Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blog Topic Due January 27 by 11:59 pm

This week, I would like for all of you to begin thinking about your resume and mock interview. As you look for a job description to send to me by Friday of next week (will be on your TO DO list for next week), it is important that you think about your future very seriously. As a result, I'd like for you to write a post about what you would like your life to be like in ten years.

For me, ten years doesn't seem like it's as far away as it likely does for you guys. (After you have kids, the years pass by much more quickly, lol.) I want to finish my Ph.D. in 2008, so this means that my career should change quite a bit. I have set pretty lofty goals for myself, but that's what got me to this point, so I might as well continue.

I would actually like to be back at Clemson in tens years' time. I plan to go to another school to teach for a couple of years after graduation; I think I'd like to teach at UGA because they have an excellent Education program. I am hoping that my career will really take off while I'm there. My goal is to have my dissertation published as a book; additionally, I plan to write a autobiographical novel about my own experiences while writing the dissertation. (Dissertation topic: What are the coping stategies of teen mothers who go on to two and four year colleges? I think this can be used to create a program that teaches other teen moms how to do it.)

I want to be on Oprah's show to discuss the novel/dissertation. Dream big, I always say. I really want to promote the program and get federal funding to put it in place. I believe the publicity attached to appearing on the Oprah show might help me with that. I wouldn't be opposed to winning an Oscar for writing a screenplay adaption of my novel; but my primary focus will be getting the program for teen moms going.

When I return to Clemson, I'd like to have such solid funding that I could start a laboratory school (kind of like what John Dewey did in the 20s) right here at Clemson. It'd be a school for the children of teen moms. In other words, the teen moms would be getting their degrees here without having to worry about daycare for their kids. My laboratory school would use incredibly innovative instructional techniques, modeled to an extent after the Reggio Emilia program in Italy. Meanwhile, the teen moms would have mentors to help them make it through their studies.

Of course, those are merely my professional goals. Personally, I'd like to be watching my two wonderful children blossum into happy young adults, living out their own professional and personal dreams. I'd like to be the kind of mom who talks to them every single day, regardless of where they live. I want to support them in all that they endeavor to do.

I want to still be married to my wonderful husband, hopefully having convinced him that travelling is good by that point. (He's not a fan of leaving the country.) I hope we are able to travel around together, learning about different cultures and just enjoying the freedom of being able to do that.

I will want to have a closer relationship with my other family members, bringing my life full circle. Being the first person in your family to go to college is a big thing, but it can alienate you to an extent. (I write this because I know some of you may soon be going through that.) It's just because your life can be so different with an education. I want to honor my family's culture with my writing... maybe doing a novel about my grandparents raising all those kids in the mountains. I want them to know that they have been a very important part of me getting to this point in my life.

Above all, I want to keep balance in my life by keeping my faith a top priority. One's faith, is, of course, a private thing, so I will not discuss that here. But I want to live both my professional and personal lives in such a way that I keep my faith a focus. That is very important to me.

So, ten years from now, I want to be there, in this world I've just described. I wish you luck as you endeavor to figure out where you want to go during this upcoming phase of your lives.

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