Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Whoo-hoo! My graduation!

This weekend was a big one for me--I graduated with my Masters of Arts in Teaching from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire!! Whoo-hoo! I've been diligently working on my Masters for the past couple of years and, I ain't gonna lie--it wasn't always easy with four kiddos and working part time. The hardest part, I think, was having to stop teaching the after school art classes I loved so that I could devote more time to my studies. Having to stop teaching so that I could eventually be able to teach was a hard thing for my brain (and heart) to rationalize. This degree is really significant to me since it unlocks the door to becoming an art teacher--a dream I have had since I was around 9 or 10. I cannot believe it!
Here I am with two of my four kiddos.  That would be #1 and #3.
And, of course, I could not have tackled any of this without the love and support of my family, especially:
  • My husband (who, among other things, patiently listened to educational theory on our "date nights," was awoken countless times at night while I taught art lessons in my sleep, and encouraged me when I hysterically sobbed in our driveway because I just didn't think I could make it through finals and get my second portfolio done). 
Here's that good-looking guy! Twenty-six years together, what a wild ride!
  • My children (who patiently--pretty much--endured mom at the computer in her p.j.'s mumbling about art at all hours of the day and night and who told me they were proud of me for working so hard instead of pointing out that we were having frozen pizza for dinner (again).
  • My mom (who always said yes to watching my kids and who is my original cheerleader, and I think, the President of my fan club. I think this may have been a bigger deal for her than for me, and that's saying something!).
And here I am with my mom who was going to go to my graduation. No. Matter. What.
I'm surprised she isn't wearing her "Brandie Pettus Fan Club" t-shirt...
  • My sister (my behind-the-scenes gal, who watched my children--even when she wasn't expecting it, fed them healthy meals and played countless board games with them, played outside and went bike riding--all with a smile on her face).
And the amazing people who taught me so well! Namely, Jason Swift, my advisor at PSU who put up with my lengthy phone calls and my enthusiastic, quirkiness! Marianne True, for giving me a chance as a Program Associate at PSU. That job was the reason I was able to attend PSU and her guidance was truly amazing. Trish Lindberg, for your positive attitude and belief that I am "a star." For my cooperating teachers, Meagan Read and Martha Rives--every day I learn from you and you are both such patient teachers. To Porter Dodge and Rachel Rouillard for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be the long-term art sub at AMS. You opened doors for me.

All of my friends and family, thank you for encouraging me to follow my dreams, letting me be myself and encouraging such high standards of excellence.

There are a WHOLE BUNCH of other family members, friends and colleagues not mentioned here and that doesn't mean I am not thankful for their help and love and support along the way. It really has taken a village for me to be able to reach this milestone in my life and I am humbled by the kindness of those I am surrounded by. Truly, thank you.


  1. Replies
    1. Aw, thank you Mr. E!! So excited to start this new chapter in my life!


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