Why I Worked (Outside the Home) and Why I Don't Anymore: Part I

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Would you like to hear the story of my career?

No?  That's not why you read all these mom blogs?

Well, I don't blame you - it's gonna be a long series of posts sharing my experiences in various jobs, which I haven't really shared publicly before...

Ages ago, Colleen had a Working Moms link-up, which I meant to join but never got around to writing a post...  So here's my contribution now!

We're gonna start waaaaaaaay back in elementary school - I went to a kind of swanky private school (scholarship + financial aid, not exactly rich kids...) where the teachers got INCREDIBLE presents from students at Christmas and at the end of the year.  Which led me to the belief that I wanted to be a teacher.  Because presents.

Adorable? Yes. Materialistic? Heck yeah.

Fast forward to high school, where all I really wanted was to get married and have babies.  Job? Maybe I'd do something while I waited for the first baby to be born, which would obviously be approximately 9 months after getting married.

But college was kind of a non-negotiable, and there's no way I even would have considered not getting a degree.  And there wasn't exactly a husband on the horizon, plus NOBODY got married out of high school in this area.  So the plan was to go to college, get some sort of degree, get married right after graduation and work until we had our first baby.

Then I started dating Andrew, who soon went off to college to major in...  Vocal Performance.

Yes, he's a lawyer now.  I don't think I have to tell you that plans change!

So I realized that if we were going to get married, probably I was going to have to work to help support our family.  But what was I going to DO?  I went to a math and science high school and had decided pretty early on that math and science were NOT my thing.  In fact, nothing was really my thing except singing.  And if you didn't know it already, sopranos are a dime a dozen.  Ain't no way I was gonna make a living singing...

Look!  High School us!
But I did a whole lot of choir stuff for fun, in any case.  And ended up doing rather a lot of rehearsal-leading and leadership stuff, and eventually realized that actually, it would be kind of awesome to be a music teacher!

And so a career choice was made!  And it all would have been smooth sailing, were it not for the fact that I didn't actually get into the music school of my choice come senior year...  See, I only applied to one, because if I wanted to go to music school I only wanted to go to Northwestern (I said because the academics were excellent, I wanted to get off the East Coast, and it was the program I wanted it.  I probably meant, "Because Andrew goes there.").  And I was wait-listed at Northwestern.  And also at Notre Dame, where I would have happily gone and majored in... Something, because music education isn't a major there (or at least wasn't when I was applying).

Something tells me my less-than-stellar attendance record in high school had something to do with this...

Anyway, I accepted a spot on both wait lists, figured, "Hey, God's will!" and accepted a spot at UVA (yeah, not everybody's safety school, I know...).  At this point I desperately felt as though Notre Dame was where I needed to be.  And then I went to All State Choir and had one of those life-changing experiences (I'm talking 100 sobbing choir girls singing Z. Randall Stroope with an amaaaaazing director) and I knew that music teaching was all that I could do.  And that Notre Dame wasn't going to happen, because I didn't want to have to get a master's degree when I still wanted to have all the babies.  

Long story short, I ended up getting into Northwestern and, RIGHT after I accepted, I got into Notre Dame.  And I excitedly started packing for Northwestern, imagining my future life as a music teacher with an awesome husband and a million kids (the logistics of this hadn't yet entered...)!

So young! So in love!
To be continued... (Read Part II here)

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