Friday, August 15, 2008


I was visited today, not by a supernatural humming bird, but by an advisor. The tall young woman appeared at my door with files, forms, and the smile of a storybook princess. I was shown a list of over twenty courses that I was able to take at this stage in my academic career, and I was assured

When I finished speaking with my advisor, I felt confident and anxious for the start of the semester. But when I looked at my course schedule later today, I almost fainted. I was unconsciously under the impression that, despite the obvious supernatural element to this experience, things would still follow the same general underlying ground rules as any other university.

This schedule proves that this is OBVIOUSLY not the case. This morning, I signed up for four classes. This afternoon, I saw ten courses listed. To make matters worse, I signed the bottom of the form yesterday; so the additional courses listed appear to have received my approval.

I called the advisor after making this realization. “This is the policy for this program,” I was told. “Additionally, your signature verifies that you were actually aware of this before you agreed to it.”

“But, lady, I’m TELLING you that what I signed yesterday is NOT what is in front of me today. You KNOW I didn’t do it. You were right here. I would NEVER have agreed to take TEN college-level courses!”

I heard a sigh on the other end. “Look, Retinna. I know this seems overwhelming. But I need you to just trust me on this.” In a few seconds, I realized that she was serious.

The nerve! Someone who was NOT family, who I hardly even knew, was telling ME, to trust them on something that would affect the rest of my entire life. I saw myself rocking back and forth sitting on the floor in the corner of a hospital, triple bags under my eyes, trembling after a semester of ten courses. I saw the stacks and stacks of college tuition bills that still hadn’t been paid. I saw a classroom of children with no teacher, because I wasn’t there to help them.

“Hello?” Her voice brought me back to present.

“I’m here.”

“We have had this happen before. It usually only takes place when someone who has the ability is forced to gain extra knowledge to ensure that they are well-prepared to teach. I saw that special spark in you as soon as you opened the door today. But I was prohibited from speaking about it. I want you to know that I am not the one who changed your schedule…you did. There’s something inside of you that is specifically catered to teaching. I don’t know quite what to call it. But I’ve seen it over and over again throughout my time. And I know that you’ve got it.”

So, it’s cemented now. I am enrolled in ten college courses – TEN - and I cannot change this. I am constantly trying to learn to accept the things I cannot change and to be courageous enough to change the things I must. But this is painful.

I took the plunge.

But how do I keep from drowning?

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