As you all know, I am in college now. I am so excited about taking this step. I just completed my first class. Three credits towards graduation!!! 117 to go. A bloggy friend of mine, Hermit Mom, suggested I share some of my work here. So here is a sampling of my work. This is my final for my first class. It has not been graded yet. We were asked to write three paragraphs about transformative learning.
In the story of “The Ugly Duckling”, the ugly duckling is made fun because she is ugly compared to her siblings who are bright, yellow, and fluffy. She is left feeling unwanted, unloved and ugly. The “ugly” duckling goes through a great transformation in which she turns into a beautiful swan with a long and lovely neck and pretty white feathers. As adults, we also go through our own transformative changes. The process, like that of the ugly duckling, can be painful and stressful, but the outcome is desirable. First, there is recognition of a problem, second, it must be confronted in order to find a solution, third, integrating a new perspective, and last a new set of assumptions in your life. This was no easy is task the first time I became a mother.
Before my oldest child was born, I had fantasies of what motherhood would ultimately be like. In a nutshell, I fell for the diaper and Gerber Baby images. I had grandiose images of a cooing baby and lazy walks in the park. However, what really happened was a startling dose of reality. She was a colicky baby. She cried night and day for three very long months. That was only part of the problem. The real issue at hand was how devastated I had become. I did not want to be a mother, and that meant I was a bad one. After all what mother does not want be a mother? Little did I know I was suffering from Post-Partum-Depression. PPD can be serious if it is not confronted. Until my husband spoke frankly to me about his concerns, I wasn’t even aware there was a problem to begin with. Once I was able to confront the problem, I was able to move to the next steps of learning. I was able to see life in new perspectives. My baby cried a lot because she happened to be colicky and that was not my fault. My new assumptions were simply that I would have to work around her needs for the time being until such time she was a happier and calmer baby. However, in the beginning it was definitely disorienting learning experience.
Jack Mezirow described seven different phases of transformative learning. The first phase is a “disorienting dilemma.” Becoming a parent is no easy task. It does not matter how many books get read, or how much advice is taken. Parenting is perhaps the most complex thing a person will ever do. I had my own visions of what it would be like in the early stages of infancy. I was extremely disoriented in my learning when my child was born. I had no idea how little sleep a new mother actually got. I had no idea how many diaper changes and clothing changes a baby went through in a 24 hour period. I also only had a fairy-tale impression of motherhood. My learning experience was certainly one that began with disorientation. As I have learned over the years, motherhood comes with joys, and pains. It also is a constant learning process one that will never be the same for long because each child is different, and each child grows and changes.
So there you have it. A first look at what I have been up to. As soon as I get my grade, I will let you know. Now...tomorrow...is week two for the Review Extravaganza!!!! Come on and play!