Who Wrote This?!

“This study has a weak external validity. There was a small sample size of students that were not randomly selected; therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalized for all persons. The fact that the control group was not stopped from using their own strategy for remembering the words they were asked to memorize also affects this study’s validity.”

Who Wrote ThisOnce upon a time, not that long ago, I knew what the statement above meant word for word. I ought to. I wrote it. It’s an excerpt from a Methods & Materials paper I wrote in college (2008) explaining the experimentation of mnemonic device usage in a classroom setting – in this case, a peg-word device (and, yes, I had to look up what that meant).

A few months ago I was cleaning up an old dinosaur of a laptop computer to return to a friend. On it, I found what was once my greatest accomplishment: the blood, sweat, tears, and sleepless nights of the completion of my Master’s Degree. Paper after paper. Power Point after Power Point. Naturally, I read through them, hoping it would throw me onto some kind of magical memory lane. Instead, I sat there reading my papers and presentations not knowing what the hell they were even talking about! My head was screaming “Who wrote this”?!

Was I once that intelligent? Was I once that well-spoken? Did I really know what all these terms, strategies, and variables meant? Really?! It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. And although my job before stay-at-home-mommy wasn’t all teaching, had I really lost all that knowledge? It was like someone handed me a dictionary from my past that was suddenly written in Greek (except I was the author). Honestly, it made me a little sad.

It seems as though I have forgotten what life outside of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is like. My vocabulary has been reduced to milk, water, snack, nap, book, boo-boo, and ‘no, no’. The authors I admired, studied for hours on end, and could quote in a classroom debate on cue have been long forgotten. Their names weren’t even familiar. Not even the slightest ring of a familiarity bell. Wait, do I even still own that bell? And if I do, where is it?

It wasn’t long before I simply transferred the files for safe keeping and shut the computer off. It made me exhausted. Even more exhausted than parenting (imagine that!). I couldn’t comprehend any of it. It’s obviously above and beyond who I am at this point and time in my life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s easy to tell people all I have to be proud of these days. How strong and independent I’ve become (and I thought I was that way then). My greatest accomplishment now calls me ‘mom-mom’, and I am MORE than okay with that! I can look at the smile on my husband’s face and know he’s happy and well taken care of. I can look around my Good Housekeeping worthy house and know that I work my ass off on a daily basis. That, my friends, is indeed something to be proud of. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything!

It makes me wonder. Will I ever be that person again? When my time comes to re-enter the workforce will they know what I was/am capable of? Will I be ready to teach and learn again? Can I really be that good again? I guess we shall see when that time comes. But until then, I’ll keep my memories on file and bring them up when I need to remind myself how far I’ve come and what I’ve accomplished.

As an oilfield wife there are days I want to just crumble. I’m sure much like I wanted to when I was in the deepest days of study. But I didn’t. I handled it much like I handle things today: step back, take a nap, and come back hard (Ahhhh, naps. I still love naps). I would be lying if I said I didn’t envy her. The person I was when I wrote those. She really knew what she was talking about. Then again, she got me to where I am today. I still really do know what I’m talking about (and I can sing almost every Disney song on record. Old me couldn’t do that).

So, for now, I’ll tuck away that 4.0 GPA and bring out the zoo-finding GPS and be happy with what I know now. After all, I now know how to cure any and all boo-boos with a magical hug and a transcendent kiss. That’s the best knowledge on the face of the planet.

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!

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