It’s funny how your younger self knew with the utmost certainty what they wanted to be when they grew up. Now depending when you asked them, the answer could be vastly different but they were convinced they knew the inevitable.
As you grew older your dream was reinforced by classes, teachers and practicality. When I was growing up I wanted more than anything to be a teacher as I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. I was lucky enough to have teachers who made me believe in myself when I didn't have the courage to do so and I wanted to be able to give that hope to others.
I had a few obstacles in my way and that being the practical subjects. Give me a creative task and I look forward to the challenge while math or science seemed like conversing in a foreign tongue. That could stem from the fact that I have very few memories before the age of thirteen when your structural math education should have been formed. I have to say to this day, I’m glad to have ten toes and fingers as they are used more than they should be for simple factoring.
Thanks to a great RA freshman year I found out about the Hamburg program and was lucky enough to be selected. It seemed that all the stars were aligned, I would teach throughout my senior year at the Hamburg schools and afterwards most students would be placed in the district upon graduation. I hurried to complete my studies and by junior year I had finished all requirements to be ready to spend senior year way from college and then disaster or providence hit and I had to take a math teaching class.
Not my strong suit but I felt like I rose to the challenge. I bought math games, conversed with other teachers on how to make the tutoring fun and then I was given, I’m sorry to say but the torturous trio as these three could have waylaid Harry Potter.
The two boys were best friends and had that secret code all tiny tots seem to have to be able to converse and torture adults without speaking and were determined to rattle me. They kept slamming their heads against the desks and that was the least of their angst while the girl didn’t speak at all. It was a ‘fun’ three month session.
Although I escaped with an A in the course, I sought guidance from a counselor on what to do with my life. She suggested that despite the fact that I enjoyed working with kids throughout the summer, they were there because they wanted to be at camp where a classroom setting is far different as the natives are being caged. I quickly switched majors to English/Electronic Publishing and by the end of junior year had all the credits I needed to graduate.
So I decided to study abroad senior year was accepted into a London program where I was all set to go but due to a mix up in my scholarship I ended up graduating early instead of studying abroad. Coming home I found nothing out there and had to work at Wegman’s in the produce department but was asked to do the cooking demos one day (not that I cook now but I can) one day and I loved it and my station became a popular one as I would get the other departments to enhance my meals with steak, shrimp…etc and that ended up being a great way to further get out of my shell.
I found out that I love talking to people ( I know big surprise for anyone in high school when I think a mouse scurrying around was louder than me) but I came into my own especially when I moved to NYC and now I’m jumping ahead of the story.
I borrowed the Writers Market book from the library and started cold-writing different publishers asking for a publishing internship and Black and Dog and Leventhal opened the Big Apple’s doors to me and I’ve never moved back.
Staying at some jobs longer than others it was publishing, Broadway, newspapers, theatre…etc and now who knows. I sometimes feel like that proverbial spinning top wondering where the next turn will take me and although I enjoy the ride, I sometimes wish I had a more concrete direction.
To the young Amy, you’re a long way baby from where you started and life isn’t always what you planned it to be.