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A very important decision that I made a long time ago was the decision to go back to school. I already had a child and I knew that it would difficult to balance all of the responsibilities of having a family with all of the responsibilities that come with school. I found that I appreciated school more because I dedicated my all to it and balanced everything in my life with it as well.
My important life changing decision was moving from Pennsylvania to Hawaii. I knew it would be a challenge to adjust to the long distance between myself and friends/family. I knew it would be a challenge to afford a reasonable lifestyle in one of the most expensive places to live in the United States, and I am a teacher:) I knew it would be a challenge to come in as an outsider and teach Filipino, Samoan, Tongan, and Micronesian children. I moved to a place where I was not sure if I would fit in, and possibly never be accepted. I did it with barely any hesitation and it was the best decision of my life. I was accepted, and I love teaching these children. Hawaii is not just a beautiful place, but its a place of beautiful and warm people. It was a challenge and it was risky, but I am glad I took the challenge and it worked out in the end.
I day I realized I was on my way to having my first child. My son was five years old when he attended my graduation from college in 1986. It was a combination of love, hard work, and pure determination that I reached that goal. Twenty three years have passed since that day, and I am one semester away from completing my Masters in Educational Administration. There is no doubt in my mind that having my first child harnessed my determination for my destination.
Every decision one makes affects one's life. Every decision is like a fork in the road- you chose one and go down that road. There may be a cutoff that goes back to another you might have passed up before, but there may not. Every deicison takes you to another crossroads or fork later, that takes you to another, etc. The operative thing is, you cannot go back to one in the past. My decisions about what book to read, what record to buy, whether or not to take up boxing or baseball, to talk to a girl I liked or to take up the guitar or not all led to other decisions later. Which university to go to, what to major in, whether to have sex or not, to believe in one religion or another or none all affected my life and led directly to the next set of choices. It's like the Frost poem referred to above, each decision is a choice between one path and another, whether one realizes it or not, or recognizes it as a major decision or not. You never know where any decision will take you. That's why life is an adventue, you never know how it will turn out, or what will happen next.
Lots of decisions come down to choosing whether to open a door or to close it. I've learned that opening doors always makes life more interesting--one way or the other! Can you think of a time when you had the opportunity to do something new and had to decide whether to take the chance?
I did. Several years ago, I was living in a snug little world, teaching in a very small high school that was like an extended family of faculty and students. Then one day I had an opportunity to move halfway across the country to teach in one of the largest cities in the nation in an inner-city school of 3200 students. The student body was international, very diverse; 117 languages were represented in the building. I would know one other teacher going in. Should I go into the great unknown, or should I stay home where I was safe and comfortable?
I went--one of the best decisions I ever made, personally and professionally. I made many new acquaintances and 3 new really good friends. I also learned a lot about cultures different from my own and found that people don't have to speak the same language to understand the most important things about each other. (A smile and a hug are universal.) My new students made me feel welcome; we accomplished a lot together and had fun doing it. Living in a very different part of the country was illuminating and enjoyable. I would have missed all of these experiences if I had closed the door to opportunity instead of opening it.
There are many such moments for me:
1) The day I decided to read C.S. Lewis' On Christianity and know, as he knew, after reading it that there really is no other explanation for life on earth but that God created it. After that, I accepted Christ into my life and it's been very different (notice I ddn't say easy) since then.
2) The day my college sweetie dumped me and forced me to leave Orlando which led me to finish my Master's degree which led me to teaching English as Foreign Language in South Korea for a year. That was a trippin' ride! Good thing I love roller coasters!
3) The day I got married to my USMC man who took me all over the place to bases located literally 45 minutes away from the nearest Walmart. Let me tell you what that does for creativity and ingenuity!
4) The day my sons were born.
5) The day my daddy died.
6) The day my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
In 1993 I had to attend a very important celebration for whichI was not sure I wanted to go. I used every excuse in my book not to attend. Right when I was ready to call my excuse, I was told that there was no option but to go. That activity ended up changing my entire life, for that was the place where I met the person whom would introduce me to the military life, which is the only life I had lived and enjoyed living since then. If I had not gone, I am not sure where exactly I would be today. In fact, I would not be the same person I am right now
A decision that i made was to make my own choice or not to but i pick to make my own choices. : )
Some of the important decision in my life in the chronological order are as follows.
- Decision to study Engineering for my graduation.
- Decision to never give up learning. This was inspired by the advice from an old lady when, after completion of my engineering study, I told her that I do not intend to study further as I am tired of studying.
- Decision to do post graduation in Management.
- Decision on the choice of girl I married.
- Decisions on all my job changes.
- Decision to final settle down in Pune - the place where I currently live.
One of the most important that is completely overlooked is the ability to either cheat someone or break a policy rule or law. How often has a student cheated and it resulted in their expulsion form the school of their choice? Or, if a student, under peer pressure, steals and is caught. And a conviction can stay with them throughout their life. Even cheating on something as their taxes can result in substantial penalties that people don't think of.
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