Friday, May 11, 2012

SUNY Fredonia

Soon after we were married, my husband and I took our theatre degrees and moved to New Hampshire.  My husband found work as a custom picture framer at Rowland's Art Studio, and I waitressed at the Millstone, sold furniture at Pompanoosuc Mills, sold clothing at Serendipity, and worked as a receptionist at Concord Electric. After a couple of years, we decided we wanted careers, rather than jobs, so we moved to Fredonia to get teaching degrees at the college here.  Things were going according to plan until our first child surprised us; I decided I didn’t want to teach high school English while I had a newborn at home, so I dropped the certification part of my plan but continued taking graduate classes in English.  While I was working toward my M.A., the English department hired me as a teaching assistant, and I remember walking around campus daydreaming what life would be like as a faculty member.  I even used to imagine what it would feel like to drop my son off at the Campus Community Children’s CenterI could almost feel his little hand in mine.  When I finished my degree, the English department hired me as a part-time adjunct instructor.  Early on, I taught at night, so I never ended up dropping off any of my kids at the campus day care center.  Later, after my kids were all in school, I switched to daytime teaching.  When my oldest child was in middle school, I used to imagine what it would be like to see him walking across campus as a college freshman.  The years rolled on, and as it turned out, none of my kids ended up spending their college years at Fredonia.  But my oldest is now a grad student here, and every once in a while I see him in the parking lot or walking into the building next to mine.  After twenty-four years as a faculty member and twenty-five years as a parent, I don’t do much daydreaming about the future anymore—maybe it’s because the next stage is too hard for me to imagine or maybe it’s because life has turned out to be better than my daydreams.  But I do know that as I walked away from Fenton Hall today, at the end of another academic year,  I was counting my blessings.

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