January 22, 2010

master of my fate

i don't know if i've ever mentioned that my mom is an elementary education professor at the same university i attend. this allows me to get free tuition, which is a big reason i'm in school {i know, i'm blessed!}. our lives have stayed pretty separate {for the most part} even though we've been practically living on the same campus every day for four and a half years. guess what. our isolation from each other ended abruptly when i chose to change my major to secondary education. my dad joined the mix soon after me to follow his dream of being a junior high choir and orchestra teacher. now the three of us see each other everyday, often more than once!

it is an interesting, yet mostly fun experience having family where i spend most of my daily life. it's nice to have a private place to leave heavy books and excess baggage when running from one end of campus to the other. and on those especially long days when my eyelids keep fluttering closed, it's nice to have a piece of carpet to lay my head on and catch a few winks {even though it often leaves a speckled imprint on my cheek and forehead} without too many strange glances coming my way or pictures being taken of my slumber. needless to say, i had acclimated to my life of privilege with few complaints.

with the recent changes in familial school attendance, there are now new adjustments to be made. there has been a collision of personal and professional lives. i figured this would really only impact my mom, having professors ~ her friends and colleagues ~ teaching her husband and daughter adds a different dimension to collegiality. my dad quickly pointed out that he had never known college professors to read so intently every word written in a paper and give so much feedback.

there goes my hope of going unnoticed in class {ok, so i've never been one to be extremely quiet in a classroom ~ that doesn't mean i hadn't at least hoped to slip beneath the radar} and i have to be careful of every step i take. in the past, i have not been what one would call an above-average student. in fact, i'm usually the opposite. i don't mean to be this way, yet it seems to be my fate. i know i'm intelligent, i've just always had a challenge conveying that in an educational setting.

so whether it's me hoping not to embarrass my mom or that i'm transferring my own expectations onto {what i perceive to be} my professor's expectations, it all culminates into a desire to be perfect. and though i have been chasing this ever-elusive concept of perfection all my twenty-two years, is it possible that i could simply transform into a responsible, delightful student overnight? not realistically. however, my fate does not have to be one of failure and disappointment. if i put into practice my theory of learning for self-improvement and to gain knowledge rather than for grades and so-called achievement, i can master my undetermined fate.

i am the master of my fate, and God is the captain of my soul. as i continually strive to align my will with Heavenly Father's, i know He will sail my ship {my life} into a safe harbor. my college experience {and success!} is important to me, so i know it's important to Him. i am young and alive, therefore my fate remains

{latin for unconquered}

my poetic inspiration, by william ernest henley:

out of the night that covers me,
black as the pit from pole to pole,
i thank whatever {God}s may be
for my unconquerable soul.

in the fell clutch of circumstance
i have not winced nor cried aloud.
under the bludgeonings of chance
my head is bloody, but unbowed.

beyond this place of wrath and tears
looms but the horror of the shade,
and yet the menace of the years
finds and shall find me unafraid.

it matters not how strait the gate,
how charged with punishments the scroll,
i am the master of my fate:
i am the captain of my soul.