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Palley, Rose

Rose Palley
Acalanes Class of 2006
UCSD, DVC, Back to UCSD, Graduate Student and 
Teacher Working with Low-Income, Urban Kids


As a student at Acalanes, Rose was very active! Along with a heavy course load, she was school treasurer, swam and played basketball for the school’s teams for all four years, participated in new crew and drama, and was editor of the yearbook. While she enjoyed Acalanes, she was a perfectionist and felt driven to perform at a level that was ultimately not realistic. By senior year, she had taken on just too much, even for her. This took a toll on her grades, which was stressful and disappointing for her, given what she now calls her “skewed perspective.” Despite becoming overwhelmed late in high school, she was offered the most prestigious scholarship given by UC Riverside, yet opted to go to UC San Diego. 

Rose found the transition to college quite difficult. It was very hard to be away from home, partly due to the death of a friend just before she’d left for school. In disbelief, she soon realized that she was not going to be able to continue her freshman year at UCSD. Returning home before the end of her first quarter, she felt ashamed and as if her life was over. She attended DVC for a semester while working through what had brought her back home. She continued to feel embarrassed and wanted no one to know of her struggle. She now knows of several classmates who had similar adjustments to their plans.  

The next fall, Rose returned to UCSD where things went much smoother this time. She spent four years 
there, exploring her passions and talents. She switched her major from Spanish once the reality of reading Spanish literature hit; but, a course in human development unearthed an area of strong interest. Summers in Lafayette, coaching swimming and helping at the Meher School brought Rose to realize that teaching would be her future. 

After graduation, Rose taught at the Meher School for two years. Then, a chance tip from a friend about a Masters of Elementary Education program at Vanderbilt College resulted in a snap decision to move to Tennessee! “In just two weeks, I had moved to Nashville and was beginning a new phase of my life.” Rose loves her life in Nashville, where she has a great community and has become active in a church. As part of her master’s program, she has taken part in a teaching residency in a disadvantaged area of Nashville, an experience that has brought her tremendous satisfaction. She will finish up her masters next month and plans to continue her teaching career, serving lower-income urban kids.