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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

mid-life crisis looming

I spent my day on the banks of the mighty Columbia River yesterday with 22 fifth graders; the one in the curls giggling with her friends was mine.

We tested the river's ph and wrote hypotheses and conclusions - well, they did, I made sure they came home intact, and handed out the goggles - and tried our hands at being scientists.

And there I was, in the sand, approaching 38 thinking: Why didn't I become a science teacher? Followed by: This must be a taste of mid-life lunancy, the questioning of lost possibilities that never occurred to me before.

My husband? He could be a muckety-muck in Scienceland, he who chooses documentaries about black holes over perfectly good new House episodes.

But besides that Biology student of the year thing in 9th grade, earned by my goody-good nature over anything seriously academic, I've always been an artsy girl. Chasing after the wind.

Chasing a ministry degree, in a program for men only

Writing.

I'm a dreamer in the worst sort of way.

But I liked the feel of wet mud in my hands, the freckles on the nose of a boy paying attention to the thermometer in the earth. There was something solid to be found in those scattered leaves, collecting data and listening to a 11 year old boy recount his first breakup.

(I did not let on to my opinion of such drama. My eyes did not roll even once.)

So, I plan to turn to what I know best, and I will wrap up these memories for safe keeping, to be savored in the words I will write, captured in stories I will tell, and stories I will keep, when my field trip days are through.

10 comments:

Shana said...

"I want more of this" is never something I think about after a day of volunteering with my daughter's fourth grade class. Ever. You are good.

Stephanie Breuner said...

sounds like teaching art or a children's writing class would marry your two interests. What about teaching a community class?

brandy101 said...

Have you thought about getting your teaching certification? I dont think it costs a great deal to do so in most states...

San Diego Momma said...

You are a writer.

Suzanne said...

You are so poetic... even when writing about dirt. How do you do it?

I am on a field trip come Monday. But it's to the bowling ally. Gladly, I doubt I will feel remiss about never becoming a professional bowler. But ya never know.

flutter said...

You are phenomenal

~Swankymama said...

I am so much like that. Contemplating lost opportunities and wondering where I should decide to land. I'm good at dreaming, just not good at living the dream.

I have to give you a high five for considering teaching. It is such an important and meaningful job, yet I know I could never do it!

susiej said...

Wow... Full of longing, yet full of hope. Midlife is hard.

lapoflux said...

How do you manage to write about something that can be so angst-riden in such a lovely way? You amaze me.
I have 39 looming and I have a post in my head about my mid-life crisis, the "what do I want to be when I grow up" one... but it's so messy that I can't subject people to it.
But don't you think we're lucky to have options? To get to this stage of our lives and try to figure out what we want to do? (Now if I could just decide!)
Thanks for a lovely post.

JCK said...

Lovely. Especailly those last few sentences.