Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Nostalgia Lane

A box unearthed a few days ago stuffed with college shtuff.  Since the boy and I went to the same institution, these boxes that get moved from various nooks to crannies around our house every few months are often a grab bag of memories.  In this box, I unearthed a symbol of many laborious collegiate hours--my teaching portfolio. 

This hulking piece of nonsense was so stuffed with every single piece of everything that I could unearth in my 4 years (of which only 2 1/2 were actually spent conjoined to the major) to prove that I was brilliant! passionate! spirited! enlightening! encouraging! and caring! that it literally weighs as much as our two cats combined, though not nearly so snuggly as they are.  "Hulking piece of nonsense"--what??  I think education is a "hulking piece of nonsense"???    Oh no, no, my good friend.  Education itself is most definitely not.  The portfolio, however, which was intended to "prove" my ability to teach most definitely is.  In fact, I believe that this specific torture device was only used for about 2 or 3 years, right around when I graduated.  I haven't been up to date on my requirements to graduate from a 4-year institution with a major in education, but I believe that the specific portfolio requirements in place about a decade ago (ouch!) were quickly changed.  Rightly so, dear state educators.

But this relic did invite me to take a loving stroll down Nostalgia Lane for a few moments because it has a handful of original essays that I wrote in my dearly beloved core classes--i.e. my other major.  And these originals have the handwriting of some of my favorite English-y minds that I have had the privilege of learning from or with. 

I glanced through the essay where I learned that it's okay to use "I" and, subsequently, how to do it correctly.

I found one of my favorite essays that I ever wrote whereupon I realized what is undoubtedly some intentional (and seriously clever) Dickensian wordplay.

I read through a couple of my first bungling writing attempts alongside some that show a couple of years of work and dedication to writing better.  That's some sweetness to see overt progress.

Those were a fantastic 4 years, which I'm not claiming because of wearing 10-years-later blinders.  I knew they were fantastic when I was there.  It was a sweet, sweet time.  Here's to my professors (even you, Dr. Oy Vey): it was fun times.  Thanks.

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