I told my fellow KBer’s last night that I was about to crash and burn. This morning, isn’t much better. I’m at the Summer Intensive Learning Experience for my doctoral degree. I think a better name would be the Summer Sadomasochistic Learning Experience. While there are many laughs as we work on “team” projects, overall it is a grueling experience.
Yesterday, as a team, we fashioned a toilet paper outfit for modeling. It was hysterical and a lot of fun. However, we also listened to over an hour of a guest speaker whose task it was too keep us awake after lunch telling us about his charter school. I am sure there were some in the room interested. Most are educators, but I’m not. It really was of little interest to me, especially right after lunch on day five of ISLE or SSLE. I used every distraction I could to keep from nodding off.
By supper yesterday, I was feeling good that we were on the downward slope. Half way through! Just a few days more to go. I could make it! Woo-Hoo – just a few more days of long sitting in class and team activities. Hopefully I’d be on a productive teams for the rest of the week. While ideas were short in my brain at this point, hopefully as a team, whatever team I was on, we’d pull it off.
Then I hit the evening class. Four assignments will be due before we leave. What? Four days to complete what? More team presentations. More busy work. A 25 item Meta-Analysis due when? By when did you say? Looks like they don’t want us to sleep at all. I’m OLD! While I may not be collecting Social Security when I finish, I won't be far at all from that milestone.
People try to make me feel better when I talk about being old. The truth is I am, by almost every standard imaginable, too old for this. While I constantly think about leaving – no one would blame me. They’d say well, you know she is a bit old for this. When asked to image your current work situation I think WHAT? work situation? I had to do an assignment about my professional life and use my family rather than colleagues... the list goes on and on. We are supposed to imagine a post-doctoral degree job? career? - my retort is I am old – I have no time to realistically think about a new career. But yet, I’m here. I’m still here.
So what does this have to do with sacrifice? It has a lot to do with it. As I write this I am looking at a rock. Last year one of our many teams led a presentation where we took rocks, wrote our names on it, and then wrote why we were here. I wrote on mine, Glorify God.
The late night hours, grueling work, running with people the age of my children and hoping they won’t discount having their mother in the room… it’s really not all about me. It’s not about me at all. It’s because God put this desire in my heart. It’s because God knows something I don’t know. It’s a sacrifice. Trust me. Sleeping in a dorm room, sharing a shower, being in classes for nearly eleven hours each day followed by a team project planning time, a video shot, or a musical presentation – that’s a sacrifice. The only thing that keeps me here is God. I don’t know what or why, but I do know He’s called me to this place.