I spoke of my Paid Job last night in the context that it feels good to get back into my field. CD noted that really, it isn't just my professional field, it is ingrained in my DNA. He's probably right.
In 8th grade I had a weekly Social Studies assignment (given by a teacher who had a face like a shrunken apple and was reported to smell like bourbon - had I known what bourbon smelled like I could confirm or deny this, but I did not and cannot). The assignment involved cutting out articles from magazines or newspapers and writing a response to them. Good assignment really.
One of my articles was from Time Magazine and was titled "What Do Babies Think?" It explained how researchers could use babies' eye gaze and behavior for insight into their pre-verbal thinking. I was fascinated. I still have the article. My future profession was cemented right then.
I managed to get into a college psychology class taught in my high school, which gave me a semester of college credit before starting college. I became a Psychology major and because I was one semester off from all the others, my class sizes were smaller.
"What does one do with a degree in Psychology?" Same as someone with an English degree. We go to grad school. There, or rather here in Georgia, I received a diploma which reads (due to lack of space): "Major Mental Retard." And so I met my destiny.
BC (Before Children) I taught a self contained class of Special Needs Preschool students. I had a diverse group of kids, gradually becoming a class of non-verbal or violent children with Autism. I was the teacher who took the kids the other teachers of special needs kids didn't want.
And now here I am. Still floating, but I've spent most of my time with two particular children and I'm learning how to get into their brains. I've been given two pictures drawn by little girls, and hugs and waves from lots of children who now know me. I'm back. And it feels great.