Mary Johnson

When asked whether I am prepared to graduate, I simply explain that I have 300 unopened emails and several assignments that currently amount to blank google documents. As I hope and pray that no more emails flood my inbox and that words will magically fill my google document, I do find that I will miss this phase of life despite also feeling ready to move onward. 

Beyond the endless quantities of emails and assignments, I have an immense gratitude towards the people I have met through clubs and experiences that I’ve been a part of. As I reflect on my time at Eastern, I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today (YACHT) club, Chamberlain Interfaith Fellowship, A Breeze of Hope ambassadors and the Waltonian. Each club has encompassed a community of people who have invested their time and love into one another, and for that I am thankful. 

In addition to Eastern’s clubs, as a Special Education major, the vast majority of my final semester has been spent student-teaching in a 6th grade intensive mathematics class. Having received special education services for a learning disability in mathematics, I found this experience to be a unique and fascinating parallel between my former experience as a struggling student in math class and my students’ experience in math class. 

Although I am unsure whether I will ever enter the traditional route associated with the education major of becoming a full-time teacher or school personnel, I do hope to work in an area associated with education, specifically prison education. Therefore, following graduation, I will be working for the Prison Education Program here at Eastern (that’s right, I won’t be gone for too long!). Specifically, I will be a Teaching Assistant to several Eastern University professors. 

Before I open the 300 unread emails and fill in my blank google document, I want to conclude with a quote that I hope to live by within my future: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together,” as stated by Lillan Watson.