Joanna Byrne is an Instructor of Diesel Service Technology at South Plains College and a Graduate student at Texas Tech University, studying English Creative Writing. She rides horses, works on diesel engines and writes fiction and non-fiction.
When I started my academic journey attaining a Bachelor’s degree was a far-off impossibility, to such an extent that I never dreamed of achieving it that level of education. It was not even a goal. I was headed down a drastically different path until the accident that brought that path to an end and opened the door to another. I had two choices: give up or turn a setback into an opportunity.
I accepted a job at South Plains College training students to be diesel mechanics, training them to do what I had planned to do for the rest of my life. I fell in love, but I also knew I needed to continue my education, and so I taught by day and studied by night until I reached the end of what South Plains College could offer. My job convinced me that I needed to pursue writing, both creatively and for business application, which directed my choice of Major and Minor when I applied to Texas Tech University.
My path has led me to apply for graduate school, a goal that was, seven years ago, so farfetched I never dreamed of it. That hot August day that I first set foot on South Plains College’s Levelland, Texas campus I never imagined overcoming the unexpected hurdles, or those challenges turning into the opportunities that led me to this position. I look forward to studying for my Master’s degree and teaching again.