I got home from my mission. So now what? Go home and get married, they said. How does one even go about this? If this was your end goal why did you teach and train me how to do exactly the opposite the past 21 years? Don't have a girlfriend before your mission, OK, I had a ton of friends and had a lot of great times, but I never let it get past good friends. Then on the mission they say lock your heart, OK, it's locked completely. Now go home and get married? All I know how to do is keep my heart locked and be friends.
I didn't go on a date for a few months, but I found some other things to keep me busy. Nearly all of my friends, being younger than me, were still on their missions. Luckily, Jared got back the week after me and Dan and Jeff had recently gotten home. We did a ton together and found a group of girls that were really cool.
Since I got home in October school didn't start for two months. So I got a job with UPS during the holiday rush and got to run around door to door and deliver packages. It made me feel like a missionary, except people were excited to see me and it was really snowy.
During the first semester of 2006 I stayed living at home. Then the summer came and it was time to move out again. Jared, Dan and I moved to Glenwood apartments in Provo. I was working at the UVSC testing center, and taking a bunch of summer classes, that whole get done with school as fast as you can thing. So I felt like I wasn't able to get involved as much as I would have liked. We had a blast still, and I made a few good friends. But when the summer ended Dan and I each decided to move back home to save some money and Jared stayed behind.
The fall of 2006 I started the education program while I was still 21 years old. Most 21 year olds are just getting started with college. I guess the get done quick plan was working.
My first year I was one of only two guys in my cohort. You hear some interesting things sometimes when people forget there is a man around... I loved everything about the program, my classmates became my family. We had the exact same schedules for the two years we were in the program. The second year the other boy switched to a different cohort, so I was then the only male. The first day of our second year everyone was fighting over who got me to sit by them.
We were the popular table, but mostly the kind of popular that everyone actually does like you. Although when it appeared that we didn't work very hard and still would get the highest scores some people didn't like that. There were a lot of overachievers in our class, they always amazed me, but I got just as good a scores as they did because I followed the rubric, nothing more, nothing less.
There were only two teachers that did not seem to like our table. She who shall not be named, and our math teacher. Our second year we got smart, we didn't buy any books until after the first day of classes. We would find out what books we would actually HAVE to use and use a lot, and the ones that looked like we could get by with sharing. Then we would each buy one of those books and take turns. It took some planning, you had to read something early, or sometimes had to read a lot the night before, but it worked great and saved a lot of money.
Well one time in math our teacher told us to open our books, and none of us had that one. It was the only day she had us open them in class all semester. She asked us where our books were and we informed her that none of us had bought it, she wasn't very happy. She docked us points, even though each of us had in fact read what we were supposed to. We weren't lazy, just cheap, I mean smart.
I loved the program. I loved almost every single one of my teachers, they were amazing. But most of all I loved my classmates, if these are the people that will be shaping the future generation we are in very good hands. There are times I miss it, I miss being a student. I loved, loved, loved my time at UVSC. Now we have all gone our separate ways, I kind of keep in contact with 3-4 of them. I wish we could have a big reunion and share funny/crazy stories about what we have had to deal with.
I have had several people ask me, why a teacher? I even have had other teachers ask that, you would think they would know. I feel like it is what I am supposed to do. I love it, I love my job! I want to make a difference, and bring kids from wherever they are to some place better. I'm not perfect at it, I'm not the perfect fit for every kid, but I try my best and I care about the kids I am trusted with. I don't always like all the hoops you have to jump through, the school system is not perfect, parents can be a hassle, but the kids I work with are amazing. They each have special talents and skills, I just have to help them see that and use them.