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Friends! Helloooooo! I've missed you all terribly! What's the haps with you? Well, everything is kind of swirling into one giant wave of never-ending happening-ness in my life. Let me tell you about it.

Next week is the last week of my second undergraduate career at Brock university. Well, actually, I have class on Easter Monday, but then the semester is officially over other than exams. As of April 23rd, I will be finished. Done. Finito. Stick a fork in me (but don't really 'cause that would probably hurt). My convocation isn't until June 8th, and on that date I'll finally have a second degree in my hot little hands.

It absolutely amazes me. Where has the time gone? I remember mulling and mulling over whether or not I should return to university in the fall of 2009. My family, friends, and the physical education course coordinator at my alma mater all helped to convince me it was the right decision. And then there was that voice way in the back of my mind--the voice that knew, and had known all along, that I was born to be a physical education teacher. So there I was, a 27-year-old mature student going back to school with students who were seven, eight, and nine years younger than me. But you wanna know the really cool part? They welcomed me with open arms. I've bonded so much with my phys-ed peeps and created friendships that will last a lifetime.

I don't think I was ever prepared for the amount of work it would take for me to turn a 4 year honours program into 2.5 years. There were times when I thought I'd never see the light. There were stretches where I was writing at least two or three exams a week, every week. And this time marks mattered. Oh boy, did they matter. I was told I'd need to pull off an 80% + average to even be considered for teachers college. But here's the amazing thing: I could do it. The A's started pouring in. They earned me the attention of my professors and peers, gave me the confidence I needed to continue, and reminded me that this was right, and I was exactly where I should have been from the start.

After a full year back in the swing of things, and still with one and a half years ahead of me, I started questioning myself again. That's when I met Janet. She's not a professor, but she has her masters degree in physical education with a focus on dance and gymnastics, and she's referred to as a 'movement specialist'. I had Janet as my instructor for a second year dance education class. The instant I met her I knew how special she was. I've never known another teacher who cares so much about their students. She made us all feel so incredibly valued. She's the perfect mix of enthusiasm, humour, quirkiness, and professionalism. I think the main reason I instantly connected with her is because I saw so much of myself in her, and I was just so drawn to her positivity.

That second year dance class was life-changing for me, and it gave me the motivation to persevere. Going in to my final year, I was registered for third and fourth year dance education classes. You know what that means? I got to see Janet three days a week! We grew a lot closer, to the point where she had me babysitting her kids, and we had many meaningful conversations in her office that lasted for hours. She's so much more than a teacher to me. She's a dear friend, she's a mentor, and she's the person I aspire to be. That's why yesterday was a very emotion-filled day. It was my final lecture with Janet. After the class was over, I gave her a huge hug and thanked her profusely for everything, but there are no words that can convey the impact this woman has had on my life.

Noticing I was getting a little teary-eyed, Janet walked and talked with me all the way back to her office, and then we talked and talked a whole lot more. About everything. Life, my future plans, teachers college, boys . . . Oh, here's yet another reason to love Janet. She's been desperately trying to set me up with a past student of hers named Liam (apparently he showed up to write his final exam in an entirely orange ensemble, he has curly hair, he's quirky, and she thinks we'd be perfect for each other), but she couldn't remember his last name. So after closing her office door and swearing me to secrecy, she hacked into her husband's facebook account and creeped him for me. *giggles* Our stalking had to be cut short, though, because Janet needed to pick up her kids, and I needed to buy shoes. But the good thing is that I'll be seeing her next week for my final 4th year lab, and when I go to hand in my take-home exam, so there are two more prime hugging opportunities. And I know Janet is someone I will stay in contact with, no matter where I end up in life.

So yeah, I had to buy shoes because last night was the 4th year formal for the physical education department. Imagine over 100 phys-ed students in one room. PAR-FREAKING-TAYYYY! And guess who kicked off the dancing portion of the evening? Yep, right here! Yours truly. It helped that I had a giant drink of something that tasted not enough like alcohol and too much like candy. We laughed, we danced (dirty mostly, at least in my case), we ate a ton (because we're hungry, active people), we celebrated our accomplishments, and we toasted to our future, all while a raging snowstorm brewed outside. God bless you, Mother Nature. Beeyotch.

Many of us have applied to teachers college. It took me weeks to compile all my applications, and I sent them out this past December. On Sunday and Monday we'll be hearing back. I hope I can pull a Rory Gilmore and get accepted into all four universities I applied to, but then comes the agonizing part of deciding which one to go to. My pro/con lists are only in my head at the moment. I hope you'll all cross your fingers for me, and stay tuned for updates because I won't be able to contain myself. I would dearly love to continue my education at Brock. Janet actually said to me before I left her office that if Liam and I were to meet, he could be the reason I decide to stay. Then we both got all girly and giggly.

No matter where I go or what I do, I will never forget my time at Brock and the people who have touched my life in so many glorious and inspiring ways. Going back to school was, by far, the best decision I have ever made. :)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2012 02:26 pm (UTC)
Great post. I'm glad this college experience has been everything you hoped it would be. It really is fantastic that you found a mentor/friend in Janet. We all hope to meet someone who inspires us to reach for our goals.
Color me not surprised that you kicked off the dance portion of the evening. Not to be confused with being kicked off the dance floor.
Fruity yummy drinks are dangerous. I remember a ginormous dacquiri I had in Vegas. Let's just say the buffet was floating.
I know you will keep us posted about your decisions. Great job.
Mar. 31st, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mamalu! :) I'm so grateful every day that I decided to go back to university, and a huge reason for that is because I met Janet. She's honestly amazing, and such a good person. I wish everyone in the world could know her.

Well, I do kinda like to dance. And I sorta like attention too. Fruity yummy drinks are totally dangerous and totally addictive.

I will definitely keep you posted! Thank you again!
Mar. 31st, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I'm so proud of you. Enjoy every bit of the hugging,dancing,and celebrating. Here's hoping for a tough four way decision coming your way.
Mar. 31st, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much, Belle! You've been incredibly supportive throughout this entire journey and I'm so grateful to you for that! *GIANT HUGS*
Mar. 31st, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
You are awesome. Even more awesome than Sue and almost as awesome as me. I have to say blatantly egotistical things like that or someone yells positivity epitaphs at me. But it's true. I wish you know just how much I admire you. You are brave and strong and an incredible person, and I am so proud to know you!
Mar. 31st, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
*thud* Do you have any idea how much this means to me? Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you do. You've been insanely supportive through every adventure and obstacle in my life, and I feel so fortunate every day to know you. *tackle hugs*

Oh, and here's one just for the hell of it. Positivity! :D
Apr. 1st, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
Yay Julie!

I'm so proud of you for pursuing your dream! And so glad you had a wonderful friend/mentor to help you along.

I know you will do great things and all 4 schools would be lucky to have you.

<3 you!
Apr. 1st, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
Yay Christine!

Thank you so much! It's amazing how much one person can change your life. Kinda like you. ;)

I <3 you more, LB!
Apr. 1st, 2012 06:52 am (UTC)
Hurray, an update! I've been wondering how your time at uni was going, so congratulations for almost being done, and good luck with teacher college (I'm applying at the moment as well).
Apr. 1st, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
Hurrah indeed! Thank you so much for the congrats! I wish you the best of luck with your applications! They're a pain in the butt to compile, but it's all so worth it in the end. Just so you know, I've already been accepted into two of the four I applied to. I'm hearing from the other two tonight! *dances*
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
Jules, I am SO proud of you. I remember how nervous you were about taking on this change nearly 3 years ago and I knew then and I still know now that this is absolutely and completely your vocation in life. You will be one of the best PE teachers in the WORLD, of this I have no doubt!

I'm so glad you've made it this far and I know that the teachers colleges will be clambouring to let you in!

I'm also so glad you've found Janet and that she's been so good to you. Sounds like she was exactly what you needed when you needed it most.

Good luck with your acceptances, your final exams, your parties and Liam. The world holds great things for you my friend, but more importantly, the World is lucky to have YOU!
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, Squid. You're gonna make me cry. Wow, thank you so, so much. You were one of the people who really played a starring role in influencing me to go back to school, and I'm so glad you did. Thank you a million times over for all your support! You're a wonderful friend, and I'm so happy to have you in my life! *hugggggs*
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )