What I share with students about how my discipline has helped me:
 
I’ve never wanted to be someone who just had a “job” where I clock in, do my work, clock out, and then live my life.  I always think about the larger implications of what I’m doing at work.  For example, when I worked in fast food (at McDonald’s) and we threw away old food, I’d be upset because I knew it was wasted.  When I worked as a secretary at Special Olympics, I wanted to know why we couldn’t fire the receptionist because he had difficulty multi-tasking. (I later realized we didn’t fire him because of his loyalty to the organization). I have never been able to separate my values from what I do.  My life and my work are inextricably connected.
So when I thought about teaching this year, I wanted to share with you the core of why I do what I do.  I wrote down a list of what reading, writing, thinking, and college have done for me so that you can see what I want to give you and why.
 
 
Reading, writing, and thinking have helped me:
 

  1. Understand my life’s mission, which, I believe, is to help people see each other compassionately and treat each other well. Reading and writing helps me see why people stereotype and treat people who seem different than them as they do. Reading, writing and thinking also help me see how I can contribute to creating a more compassionate world.
  2. Understand myself. I’ve kept a journal since grade school, and when I journal I understand more about who I am and what I think.
  3. Ground myself and feel better. When I feel frazzled, confused, sad, or mad, writing helps me feel better (a little less confused, sad, etc).
  4. Learn and remember things. I learned in college that if I wrote about something—like a psychological term or a scientific process—I’d better remember it for a test.
  5. –reading keeps me entertained. I enjoy it.  It’s just fun and just allows me to relax.
  6. Get a job that, at least 99% of the time, I love. I’ve gained acceptance into school, passed classes, gotten the job I have because of how I can articulate myself (in writing and speaking) to others. if I weren’t good at this stuff, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to fulfill my dream of being a teacher.

 
I want to pass along any or all of these gifts that have made my life better to you.