Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The new crossroads

The morning session started in an informal way, with people chatting and still grabbing caffeine as the Keynote speaker began. Finishing my introductions to people who are curious and confused as to who I was, I turned to listed to the keynote talk about the history of science education in the US, what initiatives had previously been done to bring us where we were today and the hopes for the future.

Yesterday was Day 2 for me at my new position. Figuring out the commute has caused a lot more stress than anticipated (as it always does) and there's already been a lot thrown at me that I'm rapidly working on figuring out. But sitting in that room, surrounded by others who share my passion for promoting science education, I found myself feeling more at home than I have in a long time.

Almost a year ago, my world would implode when I learned my contract wasn't going to be renewed. But the truth is I was extremely unhappy in the position, helping others promote a way of teaching I don't believe in while suffering in an environment that felt limiting. Losing my contract ripped out a safety net I thought I needed, forcing me to think outside the box and take risks I wouldn't have considered. A new crossroads that I didn't think I was prepared for and yet I didn't have a choice to not face. And those risks have been insanely rewarding, pushing me to truly think about how I wanted to teach and who I wanted my audience to be as well as who I actual want to be working with. Introducing me to people and mentors I wouldn't have considered if not forced outside my comfort zone.

Yesterday was an informal marking of the completion of that transition. It's been over a year of scrambling, putting myself out there and meeting more rejections and "no"s than I ever felt possible. There are so many moments where I felt I had hit bottom and wanted to quit. And yet, being in that room, I knew that the journey was worth it. The work ahead so exciting and the potential keeping me awake when thinking of the possibilities.

The future is still uncertain. I'm currently on contract, working part-time and acutely aware that I'm in a trial period. There's also a situation I wasn't prepared for that I'm now navigating. But looking back to where I was a year ago and seeing the road ahead, I'm grateful for the wake-up call. Even though it was unfair, terribly handled and extremely scary at the time.


  1. It's amazing that it's been a year. You have so much to be proud of in how you handled all the crap hands that were given to you, and all that rejection. I am glad that you are in a place where you can look back on it with gratitude, despite the unfairness, fear, and horribleness. I'm glad you're excited for this new work, and I hope that some certainty wends its way to you! Uncertainty is exhausting. You seem to handle it pretty well all things considered!

  2. Glad things are going so well only two days into the job! Sometimes we do have to be pushed out of our comfort zone to realize just how unhappy we were!

  3. I am so happy for you that you are in a position currently to go with your expertise and passion. I hope this storyline continues to unfold beautifully.

    Best wishes with the situation you mention.

  4. I love seeing this update! Although I wish you your sleep, to be up with excitement about the possibilities is such a wonderful thing, especially after all you've been through recently. Sending good thoughts in your direction!


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