Grayson’s napping, and I should be studying

Apr 20, 2011 | Friends, grad school

But I just can’t make myself. Do I have a to-do list a mile long? Yes. Do I care at present? Not particularly.

Please excuse me while I ramble.

My GRE test is just under a month away (taking on May 18th), and I have never been so disinterested in studying for a test in my entire life. Which is a terrible attitude, because it’s pretty much going to be a deciding factor in my getting into the Master’s program I’m applying to this fall.
On the surface, I’m terrified to take this test. I bought a study guide a month or so ago and I’ve been going through the language portion of the guide, only to flip through to the vocabulary words (about 300 or so) that I know about 1/3 of. Once again, totally terrified. “Isn’t language a huge portion of your major? Shouldn’t you be able to figure these out?” I ask myself. The answers are yes and yes, but I’m so paralyzed by fear that I just avoid opening the book altogether, finding other things to do instead, and then I don’t have to face that fear presently. I haven’t even looked at the math or writing portions of the test. I know the reviewers of my program won’t be looking at the math portion much (unless I totally bomb it), but the writing portion is HUGE. HUGE. That’s the main part that the committee will look at when deciding whether or not to accept me.

What else is going on? Grayson’s about to turn 8 months old this week. Also a very big highlight. Oscar and I have just agreed to start cutting out his nighttime feeding. Monday night was the first night, and I’d consider it a success. He woke up around 1:00am, Oscar went in and shushed him, he fell back asleep without much trouble, and I didn’t hear him again until about 6:45am. Last night he didn’t wake up at all, but we also gave him a little Benadryl because his eczema was flaring up, so that helped. We’ll see tonight if we have another drug-free success. Last week we were in Charlotte visiting family for a few days, so his sleep schedule was a little off, but ever since we got back he’s been fairly good. Our magic window seems to be 3 hours. His first nap is 3 hours after he wakes for the day, then another three hours of playtime, followed by his second nap in the afternoon. Then, whenever he wakes up until bedtime at 7:30 is the third leg of his awake time. That rough schedule seems to be working out quite well. Also, he’s FINALLY starting to eat those puffed rice snacks for babies. He still fusses and turns his head when we try to feed him from a spoon, but I feel like he’s at least getting used to other textures in his mouth with the puffs, so it’s something.

As for everything else, I really can’t complain. A few weeks back I volunteered at a local bookstore during their spring break activities. I enjoyed it so much that I asked them to let me know when they’re planning their summer activities because I’d really like to get involved again. Also, there’s a bonus for me – I can list the volunteer work on my resume for grad school as experience with children, since I don’t really have any classroom experience.

Aside from visiting family, I also trekked up to Charlotte last week to shadow a good friend of mine in her 9th grade literature classroom. She teaches at my Dad’s old high school, which is really cool. Unlike me, she graduated with a degree in English Education, so she was able to teach right away after college, so I think she’s been teaching for 4 years now. This was very special and very important to me, because I haven’t been inside a classroom since I was a student, and I thought it might help give me a better idea of what awaits me after my MAT program. But, I was also scared shitless. Would this experience change my mind? If it did and I decided NOT to teach, what then? I was worried that I’d have to start all over again.

(A little backstory – I have know this girl since we met in 7th grade in Charlotte. She has been my oldest and one of my closest friends ever. She has seen me through braces and glasses and acne and all that raging hormone teenage awkwardness. The past few years have made it difficult to stay in touch because we’ve been living our ultra-crazy lives, but I love that when we get in the same room, it seems like nothing changes. We’re still two 12-year olds with families that think fart jokes are funny.)

ANYWAY. I had no doubt that she was a fantastic teacher, but when I walked into her classroom and the first bell rang (at 7:05am!!!), she was ON. My friend, the teacher, my Nenefer*, was up in front of that classroom OWNING it. Owning every part of it. And to see her there interacting with her students in the very same way I hope to one day made me damn proud to know her. It also made me realize more than ever that I want my own classroom.

So with that, I suppose, I should go study for this stupid test that will change my life.

*An old nickname