Monday, May 26, 2008

Z is for Zirconium


You'd think for what this class ring cost, it'd come with a genuine diamond. But I couldn't justify the price increase. Even if it was a gift to me. But the cubic zirconium has been fine. I just wanted something to signify my completion of a very long difficult road. I had never had any plan or desire to go to college. Upon completion of high school, I was posed with two options: go to school or get a job. I had a choice? Really? Well up to this point, I hated school. I know, not something you'd expect a teacher to admit. But I did. My answer was a no-brainer. I was getting a job. I worked for about 2 years at a high end entertainment law firm. We had top name clients in the music, film, and television industries. For a kid out of high school, I was making decent money and was enjoying working in the industry. During that time I took a photography course in the evenings through UCLA Extension. I had to go to the university during the day to get my books though. I remember walking across the campus seeing kids my age that didn't seem miserable to be there. It was on that walk that I decided to quit my job and go back to school. I got a job at Nordstrom (where I later met Julianne!!!) and enrolled in a junior college. In my second year there, my father died. My focus was cloudy for a while, but another 2 years later, I graduated. Junior college that is. Then I went on the the university. Another 4 years later, I had my bachelor's degree. What took most people 4 years took me 8. But I finished. And you know what? I liked it. So much that I went back for my teaching credential. And then my masters. So this ring, embedded with a cubic zirconium and all, signifies a very difficult path for me. One of which I'm proud.



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Click HERE for all my Alphabet Photos.

15 comments:

Dr.John said...

A good Z picture and a great explanation. I have loved your pictures.

Melli said...

GOOD for YOU!!! And you know what? I think the fact that you hated school when you were young (as I did too!) makes you a BETTER teacher today! (I subbed for 11 years!) Having been there and done that gives you a little better perspective of what SOME of your students are going through... and you probably work a little harder to make it more interesting for them - or to help them get through it in some "outside the box" kind of way! I'm glad you're PROUD of that ring. It IS to be proud of! The good proud!

Anna said...

That is awesome!

And Old Bay?!?! I will send you a container of it if you want...you will never eat crab without it...

Old Bay and a Corona...that sounds so good right now...even at 8:41 in the morning!

;)

christy said...

Old Bay is a Maryland staple -- I know people who put it on nearly everything. It's a mixture of spices made in heaven to go with crabs especially = )

Your story reminds me of my favorite comic, Calvin and Hobbes. It's my theory that Calvin will be a teacher when he grows up, too.

Green Eyed Girl said...

Wow, congratulation's on making it through! I find that having to take the difficult, or longer road often makes you a better person in the end.
Great picture! I can't wait to get my CGA ring once I have my desgination.

Mar said...

Congratulations. You deserve that ring! Love the cubic zirconimu, the beautiful picture and the story behind it.
The alphabet challenge has been a fun meme!

Carletta said...

Wonderful story Robert and something to be very proud of. I don't think those of us who always knew what we wanted to do always understand those who don't. It just takes some a longer to find themselves. Look at you now!
Guess that photography class paid off!
Now - how many photos did you take of that ring to get it just right -come see my post - you'll know why I ask. Great Teacher Minds, that's all I can say!
This projects been fun - I saw your comment on Anna's and her reply so I know I'll see you there!
I have to add this - my verification word here is conut - are we both nuts in this project thing :) That is too funny!

Robert said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. Not just here today but throughout the project. It's been fun and challenging. I feel like I've been growing in my photography skills, I hope!

Dr. John, Thanks for all the compliments.

Melli, I think it's made me a better teacher too. I often tell my students that story to let them know I've been there and understand.

Anna, how could I pass up such an offer? I graciously accept!

Christy, I never thought of myself as Calvin before. Too funny!

Erin, you'll get there. Keep going strong. How close are you getting by the way?

Mar, thanks a bunch. It has been fun, huh?

Carletta, thanks for all your wonderful comments. And I only shot about 60 photos of the ring before deciding on this image to post!

And a comment made via email lets me know I should clarify, I am not 70 years old nor did I graduate in 1958! I got my BA in 1995. 1958 is the year CSUN was established. Hope that clears up any confusion. :)

Karen of Sillymonkeez said...

You should be very proud of that ring. Some people who barrel right through "on schedule" don't get nearly as much out of their education as people who have life experience to bring to the classroom.

juliana said...

that's a great way to end this challenge!
zircunium may not be a diamond, but it must be priceless for all the memories attached to it...

Anna said...

Email me your address and the Old Bay is yours!
annacarsonphotography@yahoo.com

quilly said...

What Melli said! I headed for college straight out of High School, but couldn't shake my contempt of "school" and dredge up any disciple. At 31, after years of working at dead-end no-future jobs, I headed for college and a teaching degree.

I have a very strong track record for "salvaging" (not my word) difficult children. My students also test remarkably well in Math and Writing. I had a principal once tell me she wished she could bottle whatever I had.

She can't.

What I have -- what you likely have because of your experiences -- is respect for and understanding of the contempt the students have for the "system". I teach people, not programs. Period.

Gattina said...

What a nice life story ! I hated school too and after having made a test, they told me that I could do any work but nothing with languages ! 2 years later I started my first work as bilingual secretary and translator for french and german and again 2 years later I worked for an American compmany in english and was responsible for the french and german speaking areas ! When I met my husband I had to add Italian !

jientje said...

Hi Robert, I just revisited all of your Alphabet posts, and you have some amazing picturesin there! I do think you have grown in your photography through this challenge!
And what an amazing story you have for your last post!
I take my hat off for you!
Thanks for all of the visits and the great comments you gave me every time!

Stinky John Jones said...

That ring signifies all the right choices in you life. From school, to photography, to Julianne, to your teaching credentials to your masters.

What an amazing accomplishment to achieve...and one not many could or would have done in your situation.