Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Our Miss Em

Have blogged about my Number-One Son, my bride, and even "My Best Friend John". Now it is time to introduce my Number-One Daughter, Miss Em. I really do not know where to start. I'll skip all the part about her early years. That would just be a bunch of parental bragging. But it's not just bragging if it's the truth. I'll concentrate on the last few years.

My bride and I have always strived to allow our children to live their own lives once they attained adulthood. We figured we had done our duty as parents, although far from perfect parents, I may add. Now it is time to allow them to try their wings. We knew that there would be trials and tribulations, successes and failures, encountered along the way. At times it has not been easy to sit back and observe, speaking up only when requested to do so, but this approach has proven the right one for both our children.

Miss Em, upon graduation form Wake Forest with a degree in Psychology but not wanting to pursue an advanced degree in that field, decided to move to the Windy City to seek her fortune in the world of stand-up comedy. She really has a knack for comedy. What better place to scratch that itch than the home of "Second City". While looking into this possible career, she worked as a saleperson and later as a waitress.

When she realized that the world of comedy was not in her future, she reverted back to an earlier desire, a career in law enforcement. In high school she had expressed an interest in becoming an FBI or a Secret Service agent. In her job as a waitress she had encountered many police officers who told her about law enforcement and the Chicago Police Academy. Had it not been for the fact that a class at the academy had just started and the next one would be started only when there was the need for more police officers, she would have enrolled and would now probably be a member of Chicago's finest. While I could not picture my little Miss Em packing heat and patrolling the streets of south Chicago (and the idea of it really scared the hell out of me) I kept silent. With time, her desire to join the police force subsided.

While waitressing and bartending she somehow met some Physical Therapist and was intrigued by what she heard about that profession. Having a physician for a father and a nurse for a mother, she was not a stranger to the healing arts. The more she heard, the more she became convinced that this was her true calling in life. But answering this call required much determination and hard work. As a psych major, her transcript lacked some basic science courses such as chemistry, biology, and physics which were all required as prerequisites for admission to Physical Therapy programs.

So for the past couple of years she has worked to support herself while taking the required courses to allow her to apply to Physical Therapy Schools. That in itself was not an easy matter. Often, because she was not a "degree-seeking student", she was frozen out of these basic science courses by undergraduates. This required her to take different courses at various institutions of higher learning in Chicago to complete her transcript. I'll just say that physics is not her forte. But she persevered and is now finishing her final physics class. At the same time she was performing her necessary volunteer hours in a Physical Therapy clinic. These hours are required by all schools of Physical Therapy. She did such a good job at the clinic that she was able to secure a position as a Physical Therapy Assistant, thus leaving the world of waitressing that had served her so well during her search for herself. This new employment also offers her the chance to get valuable experience in her chosen profession.

The next challenge was to get into a school of Physical Therapy, where the competition is fierce. It was during this process that our Miss Em met initial failure for the first time in her life. She was put on the waiting list at her first choice. A school back home in North Carolina rejected her application, most probably because as a resident of Illinois, she fell in the minority out-of-state pool of applicants. Still, the rejection hurt, and we suffered along with her. She was accepted by another school, but she decided not to enroll there, due largely to the misspelled words in and wrong name on the letter of acceptance (although she was repeatedly assured in later communications that she had indeed been accepted). She said she would rather wait a year and re-apply than go to a school she did not respect.

Then she got into a program that she respected, but that would require a long, relative expensive, public transportation two-way commute each day. Chicago winters can be brutal. She accepted a position there, but had not actually enrolled. Then she was informed earlier this week that she had been moved from the waiting list and had been accepted at her first choice school. Isn't that what a waiting list is, after all? Well now, except for her worrying about what the people at the other school will think now that she is backing out to attend her first choice, all is well. The trip to this school is a mere fifteen minutes, and public transportation passes are provided by the school. She will also be covered by the student health insurance program, not a small matter in itself. It seems now that God is in His Heaven and all is right with the world.

“All things come round to him who will but wait.”
Tales of a Wayside Inn. Part i. The Student’s Tale.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

Some truth here. But one cannot just passively wait. One must work diligently while one waits. That's what our Miss Em did, and things have "come round" to her.


Blogger StratoCade said...

Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.

So that means #1 Daughter will end up near home? Congratulations - I know y'all must be thrilled to have her nearby.

April 28, 2006  
Blogger the doc said...

(a) As stated in profile: "Patience not my forte".

(b) Either blog not clear or jet lag has gotten to you. Miss Em's first choice (University of Illinois at Chicago) is in Chicago, so she will be in Chicago for 3 more years. But I guess that is "nearby" to N.C. for someone who flies Austin > S.F. > London > S.F. > Austin in a weekend. Maybe she will end up in N.C. and then that will be "nearby" for us ordinary folk.

April 28, 2006  
Blogger ptwannabe said...

Dad, Thanks for the kind words and support that you have given me throughout all of my years of school....the years spent chasing dreams of becoming a cop or secret agent (what was I thinking...I would not last a night on the southside without quitting)....and now, as i have found my true calling and work towards reaching this goal. I am very proud of myself....which is not a regular emotion I feel naturally about myself...or I guess I truly forgot the feeling upon my initial rejection from some of the school's. Now that my first choice school has invited me to attend....I look back and view the stress from physics and chemistry as a necessary step in the process...but I am relieved that I will not have to balance chemical equations and determine the final velocity of a bullet shot at a 35 degree angle as it is about to make contact with a target EVER again. I am really excited about UIC's program....learning all about the body....and getting on in this field. Thank you for the words and thoughts....and for picking me up and dusting me off when I reached those breaking points. You kept me and mom...and my success is thus yours as well. I love you....and I am glad I finally got an entry devoted to me...hahaha. I know I don't live in Costa Rica now, but Chicago is an amzing should visit again sometime. Talk with you soon. Miss Em

April 28, 2006  

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