One of the things that I’m really excited about this semester at CSULB is that I have the opportunity of being a Teaching Assistant for one of my favorite professors and classes that I took Fall 2012, Classical Sociological Theories. I know, I’m a nerd. I mean what student actually gets excited about the prospect of assisting other students in classical theories and reviewing the material all over again? Me! I was seriously so excited when Dr. Z asked me if I’d be interested in doing it, and I’m SO glad that I said yes!
I have classes Tuesdays and Thursdays, and every Tuesday my TA time is 3:30p – 4:30p and on Thursdays it’s 9:30a – 10:30a and whenever I’m getting to my assigned meeting room I feel just like a little kid that’s excited to see what’s behind the door…how many students will arrive, what new face I may see, and what exciting discussions will take place! For that hour I am student and assistant because even though I’m there to help them, the cool thing is I am also taking with me some new learning experiences and it’s just so dang interesting to be on the other side of it. When I walk out of one of our meetings I feel the same exhilaration I experience when I’m working at my new job and interacting with the clients or volunteers and hearing their gratitude and yet feeling inside like “no, thank you, because I’m learning from you and taking away something so great as well.”
I don’t even know quite how to explain it. Like today’s meeting in the morning my three students that showed up were so nervous because their very first exam is next Thursday and they are having doubts about whether they’re understanding the material. So whenever we started on a new topic I let them tell me in their words what they understood the concept to be and it was awesome to hear how well they do know their stuff and also adding some extra input at times to help them. I felt so proud of them and reassured them that they are absolutely getting the different concepts and I could see in their eyes how much that vote of confidence meant to them, and how sincere I really was about it. And I felt myself growing and learning alongside them as well and realizing how rewarding this experience has become for me. And when our session ended I felt so great and energized despite being sleep deprived and tired, and as I walked toward Dr. Z’s office to give her the quizzes I had graded the day before I felt so good and positive and guess what feeling came over me? The same thought I had when I started to intern and eventually work at my current job, that this is exactly what I’m meant to do. In whatever different aspect it may be, I feel so alive and like it’s God’s call for me whenever I am in a situation where I can help someone, and I always feel like I am gaining so much more from the experience itself. I am totally meant to be a helper and doing that role of helper and I can feel how I just light up from the inside out and it bursts out of me when I am in that assisting/helping capacity.
And something important comes to mind when I get all those exhilarating emotions, I think of what Dr. Z said to me the day I told her that I realized “I am meant to help people” and she looked at me kindly and said “and you doubted this? Yvonne I saw it in you since the beginning, in the short time I had known you”. And I was speechless and thought “wow”. Why did I ever doubt that? Well because I sometimes find that I let doubts or fears enter my mind, and I am slowly working on that and allowing myself to truly experience and understand how enriching these moments are. You know, this is my last semester at school, and I am so happy and looking forward to finishing, but I’m scared too because it will be a huge change in my life to what I’ve been accustomed to doing for so many years, attending school and learning, yet I realize that by placing myself truly in God’s hand and allowing him go guide me has really opened up so many great realizations and experiences for me.