My friends and I had an addiction. We gambled. The hope and thought of being ahead, in the end, were all too enticing. But in the end, I gambled away just over $65,000 dollars. My gambling addiction started in 1996. It went on for about 2 years and I lost around $20,000. I didn't learn from that loss since I believed in what I was doing. I took a break and moved on with my life, but I was always yearning to go back to it. I succumbed to my addiction for another 4 years straight and this time it was even more costly. I had a goal in mind and I wasn't going to stop until I got what I wanted and that was to win and come out on top.
In 2011, I discovered that I could legally feed my addiction online and it wasn't a scam. I began gambling again. I had symptoms of withdrawal if I wasn't in front of the computer. I would feel nervous and anxious, sometimes moody, knowing that I just had to get back online to get my fix. My Husband supported me through my addiction and even cleaned the house, cooked dinner and took our girls out so that I could get my desperately needed fix.
My friends have gambled away even more
You might be shaking your head in disbelief, but I'm not as bad as you might think. My girlfriend gambled away $116,000 and my other girlfriend gambled away $124,000. I thought that I was the only one with such a problem. You might even have friends or family with this addiction and don't even know it.
In 2013, I finally won big! Or I thought I did. My $65,000 gamble was my education and my addiction was to get my degree. I graduated as a certified secondary (grades 6-12) biology teacher. My dream of taking my daughter to Disney World after graduating was happening because for the first time ever WGU, Western Governor's University, was scheduled to have the commencement at Disney World. It was our first trip to Disney World and we turned it into a wonderful vacation.
I was so proud to walk across that stage, just knowing that I'll be living my dream of teaching in my very own classroom soon. Just prior, I passed the Biology MTTC and finished student teaching with flying colors. Everything was going as planned.
Disney World WGU Graduation
I discovered my calling to teach in 2008. It's in me, I was born to teach. It was one of the happiest days of my life discovering my calling. Not only that, the schedule is perfect to be able to still be there for my girls after school, during vacations and holiday time.
My education turned into the biggest gamble of my life where I lost more than just money. The time spent studying can never be returned. I missed out on family outings and so much quality time.
How did this happen?
You might be wondering, what went wrong? I did so much research on WGU and the degrees offered. I made sure that their program was accepted by the State of Michigan. I verified their credentials. It was months before I actually committed to WGU because I wanted to be certain that everything was legitimate.
Upon graduating, I started to apply to schools, job boards and so on. I realized that every single high school biology teaching position was requesting a DX certification, which is a science certification allowing the teacher to teach biology, physics, chemistry and general science. I have a DA certification, which allows me to teach biology, ecology, botany, zoology, human anatomy, and life science biochemistry genetics.
Hmm…both certifications allow the teacher to teach biology, so what's the big deal? Well, Michigan doesn't hire that way. Even though my degree and certification are legit, Michigan just doesn't hire DA certifications, because they'd rather have one teacher fill the role of 3 or 4 teachers. A DX certified biology teacher can teach biology one hour and chemistry the next hour.
I discussed this issue at length with WGU. At first, they just weren't listening. They kept apologizing and telling me that it isn't their fault that I can't find a job. I had to re-emphasize several times that jobs are available, but Michigan does not hire teachers with a DA certification, they'd rather hire DX certifications. I was finally able to talk to someone that comprehended my problem. She acknowledged that it's a huge issue and even mentioned all of the students currently enrolled that would be in the same boat. In the end, nothing was resolved and they spun the table back around on me.
Imagine paying for a $65,000 car that you now own but doesn't take you anywhere but should or a $124,000 house that you can't live in, but fully expected to. That's what this feels like and I know that there are many others in this same situation.
It's one thing to get a degree and not being able to find a position. But it's a whole other animal having a degree issued to you that your State doesn't hire for.
To the core of my soul
I'm not against getting an education. How could I be? I'm a teacher to the core of my soul. Getting an education is extremely important, just be prepared for life's curve balls. An education is never guaranteed to give you what you want in the end. It's a gamble, as are most things in life. I'm proud of my education and in the end, I don't regret it. I believe we're all on the path that we're supposed to be on, but at times it feels as though we're on the wrong road.
My Gambling Cost Us Over $65,000
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