Flashback: My intentions, pretty much from elementary school, had always been to become a teacher, but I thoroughly considered my father's question and thought I'd try something else, why not? So, my original major was economics. But after struggling to stay awake in class, literally, and squeaking by with Cs I realized my mistake. One day, while studying in my beach chair with my toes in the sand, I had a vision of my future, sitting in an office in pantyhose, a skirt, and heels contemplating just how to end it all by jumping out of my high-rise office window. Good thing I realized in time!
Getting accepted into the post-graduate teacher education program at UCSD was no small feat. A 3.5 GPA, along with prerequisite courses, a long application process, as well as an intense personal interview weeded out the weak. Those of us who made it in had to work through a rigorous program with demanding professors, who purposely placed us in difficult school environments. In all my years of teaching, those were the most difficult. I was a well prepared teacher by the time I had my credential.
But was all of this a waste of the time I spent at a top university? Back to the original conversation with my soccer buddy. His response to the recollection of my dad's question was, "Well, it's not as if it was a UC education." But it was! I received one heck of a fabulous education at UCSD, but the implication here was that it had been wasted by becoming a teacher. The more I think about it, the more I find it distressing that this is the view of educators today. I wish I could share my perspective with others outside of the field of education. I don't make a huge salary, have a corner office, a big house, and a fancy car, but I impact the future. I change lives, inspire kids to make the world a better place, and help other teachers become better educators. That is huge! And every day I am delighted that I made the right decision that day on the beach. I am happy every time that I walk into school.
So the answer to the question in my title... Hell no! There are thousands of students and teachers who are making the world a better place, and who are happy as can be that I am well educated. Thank you Dad and Mom for supporting and paying for a great education. I'm certainly not wasting it!