Skip to content

edu180atl: mary floyd 8.9.11

I haven’t played the role of college student since the 80’s and after a sudden
midnight epiphany last week, I’ve decided it’s time for grad school.

Circumstances change. When you think you have everything under control,
something unexpectedly rocks your world. How you react is key because change is
good if you embrace it.

So I’m unemployed. So my house is for sale. So my marriage is over. Hard to
swallow, yes, but instead of focusing on what isn’t going as planned, I look at this as
opportunity. I get a mulligan.

Ask yourself “Where do I want to be 5 years from now?” Make a list of what it’s
going to take to get there. That’s as far as I got when I gave up the first time. The
list seemed undoable, unrealistic—you name it; I had an excuse. Then I asked
myself “Where will I be if I don’t do anything?” Exactly where I am now. Yuck! I
reread my excuses. Fear—that’s what it came down to. Fear of the GRE to be
specific. Seriously! When it hit me how irrational this was, I took advantage of a
midnight “you can do it!” wine moment and registered online for the test.

The next morning I experienced an unconventional hangover. Yes, there was the
typical “I can’t believe I did that last night” thinking, but a smirk of confidence
overtook my face until I was beaming ear to ear.

I am not stuck and neither are you.

About the Author: Mary Floyd is an (unemployed!) high-school English teacher and the mother of three daughters.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. dobbsep #

    I love your post. It is fearless– and that is a NECESSARY ingredient for learning. We’ve got to be fearless in the face of the unknown and the scary and the unplanned, for those are truly the moments we learn the most! Thanks for reminding me of that as I start the school year, as usual, with a little bit of trepidation!
    Go get em on the GRE!

    August 9, 2011
  2. Mary, I loved reading your post and your wise words…words that emerge, obviously, as you are living in the midst of change and uncertainty. As I read your post, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a student last year.

    He had gotten into some trouble and we talked about “what to do when you are at that fork in the road.” This was in relation to his behavior and impulsive decision making…which usually led to him taking the bad/wrong path vs the good/right path. Well, interestingly, a month later, he returned to my office and we revisited our conversation. After a bit of personal reflection and conversation concerning his last month (and his behavior), he asked me a question. He said, “Miss Howard, remember when you said there was a fork in the road…well, what about the third path? What is it?”

    To keep from laughing, I was quiet and thought about his response. Interestingly, he had been pondering this “third” path for a good month. A funny example about words, metaphors, and the literal understanding of an elementary student, yes. But, I also find that it is a good reminder to all of us adults.

    Sometimes, two roads diverge in a yellow wood and we have the chance to take the road not taken. Sometimes, it’s smart to continue through the yellow wood on the road that’s well-traveled. And sometimes, it’s smart to view this fork in the road, just as this adorable and hilarious elementary student did, and wonder about an additional path…one that may not even be cleared quite yet.

    It sounds like you are in the yellow wood and comfortable with unknown paths or those that aren’t well-traveled. Thanks for sharing “what you learned today” — it made me reflect on those areas of my life where I may need to seek new direction.

    August 9, 2011
  3. Mary,
    I am inspired by your fearless post. Thank you for sharing your journey. It made me reflect on what it is that I consider “learning.” Learning is so much about acknowledging our experiences, reflecting on how they have shaped us, and then making choices about how we will use our experiences to shape our own next steps. You captured that so well. I have often been surprised, in my own life, about what life presents to me when I do conquer my own fears. I think what I take away, in part, from your post is that learning… profound and life changing learning, takes courage. As I reflect on your post with regard to school, since it is the season of First Days across our city, I think that almost anyone can conquer the “basic mechanics” of school when it’s presented as “memorize this. regurgitate here.” But, what you point out is that true learning consumes the whole soul. May we all learn with fearlessness. Good luck on the GRE!

    August 9, 2011
  4. Mary,

    You rock! You seriously go, girl!


    An Inspired Reader

    August 10, 2011
  5. Robin #

    Just came back from vaca to read your post. Wow, I’m so proud of you. I’m glad you are taking life by the horns and are being the director of your future. I can just see you in 5-10 years, having many years of success under your belt, wondering why you ever doubted you could do it. GO MARY!!!

    August 12, 2011
  6. Mary #

    Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words! I didn’t know if anyone would actually read my post. And best of luck to all you teachers out there as you embark on another school year. You are equipped with enthusiasm, skills, and dedication and I am truly grateful for the countless unpaid hours you spend to do your job. Don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while and it’s ok not to grade everything you assign! (;

    August 16, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: