Wow. It has bee quite awhile since I last posted. A lot has transpired over that time. And, because I am too lazy to answer multiple emails asking me what I am up to, I'll post it all here.
I have officially left Emory Law School
. I should note that my decision to leave has nothing to do with Emory or the faculty, staff or students there. I would recommend, without hesitation, ELS to anyone considering law school. The people are uniformly intelligent, kind and fun. Although I was at Emory for a relatively short time I was fortunate to meet some great people who will be a part of my life for many years. I am particularly thankful for the opportunity to have had the chance to study with Kay Levine
, whose passion for students and for learning gave me hope that law schools are not mere assembly lines.
Ultimately, though, I came to the conclusion that law school was just not for me. And I am okay with that, eventhough I feel that I have let more than a couple people down. It's not easy to leave law school for a second time, especially when you're two years into the program. I hope that those people who are now disappointed will again be proud of me and my accomplishments in the future.
And what does the future bring? Well, for starters, I will be working at the Emory Autism Center
this summer. And, I hopefully will be going to graduate school at Georgia State University's Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education
to pursue another master's degree in education. But this time, instead of policy I will be studying early childhood special education.
In order to make some sense of my decision, I have copied a portion of my personal statement below. Maybe it makes things a bit more clear. Or it simply explains my level of insanity. Take your pick.
Six years ago I was accepted into the master’s of education program in special education at Boston University. At the time, I was working as an inclusion assistant in an affluent suburb of the city. And while I thoroughly enjoyed my job, I decided not to pursue graduate work in education. Instead, based solely on future earnings, I chose to study public administration and policy.
In order to assuage my guilt I concentrated in education policy. And, after earning my master’s degree I took a job as an education analyst for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee. I rationalized my choices as making an impact on children and education at the macro, rather than the micro level. And, having such a large influence on the allocation of over $16 billion in education funding certainly was rewarding, at times. Ultimately, I found that my work was too much about protecting our members’ re-election chances and too little about providing the resources for a world class education.
After spending the majority of my adult life working in or around education, I felt burnt out and in need of change. In my dismay, I turned to law school, which I saw as the complete opposite of education policy. However, law school has been the least enjoyable two years of my life. I even changed universities after my first year because I attributed my unhappiness to St. Louis. Yet, coming to Atlanta has not been a panacea for my discontent.
After spending some time reflecting on my past experiences and considering what I want for my future, the answer became obvious. I had denied my true calling for too long; I had made my decisions based on money instead of happiness. The only way to alleviate my frustration with life would be to return to education.
Now that I have made the decision to return to graduate school to pursue what is my true calling, it all seems so obvious. What began as a desire to build a better school district turned into a hope to alleviate the suffering of suicidal and impoverished children finally became an ambition to help young learners with special needs. The signs have been there all along.
Shortly after I began graduate school I happened to walk past the university’s child care center. I stopped for a minute and watched the children play and a great sense of remorse came over me. I may have known at that moment that I had made the wrong choice, but I decided to soldier on in denial for another six years. And while I do not regret any of my life’s experiences, I know in my heart that working with special needs children is what I was meant to do.