My usefulness pondered…

…no, this is not a woe-is-me, I-don’t-mean-anything-to-anybody type of post.  I know I’m valuable – if only to reach the dishes on the top shelves of the cupboard for my wife.  At least it’s something.

Anyway, our illustrious department head brought news of certain changes being planned/considered for next year affecting the way we do things around here.  I won’t start complaining about having to write lesson plans, as I’m not using this post to bitch and moan about such matters.  I’ll leave that for another time when I actually have lesson plans to write.  But our dept. head started talking about time frames for grading papers and then started talking about requiring a certain number of grades per six weeks then started talking about prohibiting all food/drink from the classroom (including water) then talked about something else that I forget because I was fuming about the other things mentioned.

Anyway, a respected colleague and friend of mine (Foxy, as they call her these days), made a suggestion that we look into starting up a charter school and get out of public school and its rules while the getting’s good.  Tempting, but it seems like a lot of work to actually get it going.  And I didn’t get into teaching to actually work (heh – that’s a joke, people).

It was at that point I started wondering what it is I would (let’s not say “could” – that would be too damn depressing, I think) do if I weren’t a teacher.  I’ve known a few teachers to leave the profession and go into various sales positions: real estate, insurance, pot… but I know that kind of job would kill my soul; I hate talking on the phone, much less attempting to convince someone to buy something (sidenote: we’re reading Miller’s Death of a Salesman, and there must be some Biff in me somewhere: “…salesman, business of one kind or another… it’s a measly matter of existence…to suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation”).  Outside of teaching I’ve only held part-time jobs, and being a sandwich artist for Subway wouldn’t be a very satisfying career path.  I fooled around with the idea of becoming a pastor at the end of my college career, but a winter in Minnesota wised me up in that regard. That and I don’t think God wants me talking about Mark Twain and Huck Finn every Sunday.  It’d be too damn expensive to go back to school, and anyway I’d end up getting a doctorate in English because that’s what I’m interested in.

Writing for a living is really the most attractive idea right now,  but I’ve got a wife and kids and a house and dreams of driving a Camaro in a year or two (they’re so pretty!).  And yet I’m feeling a real yearning to write, so much that I can’t stand to look at the stack of papers on my desk.

I’m starting to think it’s time to get serious about what I’ve always felt is a calling.  I’ve wasted a shit-ton of time already.

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2 Responses to “My usefulness pondered…”

  1. I feel the same way. Assuming Big Chis gets a job that can cover my salary and then some (And let’s face it, what job can’t do that?), then this is my last year teaching. As you said, I haven’t done anything else either, aside from part-time work. I’m qualified to do this job, and I do it well, but at some point I’d like to have the option to do something else, and while writing may be something I’ve always wanted to do, I don’t think I could make any money at it. What I COULD do, however, is become a secretary. (I think they’re called administrative assistants now.) But whatever, I’m organized, I take instruction well, I know how to speak and to write, and I would be damn good at that job. Plus, I could totally handle an 8-5, leave my work at work job. Now, all I need is a good boss!

  2. bigredpoet Says:

    Mike,
    You need to write. Likewise, I need to write. Others of our colleagues may, as well. We really, SERIOUSLY need to put together a writer’s circle this summer.

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