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The Hood That Made Me Cry

Thursday, May 30, 2013

By Ellen Greenberg

I feel that embarking on a new situation is extremely scary and comes with constant worry and doubt. People who appear confident might have that as a front so no one sees their fear, but everyone feels it. We wonder if this is the right choice, how long until I know for sure that this is what I want, or do I even like my decision?

People want to know what the easy way out is. Well, guess what? If you have the drive and want to be successful, there is no easy way out. We as patients and people know this on a daily basis. If you breathe, you are going to take chances and risks.

This is how I felt three years ago when I decided to return to school and give teaching a second try, but this time I had a few advantages on my side. The college had a satellite campus 15 minutes away from my parents’ house, which I’d just moved back to. This time I did not have to commute for over an hour and work simultaneously. I also had the luxury of not paying rent and being able to choose the age of the students I wanted to work with.

After much consideration and fear I applied to graduate school again—yes, for the third time. Well, it is true about what they say, “third time’s the charm.” This time it was.

I made a few wonderful friends and had some excellent professors. I lucked out because I had my favorite professors multiple times. My friends and professors assisted me in completing my assignments while I was in the hospital or at home recovering from multiple belly taps. I knew at these moments that I had made the right decision. I had wonderful student teaching experiences and through this work and a thesis, I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could. When I felt as if I had no family, school was my family. I learned that I am actually creative and can make those feared lesson plans.

The amount of literal blood, sweat and tears—and I mean blood, sweat and tears—that went into this endeavor was no small feat. The day that my commencement regalia arrived, I pulled it out, looked at my hood that goes over your head and hangs down the back of your gown, and I cried. I didn’t know that my reaction would be so strong, but I cried full of happiness and pride, knowing that I have come so far and would be walking with my friends at Radio City Music Hall.

I still have one class left to finish until I am eligible to receive my diploma, but I have my hood and no one can take that and the feeling of accomplishment away from me. I wear it proudly as a sign of strength and commitment. This week I will even be inducted into the international teachers honor society. Yes, the one with the health issues and special education classes is a certified teacher and in the honor society.

So take it day to day and keep working at whatever you start—you’ll get there!


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The opinions expressed by ACHA bloggers and those providing comments on the ACHA Blog are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the ACHA bloggers.

The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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