The Summerland Advocate-Messenger - Reliable, Trustworthy Reporting, Capturing The Heartbeat Of Our Community

By Travis Rudloff

Alternate Assessments

When I grow up I want to be ...


Fourteen years ago, I remember sitting at the top of our long gravel lane that hugs the side of the Royal Road. I was sitting in the passenger seat of Dad's beat up, white 1999 Dodge pickup. I eagerly waited for Terry to pick me up in that big yellow bus with the number '96' stuck to the side.

That bus would drive the short eight miles to town and deposit me at the front doors of Clearwater Public School. I would eagerly enter the building, wait in line, and go directly into Miss Grebin's kindergarten classroom. I would spend the day learning the necessary skills that would help shape my future.

However, this particular crisp winter morning was different than others. As I waited to see that big yellow hunk of metal pop over the hill, an unexpected question came from my dad.

"What do you want to be when you grow up."

This is a pretty typical question to ask a five- to six-year-old.

Without missing a beat, I quickly responded, "A vet"

Dad responded with a quick chuckle and said, "You know you have to go to school for a long time, don't you?"

I was determined I was going to be that amazing person who helps heal all of the cows, and other animals, if I had to.

Fourteen years later, is that my college major? Not even close.

In fact, throughout my life, what I wanted to be when I grew up changed multiple times.

I bounced back and forth between being a vet and a farmer for the majority of my elementary years. Once I entered junior high, I entertained the idea of becoming a teacher, but I quickly dismissed that possibility since I would not be around animals.

I continued to tell myself that was not the career path for me.

Well, here I am entering my sophomore year as an elementary, early childhood and special education major at Wayne State College.

What in the world happened?

Time has a funny way of showing us what we want, and life has a unique way of helping us figure out what truly matters.

As I grew up, I realized that those professions I considered before mattered and are vitally important. However, teaching is where I know I can do the most good and help make a difference in someone's life.

When it comes down to it, it means making a decision about what matters to you.

I think I would make a dang good journalist. I also think I would be a fairly good extension agent. I also would not mind being a veterinarian (after I got through all that schooling).

Teaching, however, is what pulls at my heart strings and lets me know what I am doing is important.

There are so many choices we have the option to make and none of them are the wrong choice. The choice we do make needs to be a commitment. There will be hard times; there will be times when you stumble, and you will learn so much along the way.

The most important part of the choice you make is to never give up. Remember why you made that choice and use that memory to help drive you to that ultimate goal. Do not focus on becoming the best; focus on doing your job to the best of your abilities.

All it takes is one decision to change the course of your life, whether it be your kindergarten dream job or your college major, remember why you made the choice you did.

Don't give up until you know you have given everything you have to give and never forget the people who helped you along the way.


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