into something I will love, I've decided to look for a new type of job.

What's my new dream job? Well, that is still to be determined, but I can tell you the skills I have that it will include. It will include writing! People keep telling me that I'm good at it and I really enjoy it after I get over the fretting about what I'm going to say part. :) It will include me training others or developing something that helps with that! I am a good teacher and one of my strengths is clear step by step explanations of things, even those that are rather abstract. It will involve the use of computers! After 21 years in the Information Processing field I have gained skills and shown aptitudes that shouldn't go to waste. I'm even good at teaching you how to use them. Put those three tings together and you have a lot of possibilities in many different career fields. And that's where I'm doing my work for the moment.

Right now, Career Services(CS) and I are working on giving me job search skills. One thing they did was have me take a neat personality test. LOL! You know me and tests, right? This one was based on the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. I'm an INTJ! That "I" surprised me because I love being the center of attention. The results also said I'd be bored doing repetitive things. Well, heck, I've done them. I always found that the repetitiveness gave me time for mental wandering. Maybe I was bored. I definitely found ways to entertain myself. Another thing CS has me doing is job searches to see if the job descriptions fit my interests. We are going to rewrite my resume and set it up to be customizable for different types of jobs. I also plan on going through one of those simulated interview sessions to make sure I don't have any major impediments in my presentation.

In the meantime, I'm once again scoring education tests for the same place I worked at late last year. Yes, I'm going to look at that company. I'm looking to see if there are publishing firms in the Texas area. I'm also looking at the IP/IT field to see if there are jobs there that I can fit well. So, please keep me in your prayers? I'm morphing my dream in hopes of a better fit.


San said...

Lee, you are a talented, intelligent woman who wants to make a difference. The world needs you!

You will most certainly be in my prayers. I will be praying that the world will claim its gift...

Lee said...

San, I am so blessed to have you for a friend. I'll take those prayers and dream with them. :)

Peace, hope, and joy, My Lady!

david mcmahon said...

Hi Lee,

Ceilings ambush us all at times. But they're just detours on the way to doing something we really believe in.

God bless you in your quest.

You will succeed. Yes, you will.

Keep smiling


Lee said...

Hi David,

Thank you for the vote of confidence! I think I'll succeed too. It will just take more thoughtful planning than I did before. See? I'm learning already! :)

With friends like you I'll always be smiling!


murat11 said...

What a fine piece of writing, Lee. And what a blessing to figure out what you want and what you don't want. You've managed to sculpt a "right nice" clarity in your sense of where to best channel your gifts. It takes courage to leave the rutted path and move on. May you fare well.

That "I" in the INTJ does not strike me as a surprise. Quick grab from Wikipedia:

"The Introvert's flow is directed inward toward concepts and ideas and the Extravert's is directed outward towards people and objects. There are several contrasting characteristics between Extraverts and Introverts: Extraverts desire breadth and are action-oriented, while introverts seek depth and are self-oriented.

"The terms Extravert and Introvert are used in a special sense when discussing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Someone with a clear E preference is not necessarily a party animal or a show-off, just as someone clearly preferring I is not necessarily shy, retiring or unsociable."

Peace and prosperity to you, from an ENFJ.

Lee said...

Thank you, Paschal! Your words bring a feeling of warmth to my heart and questions to my mind. I wonder what the letter soup does to friendships and partnerships? It felt nice when I noticed that you and I share 2 of the 4. I wonder what JS's are? Being close friends, we share more? That might be interesting food for study. The most puzzling question is, "If an I, such as myself, can be so focused for depth on others and other things, why do I find it so hard to focus that same depth of study on myself?"

May you always do what you love, Paschal! From a fellow Reconciler.

Sandi McBride said...

I've enjoyed our chats so much and I can feel the teaching gene pouring out of your fingers, girl! Anyone who loves people as much as you do, and aren't afraid to take a have to go for the dreams, and hold on tight!

Lee said...

You know, I haven't met a cop yet who wasn't good at reading people. Thanks for sharing your instincts about me. I love our chats too. And yes, I hope that I got the teaching gene from my mom. She was one and so was her mother. I'll find that niche somewhere. Never fear!


jsd said...

Hey Lee, I'm glad that Career Serices is being really helpful. Just an off-hand thought, you might want to read about technical writing. To a new journey.

Lee said...

Adding that to the list. Thanks, JS! I'm toasting w/ sweet wine. :)

Hope you're feeling better.