Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Unconventional Resume

Since being fired last week, I am once again considering my resume.  How do I present my life on a single sheet of paper?  When I was younger and had a conventional life, it was fairly easy to assembly my resume.  List my jobs and education.  Nothing too hard about that.

I worked odd jobs in high school and college:
    1. Cleaning bathrooms on the Turnpike, then food service and cashier.
     2.Busboy and then waitress at a nice restaurant.
     3. College cafeteria worker.
     4. Anthropology research assistant
     5. Botany research assistant
     6. Accounting clerk at the college bookstore.

Then my life starts to get more interesting.
     7. Long Term substitute teacher in a high school learning disabilities class
     8. Math teacher at a community college
     9  Research laboratory technician in immunology
     10. Graduate research assistant in anthropology.

At this point I became a mother and my life no longer fits the typical resume.  I graduated with my MA just months before I had my first son.  I did not have a job to leave.  My home and my son became my life.  I taught myself everything I needed to know.  Not long after that my second son was born.  He is the reason for my unconventional resume.  He is the reason my life has had a purpose and I have found my passion.

My son has autism.

Since then I have:
    1. Studied autism- causes, symptoms, treatments, and theories.
    2. Studied Ohio's special education system and laws.
    3. Closely monitored my son's diet, behavior and growth.

My resume is now result based.  The result of my work for the past 14 years is a child once described as incapable of doing anything on his own to a young man who is actively pursuing his dream of studying finance in college to become a leader in the industry.  The child who couldn't count in second grade is now the tenth grader studying the stock market.  The child who could not tolerate a touch is now a wrestler and football player.

My life work has produced this photograph.  It is not just any head shot picture.  I took this picture to complete his ACT registration.  Not just is he taking the college entrance exam, he is the force behind college visits and registering for the exam.  As a tenth grader, he has done more to prepare for his future than most seniors.

The academic success, self reliance and moral fiber of my son and of his brothers has been the result of my hard work.  I did not do it alone but I was the force behind it.  I was the constant.

This is my true resume that can not be reduced to a single sheet of paper.  It covers more research and study than I did in graduate school.  It meant mastering every subject that effected my son's life.

I failed in one area. I failed to grasp its significance was his toe walking.  That failure on my part resulted in two major surgeries to rebuild his feet.  I made the mistake of assuming a symptom was caused by his autism without exploring other possibilities.

My unconventional resume will become a book.  I will share what I learned.  It is comparable to writing a Ph.D. dissertation.  I am approaching it as I would a dissertation or thesis.