Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Makings of a Dream

One of the beauties of designing your own program is just that - designing your own program. However, it's not as easy as it seems. Surveying the list of courses (or Knowledge Areas as we like to call them at Fielding) and then choosing those that will give me a program of study that will define the rest of my professional educational career is like trying to define the perfect guy.

I knew in the most basic sense what I wanted in a guy - the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He had to be tall, dark and of course, handsome. I wanted a grand mix of intelligence, humor, and a strong moral code. I wanted someone who loved what he did for a living and someone who would support my dreams. To me these were the requirements - the non negotiables. I also had some things that I didn't want. I didn't want an Italian (I am half and in my experience I didn't do well with emotionally volatile Italians), a divorced man, or someone dishonorably discharged from the service - oh, and no one named Charles (a very prevalent family name...didn't want to add to the confusion). And I thought it might be fun if he was musical in some way. It would also be a blast if wanted to travel the world with me!

These characteristics were firmly rooted in my previous experiences - for better and for worse.

As I mulled over my knowledge area choices, I latched on quickly to topics that seemed like a perfect fit for my area of focus - how to retain teachers in the field and support them. Interpersonal Communication & Collaboration seemed a great place to start. There are four required knowledge areas, and I knew they would be relevant but they didn't thrill me like some of the others did. I can't wait to discover what Program Evaluation & Theory, or Technology, Learning & Teaching have in store for me! I designed a well rounded program. It looked good on paper. I was ready to dive right in.

You don't always get what you want, but as the Rolling Stones say, you always get what you need. The man I ultimately married fulfilled many of my requirements. He even had some of the "fun" quotient filled, but he also had three out of my four no-no's. He was divorced, 100% Italian, and his name is Charles! What you want and what you need aren't always as obvious as you think. Your life is an ever-changing landscape. You add new experiences to it every day. What's important to you and your future can and will change.

So not all my first choices of knowledge areas still fit my future plans or focus because as I've grown, even over the past 7 months, what's important to me has changed. Thank goodness Fielding can smile at that revelation. My program, as I first designed it, is not in stone. It can change and grow right along with me. To me it's as nice of a surprise as discovering that my marriage to a man I didn't expect can continue to grow and change with our hopes, desires, and dreams. And that's what makes it a good fit.

Our 20th anniversary is coming up June 14, and this life together is of our own making.

How have your dreams grown and changed along with you?

To read the next part of this journey, click here.

Want to read about this journey from the beginning? Click here.

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