Taking on Challenges

You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last minute panic.–Bill Watterson

I first saw this quote on my friend Natso’s blog. It was at a time when I was wrestling with the demands of writing a blog. I am new to blogging and began writing posts as an experiment to see if I had a talent for writing and if it would develop through blogging.

The demands to write something on a frequent basis and connect with people in the blogosphere, view who liked my posts and read their blogs was getting to me. I have written a few blogs on this topic, Blogger Burnout and Disconnections, that I thought were pretty good.

So here I go throwing myself into another experiment with the daily posts for November. I think I like pushing the envelope of my comfort zone. Taking risks. I have been known to do this before during other times in my life. I have taken on big challenges. Jumped into things that were outside my comfort zone.

When I decided to go back to college and enter an accelerated teacher training program is one example. Note the word accelerated. Not only did I go back to college at 60. I went into a super demanding program. I was to complete this program in 1 year.  It consisted of 21 units the first semester and 19 units the second. The second semester included student teaching. This is when you are placed in a classroom and get on the job training. You need to prepare lessons for your students and have separate written assignments related to it and this added to the work you are already doing in your other classes.

This is not the first time I have thought something sounded like a good idea in theory, to get through quickly, and turned out not to be in practice. I had sound reasons to want to get my teaching credential quickly. As mentioned earlier I was not getting any younger. I hoped to make a quick transition into another field. My first career had been in Nursing. Another determining factor was the cost. If  I could do it faster it would not cost as much. The California State University tuition was less than other programs as well.

There were many things I liked about Nursing. I love learning in general. I was very interested in medicine and physiology. I am an idealist and wanted to work in a profession that does good and helps the world.

Although I liked these aspects of Nursing it was not a good fit for me in other ways. I am an empathic type who can take on the suffering of others. Being an idealist can put you into conflict with situations where the bottom line is more important to the companies or hospitals you are working for than the employees or the people you are caring for.

I have read that when your work puts you in conflict with your values it can cause tremendous stress. I can say in my case I found this to be true. I tended to be very self-critical, a perfectionist and a worry wart in addition. So this combined with everything else was not a healthy situation. I did not give up right away. I stayed in Nursing off and on for many years.

I worked in many different areas of Nursing until I felt I had come to the end of it for me. So that is when I thought  about teaching. I had done teaching as a Nurse in that you do a lot of patient and family teaching about their conditions, medications and self-care.

I had some experience in the classroom working part-time as a teacher’s aide. I wanted to work with kids who had learning problems. I felt I needed more education to do that. So that is how I ended up in the ACT Program as California State University Northridge.

It is a big challenge to go back to college after so many years. I was barely computer literate. This caused many little challenges. Like learning to order books online from the school book store for my classes, learning how to register online for classes, learning how to access and use the college library online. You notice a lot of these things involved getting comfortable with the computer quickly.

Then it was the whole thing of being the oldest student in the class. I had to learn to relate to people my kids’ age or younger. Thankfully there were some who were open to being my friend. I think others really did see me like their parents. So there was this barrier. But gradually I found I was able to work with most of them pretty well.

I was not the only one who found this accelerated program stressful. I discovered that the 20 year olds were having just as hard a time with the demands of the coursework as I was. I also found out I still had a brain in my head and could learn all this new information and get good grades and cope with learning the technology.

I am not saying that at times it was not a pretty rough go because there were times when I felt like I was barely making it. But it was encouraging to find out that the other students were feeling the same. I was not the only one. It was a tough program.

So now why am I worried about this daily post. It’s a piece of cake.

|Nano Poblano| among other things. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Taking on Challenges

  1. LindaGHill

    Wow, good for you going back to school!! I’d love to do the same, but money is my biggest issue at the moment. In time though. I’m only 50 after all. 😉
    Piece of cake indeed! Great post, Deborah. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  2. Sandi

    Great post, Deborah! The quote that you used at the beginning could be my life’s motto: panic is, invariably, my best motivator.

    I am so impressed at your going back to school past the age of 50 (I know you were older than 50, but I am 51, so 50 is a milestone marker for me right now). Wow. Thanks for sharing this part of your past. You’re right: the November blogging challenge seems smaller, compared to the things you’ve already accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Sandi! Appreciate your comments. Writing the post helped me put things into perspective. I did not know I was going to write about that when I started but I was happy when I got into the flow of it. Maybe I can do this blog challenge after all.

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  3. shanjeniah

    You seem to know yourself well, and I think that makes people more likely to choose challenges that suit them…which makes them easier to attain.

    I know what you mean about certain careers and empathy. I am fascinated by psychology, and flirted with becoming a therapist. But I have a hard time, already, dealing with others’ pain, and when they ask for advice, but aren’t willing to try anything that’s suggested…

    Instead, I play around in the minds of fictional characters. I particularly like Vulcan characters, and the interactions they have with other, more emotively liberated, species. I get to delve all manner of stresses, conflicts, and points of understanding, without the intensity of real life….

    Every day you post brings you one closer. I’ll pop in here and there to see what’s new!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I think it would be good if young people were counseled better on career choice. I have heard that in some places this is happening. To really look at a person’s makeup, strengths. It would have been nice if I had more mentors in my job as well to counsel me. And I know that people don’t follow what we advice a lot. I think it because it is their process and they have to work through it. But it is hard for others who care. Glad you came by and glad you will be coming back again.

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  4. Laura L.

    I’m also of the school of “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” 🙂 Sometimes yes, sometimes not so much. I swear that’s what I want my tombstone to read.

    One foot in front of the other, simple, but it works.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes. What I was talking about is that I have experience taking on big challenges. I actually saw the going back to college experience as something I am actually proud of. I accomplished it. The thing that was very difficult was the accelerated part, taking so many units at once. I think it is a good quality if your talking about taking risks. Even when it does not work out it shows courage.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. D

    I am impressed with your dedication to learnings. I should be ashamed hahaha.
    I’ll look out for your post and conquer too my own challenges. 😉

    Like

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