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Four Years at the Mount

Junior Year

24 Hours at the Mount - Afternoon

Samantha Strub
MSM Class of 2013

(Feb, 2012) Rushing, rushing, rushing across the parking lot with my heels tapping the payment. This is how youíll find me on a typical afternoon. I get quite a few looks as I cross campus in my professional clothes and high heels. I should really stop wearing heels, but as any young women would say, they tie the rest of the outfit together so well that you just have to wear them. I donít ever have time to explain this to those who give me the funny looks, so I just hurry by, click-clacking awayÖ

If you see me, Iím in the process of returning from my internship at West Fredrick Middle School. I only have about 45 minutes to get back from teaching all morning and hurry to my afternoon classes. As Iím driving back, listening to music and drinking my coffee, I try to shift my brain from being a teacher and classroom assistant to my eighth-grade students back to being a student myself. From the outside, it might not seem like it would be very difficult to switch back and forth, but trust me, it really is. It will become second nature after a while, but right now I have to force my brain to shift back to linguistics, sentence diagrams, and American literature after focusing on synonyms, antonyms, grammar, worksheets and textual interpretations. I have to remember not to correct college students who arenít paying attention and get them back on task. I have made the transition to being a teacher so thoroughly that I donít even realize that I always seem to be in "teacher mode," as one might call it.

Everything that I look at seems to take on a whole new perspective when I see situations through the eyes of a teacher. The activities that I once took for granted as a student I appreciate more now that I myself have to create lesson plans and find engaging material. As a student, you never realize how much time is spent creating the material that you will be learning. The activities that you practiced in class are very important because they are strategies that teachers use to increase comprehension. If I were not studying to be a teacher, I would never have this perspective on classes, assignments, lessons, and literature. Now, I find it easier to relate to my professors and strike up relationships with them.

As Iím cranking music on my car ride home, Iím usually thinking about what happened that day with my eighth-grade students and what I can do to help and guide their education. I do get to a point, though, when I flip the switch to become a college student once again. Once I park, I click-clack across campus to either my American literature class. It is always thoroughly enjoyable to escape from the realities of life into the world of literature. During class, nothing matters except for the novel before me. It is wonderful to sit, a book in hand, with my fellow English majors and dive into its secrets. I suppose that is part of the reason I want to be a teacheróto show others how to escape into this magical world.

Afterward, I click-clack across campus once more to go to work. I work in the Education Department as a secretary. Being an Education major has given me a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with all the professors in the department as well as have a great job that I go to for a couple of hours. What I do there really depends on the day, but generally Iím making copies for professors, answering phones calls, running errands across campus and doing random odd jobs. On slow days they are generous enough to allow me to do homework. This is a very nice bonus, because few jobs offer that option when days are slow.

Being able to do homework is helpful because once I finish working I usually click-clack back to my apartment to grab a quick bite to eat. After I get home from work Iím normally in my apartment for less than an hour before I have to rush out again to go to my night class. Iím in class again from 6 to 9 p.m., learning all those important and necessary strategies that I need to help my students learn to the best of their abilities.

So my evenings are spent in classes instead of enjoying all the crazy nights the seniors haveÖ

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount