I lived the first 47 years of my life in small town/rural southeast Texas, then 13 years in a city in north Texas followed by 4 years in middle Tennessee. Now I find myself in San Antonio, Texas. But, that does not really describe where I've been. As with many people, my life has been something of a patchwork quilt. The background and binding fabric might be just the physical places I've lived, but the interesting part is in the patterns. I am not a quilter, but I love quilts. I love the double wedding ring quilt that my grandmother made that is on my bed, with it's fragile small pieces in such a precise placement. I love the little Dutch girl quilt my mother made for my granddaughter, with the repeating pattern in different fabrics from my daughter's childhood dresses. But, at best, my life has been more of a sampler quilt, with a unique pattern in each block. Or, in some cases, a crazy quilt, with seemingly no pattern at all.
My career has taken many interesting turns, some logical, others not so much so. My bachelor's degree is in Criminal Justice and Behavioral Science, with a specialization in social services and rehabilitation. So, without ever having taken an education course, I became a junior high English teacher, a job that I absolutely loved. But I wanted to know more about what made my students tick, so I pursued a master's degree in psychology. Got my master's in school psychology, and without seeking it, found myself employed as an educational diagnostician - a position that at that time was virtually always filled by someone with a background in special education, of which I had none. Then I actually worked as a school psychologist for three great years. But I wanted to be in private practice, so I licensed as a licensed professional counselor and got additional training as a play therapist. There's much more, but you get the drift. I evidently interview well, since I seem to frequently find myself in a job that #1. I wasn't looking for, and #2. I am really not technically qualified to do. But I love the learning curve of mastering a new set of job skills. I work incredibly hard, become really good at it, then feel the need to move on. Maybe it's a short attention span, maybe it's a low boredom threshold, maybe I just haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. I am currently 64 years old, experimenting with retirement, and continuing to stretch and grow.
Here's Where (I Think) I'm Going
Remember that quilt that is my life? Well, all the seemingly random pieces have started to form a pattern. I firmly believe, and have always believed, that God led me into and out of every one of those jobs. The quilt's not finished, but I am at a point in life where I can look back and see God's handiwork more clearly, and more fully appreciate the wealth of opportunities that I have had to learn, and grow, and interact with amazing people. Now I want to pull it all together and do something that has an impact now and also, hopefully, into the future.
I've done many things, but in my heart-of-hearts, I am a teacher. I want to use my passion for teaching to pull together and pass on some of what I have learned about young children - their personalities, language development, learning, behavior, theology, and play. I spent a good deal of my career directly impacting children, as a teacher, a school psychologist, and a play therapist (and throw in quite a few years of teaching preschoolers at church). Now, I want to have an impact on the people in our world whose turn it is to impact young children - parents, daycare providers, and teachers.
My hope is to present in a variety of settings, to a variety of audiences, in a variety of formats. I don't want to do cookie-cutter presentations, I want to tailor presentations to the specific needs of the particular audience. See, if I do the same presentation over and over, that low boredom threshold will kick in. But if I make each presentation audience-specific, then it's like changing jobs each time; and, you know I like new jobs!