Facing Failure (Career Journey part 3)


Most of you know that I am not a nurse. So why not just skip right to my teaching education journey?  Because the lessons learned from facing failure can be very life giving. My experience in nursing school was life giving, although very painful at times.

Let’s get back to Gladstone Secondary and I will tell the story from there.  My little girl dream of getting Bio 12, Chem 11, English 12 and Math 11 became a reality.  I just managed to squeak by on the Math 11 part. Oh and a fun fact about Chemistry 11! My teacher Mr. Kay joined the Vancouver Gospel choir with me this year and now we are friends and sing together! He doesn’t let me call him Mr. Kay anymore. You never know who you will cross paths with in the future. I am glad that I was a pretty good student otherwise Monday nights at choir would be a little awkward.

Biology 12 was absolutely fascinating. I got to see my body and nutrients and cells in a whole new way.  Our teacher had us make colour coded mind maps for each chapter so that during our exams we could supposedly just close our eyes and see the colours-and answers- in our head.  My photographic memory isn’t that good but the method did help.

Several post secondary reps came to visit our grade 12 class and I eagerly filled out applications for Douglas and Langara college.  The universities were more in my sister’s league than mine. Another fun fact: I recently completed a Mandarin course at Douglas college and they still had my application and grade 12 record from 14 years ago! Another crossing of paths 🙂

My path in 2002 though was about to change dramatically.  In one day my family lost our rental house and ability to produce baked goods for the Vancouver farmer’s market.  Dad would sell up to 500 loaves of bread in 5 hours at Trout Lake. He made good bread. My Aunt Janet beckoned to Vancouver Island where housing was a fraction of a cost and traffic was a tiny trickle.

Sweet! I get to move away from home at 17 rang out in my thoughts. I had visions of living with my sister in a little place in the city and going to a local nursing school.  I had no perception of where the money for all that would come from. Oh the dreams of youth.   Meanwhile, Dad began researching schools on the island.  He wasn’t ready to say so long to his youngest and begin empty nesting.   That is how I discovered North Island College in Courtenay.   I wasn’t convinced until we took a trip across the ferry and discovered the enchanting beauty of the Comox Valley and the fact that one could rent an entire house on acres of land for less than $1000/month.   I was island bound.

I could drift from here into several posts about life in Comox but that can be saved for a ‘Places I have Lived series’  🙂

The waitlist for nursing at NIC was two years… yikes! An eternity for a 17 year old but that was just the beginning of the life giving process.

With a courseload of English Lit., Spanish, Psychology and Human Biology… I was officially a college student!  I still remember walking on to campus for orientation day with a tummy full of butteflies. Amidst the backdrop of lush dark green forest, sunny grassy hills and distant blue mountains, colourful club posters rustled in the wind, more young adults than I had ever seen in one spot wandered around looking as nervous as I did.  Grinning faculty  clustered and chattered with their colleagues…

Stay tuned for more… amid my phone beeping with text messages and current things happening in life,  my creative flow has dwindled…  gotta stop while it’s still good 😉

Final fun fact:  My psychology teacher was my aunt’s husband’s cousin 🙂

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