Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Taking Mom to Class

wokandapix via Pixabay
Today is the first day of a new semester. I've been working as an adjunct for five years now, but I still get nervous. Will I make a mistake? (I did). Will the computer/podium work? (It didn't). Will I completely embarrass myself? (I didn't).

Today was a short day (one class), which was both a good thing and not a good thing. In downsizing for my single class, I inadvertently picked up the wrong class list (the mistake I referenced in the paragraph above). I recovered, something I would have been unable to do with any degree of ease a few years ago, and ended up liking the adjustment I had to make in order to compensate for this error.  The new plan might have been born of desperation, but it saved time and accomplished the same goal. And, hey -- if I teach my students that mistakes are not the end of the world, I have to be willing to roll with the ones I make, too, even if they're more public than I'd like them to be.

Even though the podium didn't work (also due to operator error, I later discovered), that was okay. I've had tech trouble in this particular classroom before and so I've learned not to be computer-dependent the first day.

Some might say that preparation and experience were key here, and they might be right. But, I also have to give my mom some of the credit.

My mom is no longer with us, but evidence of both her and the home she so carefully created is abundant in my house, by design. Decor that hung on her walls hangs on mine, and jewelry that she wore is a part of my collection as well.

This morning, when I got dressed for class, I put on one of her necklaces. When I put on a piece of her jewelry, I sometimes tell her where we're going for the day. Silly, perhaps, but it makes me smile. I especially like taking her to class with me because she never got to go to college herself, and I think she'd really like it. And, doting mom that she was, I'm always sure she thinks I'm doing a good job, even when I bring the wrong class list and forget to turn on the computer (the aforementioned operator error). Sometimes, I see her hand in the way things go, too, especially when things turn out well, even if they didn't go according to plan.

I know I don't need to put on a piece of my mom's jewelry for her to travel with me everywhere I go, but I like the sense of taking her along. Purposefully making her a part of my day acknowledges everything she did for me, but perhaps more important, it just feels right.

stevepb via Pixabay
When I worked as a school counselor, I used to tell my students that they kept the memory of loved ones alive every time they talked about them, thought about them or did something they used to do together. Even elementary school kids found this comforting and, once again, I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't practice what I preached.

So today, I started a new semester, and I took my mom with me. I sure hope she likes psychology.

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