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I’m dreading the month of January 2014. I have been for a few weeks now. Tomorrow is the first day after my “winter vacation,” so it’s back to the work world.

I think there are many feelings that I have that explain my dread. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m exasperated. I’m overwhelmed. I’m uncertain. I guess it all comes down to the fact that I have more responsibility than ever and I’m scared that I won’t be able to meet my students’, my manager’s, my mentors’, my superiors’, my parents’, my future employers’, and my own expectations.

This month has more work responsibilities since we’re reaching the heart of the lab work for the science and engineering fair and I have 5 high school teams and 1 middle school team to help. I also have to prepare things for later in the year like the employee’s children day, preparing for the Citizen Schools apprenticeship, preparing for the summer programs, and hiring and training a high school intern.

I also have been feeling the pressure of figuring out what will be next after this fellowship is over. I had debated graduate school for a while. I took the GRE but found myself too uncertain and too unfocused to apply. However, I am proud that I took the time to speak to several people during the month of December about what they do. Many of them have reassured me that there are varied paths to success, but many also have advised me to go back to school (either to learn more in biology, education or to teach in high school). So we’ll have to see. I think at this moment, I hope to be doing education research “in 5 years.” We’ll see how I can get myself there.

I won’t be surprised if I end up writing here more this next month. I tend to write more when I’m upset.

However, so I don’t lose touch with friends (since I think this might become a month that I will hole myself in a little more, especially given the weather), I want to ask myself to write cards to my friends. I did my holiday cards (to the friends that are far–sorry to my friends that are near! You may get a card soon!) and read about the postage increase coming up, but I also read a few nice articles that reminded me what a wonder the post office can be. For less than a dollar they will take your thoughts to whoever you’ve addressed them to! So in the month of January, I’m going to be spending approximately a whopping $20 to hopefully send some of my thoughts to friends around the country! I’ve already bought a box of cards that I think are fun and well suited for this month of uncertainty and change. (I’ve recently bought two boxes of cards published by Chronicle Books. I think they are my new unforeseen fascination in the realm of life’s little things.)

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