Let’s Play a Game…

animalvegetablemineral

What’s your favorite color? Really, take some time to think about this. Now answer this: Why?

My favorite color has always been purple. As a little girl, I learned that purple was a color associated with royalty and was immediately drawn to its majestic hues. My favorite shade of purple is a deep indigo (like Pantone 273) because it is mostly comprised of cool, soothing blues but has just a dash of fiery red. To me, it is the perfect combination of serenity and passion.

Next: What’s your favorite part of nature? Pick an object (e.g. the sky, mountains, oceans). What do you love about this part of nature?

I have always been drawn to trees. I love being in the forest because it gives me a sense of adventure but also fills me with peace. I feel calm, rested and at home among the trees, but I also feel a thrill of excitement at the thought of hiking and exploring something new, wild and untamed. It’s raw beauty.

Lastly: If you could have any animal for a pet (including combinations of animals, like a dog with wings), what would you choose and why?

When I was asked this question, my first thought was to have a baby leopard. I love big cats because they are strong but agile; powerful but graceful. I’ve always thought they are the perfect combination of strength and beauty. And I’d love to have a baby leopard that stayed tiny because I’d love to hold it and snuggle with it; I’d want it to stay sweet and playful.

I was first asked these questions last night around a campfire while toasting marshmallows for s’mores. Seth and I went to a Christmas party with some friends from church, and while the guys congregated inside talking about different types of wine, the girls huddled around the campfire wrapped in our scarves and bonding over one another’s answers to these questions.

The girl who posed the questions told us at the end that what you think about your favorite color is how you view yourself, what you love about nature is what you think about God, and your ideal pet is what you look for in a partner. For me, all of this really lined up! What about for you? What were your answers?

Authentically Aurora

P.S. When the guys came outside, we asked some of them the questions, too. Seth’s ideal pet is a golden retriever because it is “classic, loyal, patriotic, obedient and a good hunting dog.” ūüėČ

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Tests for Teachers

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It’s scary how easy it is to become a teacher.

Suddenly it all makes sense… my medically bipolar Physics teacher (who yelled at students)… my hateful and arrogant Calculus teacher (who emotionally abused students)… my perpetually high German teacher (who likely sold marijuana to students)…

As I have started working on my Teaching Certification, I have been astonished by how simple the process is; how easy it is to become certified to teach the next generation of young minds. All I have to do is: shadow another teacher for 30 hours, take 80 hours’ worth of online lessons, and pass the State exam for my subject matter of choice. I’ve only been at it for a month, and I’m already nearly halfway through.

The quizzes for the online lessons are a joke. For the lesson entitled, “The Importance of Lesson Planning,” one of the questions was something like:

(In case you aren’t sure… remember that the title of the quiz is “The Importance of Lesson Planning”!)

 

In the online lesson about sexual assault in schools, the questions were all like this one:

I don’t even read the lessons most of the time and still get a 100%. It’s no wonder our students are growing up believing that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede, pro-life organizations deceive¬†pregnant women into¬†giving birth¬†(this from my 15-year-old cousin at Christmas), and that everyone should be entitled to a “free” college education in America.

The more I explore the possibility of teaching, the more I realize that our country is desperately in need of some good teachers.

Authentically Aurora

 

Why Do You Work?

Job Arial view

Which is more important to you: time or money?

 

Why do you work? To be successful, to maintain a certain standard of living, to find your identity and purpose, or for some other reason?

 

I decided in 2nd grade that I was going to be an engineer. My reasons were varied and diverse:

  • My dad was an engineer, and I wanted to be like him.
  • I enjoyed math and science; problem solving was a fun hobby for me. I was always up for a mental challenge.
  • Smart people become engineers, and I wanted to be thought of as smart and successful.
  • I liked objective subjects, where no one could give me a bad grade without being able to justify their actions (like when I got a C on my first history paper because my teacher “just didn’t think it was well written” even though all of my facts were accurate).

Having earned an engineering degree and having worked at a major oil company for seven years now, I have come to find that working in the business world is not all that I imagined.

  • Though my dad was an engineer, he worked at a small company where he rose through the ranks and set the tone for a culture that appreciated creative problem solving and new ideas. This is not the case at a Major. When my dad’s little company got bought out by a giant, he disliked his once enjoyable career as much as I do now. Although my company recruits creative, self-motivated, intelligent individuals, it takes those brilliant minds and sticks them deep within the confines of The Machine, where they are no more than a cog in the wheel, and all individual thought is not only stifled but punished.
  • Problem solving is fun when dealing with a closed set – like an Agatha Christie murder mystery where all of the suspects are snowed in to¬†a log¬†cabin, minimizing unforeseen variables. But the real world is messy, and there are an infinite number of variables that are impossible to control or calculate into a solution. This is significantly less fun than the problem sets I solved for fun as a kid.
  • As I have written about multiple times, simply having an engineering degree – and even being a well spoken and intelligent person – does not mean that people will think you are smart and successful. My boss thinks I’m incompetent just because our working styles don’t align.
  • Although in school, math homework has a right or wrong answer, in Corporate America, workers get graded based on subjective opinions and perceptions, many of which are more a reflection of the manager than the employee being evaluated.

While our parents worked primarily to earn a living, Millennials are generally driven by a need for purpose and identity; to find meaning in their work. I hate to ever be a part of the crowd, but of late, I find myself fitting the generalization. Money is not much of a motivator for me. At this stage of life Рhaving experienced all that I have at the hands of Corporate America РI would rather earn less and be more fulfilled in my work. Which is why I have started working on my Teaching Certification in the hopes of teaching junior high math.

Some fellow Christians will tell me (and have told me) that I should find my identity in Christ and not in my job. That’s true, but that’s no reason to stay at a miserable job. The bible says in Ecclesiastes that “there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work” (2:24), and again, that “that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work” (3:22).

Some lower-income friends will tell me (and have told me) that money is not a motivator now because I’ve never had to go without. While that may be true, I imagine there is a lot of character development to be had from learning to restrict spending as a result of voluntarily taking a pay cut.

Some friends will tell me (and have told me) that every job will have its frustrations and disappointments. While I acknowledge that to be true, I also believe¬†that – if every job has its challenges, and every work environment has a couple of “difficult personalities” to deal with – I may as well enjoy the work itself. I’ve spent seven years not enjoying my workload in addition to dealing with difficult people.

There have been countless closed doors over the past seven years of trying to change careers. But I’m prayerfully considering yet another attempt at a new career path, and hopefully God sees fit to swing the right door wide open, whether it’s teaching or something else I have yet to even consider.

I’m hoping it’s teaching though. After all,¬†teachers have the best blogging material.

Authentically Aurora