(might not be as cool as this kid)
Those are words I didn't think I would say this past June. After leaving my internship at First Presbyterian, I thought a diploma was unreachable. I remember going to the Keeler's house and being so worried about telling them "the news" and not completing my job. Mr. Harper Keeler was so quick to comfort me that night. He reassured me we would get the internship done. That was the first time I felt this would be okay. The internship was obviously the last thing on his and Mrs. Beth's minds. As I have said before, they were worried about my health, the baby's health and Daniel.
After leaving their house, I had hope about my education. I would finish my degree. I then had to tell my dad, who paid my out-of-state tuition. I talked to my advisor before even mentioning it to him. She thought I could take an incomplete for the summer semester and finish in the fall. That's exactly what happened. I was able to get an internship with Community Counseling Services. Not only did I get an internship, but a paid internship... in Starkville (1/2 mile from our apartment). UNBELIEVABLE. Daniel and I (and my parents) were all thrilled! I started on September 12 and finished TODAY!
540 hours piled into 2 binders
I had a meeting at Community Counseling and my final meeting with my advisor, Jan Cooper Taylor. The first one was a breeze, but I was concerned about the second one. Needless to say, it went really well! (Funny story: After finding a parking spot, I realized the meter was good for 45 minutes. I knew I would at least be an hour. So, I walked in The Bakery and had to know someone studying - nope. Not a single soul. What do I do? See a freshman Phi Mu and ask her to put money in my car while I'm in my meeting. I might've embarrassed myself, but it surely wasn't the first time! I got back with 10 minutes to spare - thank you, Phi Mu lady! AND… it was the first time for me to be back in my building all semester. I ran into 2 of my professors from last semester. They looked at me and said, “Have you gained weight?” It was a surprise for them! They later joked with me and asked how we were doing. I really wanted to tweet, “#thatawkwardmoment when you see your professor for the first time being 8 months preggo.” Good times!)
Dr. Taylor and Anna Brantley at spring commencement
Needless to say, the meeting went REALLY well! Dr. Taylor and I talked for an hour and a half about my 2 VERY DIFFERENT internships and what I learned. Both were great experiences! Daniel and I made many connections at First Pres and will return shortly! The church has reached out and helped us along this journey. I could not be more thankful for that opportunity. Community Counseling targeted a completely different group of people. In the beginning I was quick to judge- I'll admit. My attitude was, "Why don't these people get jobs? They're living off the government. Blah. Blah. Blah." My view slowly changed. I had to remind myself some people weren't given the same chances I was given. They weren't raised with educated parents. They didn't HAVE an education. They had children for more money, because someone told them it was okay. It's a vicious cycle. My eyes were opened to a new world. A world where money is viewed differently. Family is viewed differently. Values and morals are viewed differently. Unless someone wants to change, you can't force it. Lesson learned.
client at the elderly home- lookin' sharp
Robert, from Inverness, called me Mary Sims 1,000 times a day. I got used to my new name quickly.
Mr. Charles sings in a Motown band every Saturday night in Columbus
Mrs. Earnestine asked me at least 3 times a day, "Are you... Are you..." Yes mam, I am! "Oh well, good! Is it your first?" Yes mam. I'm young. "Oh wee. When is the date?" February 1st. "February? I had a girl in February. I had 2 girls, no boys." That was our conversation... at least 3 times a day. I miss her!
BINGO. I AM A CHAMP.
Miss Annie and Miss Ruby (program manager) playing Bingo. Miss Ruby taught me so much. She expected a lot from me. I'm going to miss Starkville Manor and Miss Ruby in the spring! She has a wonderful heart.
group in action
singing Christmas hymns
Upon the end of my meeting, Dr. Taylor talked on a serious note. She was glad to see me finishing my degree at Mississippi State. Back in June, I had so many things going through my head. "Do I finish my degree? Do I find a job? Do I work part-time and do research? We won't have income. Daniel's in school with 21 hours. He can't work. What am I supposed to do?" She told me that an education was SO important these days, but I wanted to take responsibility for myself. I wanted to work and support Daniel. It was a sense of independence. I'm so glad my parents and Dr. Taylor persuaded me to finish. It was a great feeling to turn in my portfolio. Not only was it paper in a binder, but something more than that. I accomplished my goal. What I thought was impossible, just became possible. Thank you, Mom, Dad, Keelers, First Presbyterian Church, Community Counseling, faithful friends, Daniel and baby Harper. It's a relief, but also a reminder that anything is possible with God.