Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A new year. Lots of changes.

I'm shocked I haven't written since 2015.  But I figured I needed to update my life a little and maybe someone will find this useful.

Since last we spoke I began homeschooling my 2 youngest children and returned to college myself. It's a hectic life for sure but I'm loving it mostly. There are days, but don't we all have days?

So let's begin with the big one. I'm a college student! I'm finally finishing my Bachelor's Degree (only about 27 years after I began it). I'm seeking a Bachelor's of Science degree in Plant Biology with a specialization in Horticultural Therapy. The goal is to become certified by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) and eventually work with adolescents and young adults with special needs. Ideally I will work in or create a vocational program for people who have developmental disorders, down's syndrome, autism and the like.

I identified this passion in myself by becoming a volunteer Master Gardener. Master Gardener organizations exist in every state and most states have them at the county level. We exist to provide gardening knowledge that has been tested through scientific experimentation that is unique to the area we live in. We also provide programming in schools, nursing homes, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and veterans hospitals to teach people the skills they need to grow a garden.

One of the teams I have worked with has been part of a class for high school students with special needs. I found my calling. I love going to the class each week and sharing the knowledge I have and giving the students skills that will help them become employable and independent. One of our first students graduated this past year and has been hired by a local gardening center. I was very happy to hear this report. I am beginning my 5th year with this team and I am very excited to see our students graduate and succeed.

Being a college student and parent is difficult. I'm never sure where I should push myself and go for something and where I should hang back and sort of skate along with little challenge. I hope as I chronicle this journey of finishing my undergrad degree and applying to and attending grad school while I have at least one child in college along side me, and maybe two depending on how long it takes, I am able to make the journey a little easier for someone else, even if it's just knowing you are not alone.

Welcome to 2018!

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