It has been far longer than I anticipated since I last posted. In the Peace Corps applicant world, that isn't a good thing. Between work, trial medications, and trying to figure out my next move, I still do not have medical clearance. This is the one thing holding me back at this point. I submitted my online application 10 months ago. That is a long time, unfortunately I know there is still more waiting.
Work you say- I thought you were volunteering? In late November I took on a paraprofessional position at one of the local schools. My mornings are spent working with struggling readers who qualify for Title 1 additional reading support. During the afternoon, I work one-on-one with a nonverbal, autistic, kindergartner. This part of my job is by far the most challenging experience I have had thus far, however, so far it has proven to 1) have taught me so incredibly much and 2) had quite a few rewarding moments. When I started, this little boy could only say numbers, letters, and his name. Now, less than two months later, he is saying some 2 and 3 word phrases, like, "big, blue, triangle" and my two favourite things, "Hi. I am (insert his name here)." and "I want (insert item) please." This is huge. I was ecstatic yesterday when I was told, "I want to poop please." As frustrating as the job is sometimes when he is screaming and throwing a fit, I really do enjoy seeing how much my little boy has progressed. Another big change with him, when I started, he was pulled out of the classroom almost the entire afternoon, now, I have him back in the classroom for at least 3/4 of the afternoon.
Over the past few months I have debated back and forth about what I want to do with my life and while possible career paths have changed, the one thing that has always been there is Peace Corps. I even toyed with the idea of Teach for America for a year or two and then Peace Corps, but that isn't the right program for me. I feel like the fact that I can't get Peace Corps out of my mind is a good sign that it is the right thing for me. I want to be one of those people whose blog shows up on the Peace Corps Journals site exclaiming being invited. I want this more than anything right now.