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Alternative Bedroom Uses

I have decided to get a certification that will enhance the services I offer to my students. This decision has made me wonder if I am certifiably crazy. I have not taken a class in six years and for my entire academic career I avoided any classes that were outside of my comfort area. Give me the biggest 19th century American novel and I will gladly read it and write you a 30-page paper about some random theme from the book that not even the author thought about. I once wrote a 20-page paper about women's dress sleeves in paintings dating from 1830-1860.

This online certification involves a great deal of psychology and statistics, both topics I've previously avoided like the plague. Last week, upon opening the text book for this course, my body began to react in such a way that I was transported back in time to every single secondary math class of my younger years. My temperature rose at least 2 degrees. My palms became clammy and slippery. My heart started to pound. I flipped the pages frantically, questioning if the book was written in English.

I waited two days before confessing my fear to Andy. I did so in my typical dramatic fashion: throwing the book at him and screaming profanity, "This is total bullsh*t. I'm going to lose my job! It's too hard! I am NOT going to read it again! It didn't make sense the first time! Do NOT try to HELP me! I QUIT!" For the next several days my mind was a blur, the terminology floated in my head, mixed with the horribly annoying Thomas the Train songs for which Caroline has recently developed an obsession.

Theta. X-Axis. Harold the Helicopter. Mommy, I pooped in my pants. Differential equation. Quotient. Calgon. Take me AWAY!

I like to complain and I like to doubt myself but in the end, I knew what I had to do. I put on my pajamas and locked myself in my bedroom. Maybe because I had no other quiet place to go as a kid, but back then I did most of my studying in bed. Surrounded by my favorite things, on a soft comfortable surface, I was able to relax and concentrate. I rarely studied in the library in college, finding my twin bed in my dorm room to be the place to get down to academic business. It is no surprise that the bedroom was also the study place of preference straight through my Master's program.

It was on my bed this week, with my jammies on, seated beneath my favorite photo of me and Andy, feet tucked into my flannel sheets, that I spent 8 hours reading and re-reading the text book, and finally, taking the first of three exams. Humming Harold the Helicopter, I hit the submit button. I passed!

To date, I have completed three of eight modules toward my certification. This morning I dusted the bedroom, changed the sheets and vacuumed the floor with extra attention. Me and the bedroom will be spending lots of quality time together over the next two months and I won't be doing my normal favorite bedroom activity either. Sleeping.


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