When I first started this blog, years ago in an after party of my own, late one night at my parents’ house, setting up my LiveJournal account, I entitled my new world of internet wonder: “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” (or was it the other way around? I forget.) Anyway, in all dramatic Billy Corgan fashion, I had started on a little endeavor that was without a real direction or purpose. Here, today, with the rain and sleepy gray feeling out town, I have past across an actual finish line.
I finished the work for my degree (insert fanfare here) and officially applied for graduation at my school. Seems the degree part won’t be awarded until October 19th or something, but nonetheless, the workload is completed. After finishing those three, final, English literature classes back to back, one month at a time, I set my mind to finishing my thesis work (I had some piddly things that I had put off for months and I wrote each day in some sort of list or notebook; finish this, would ya?) I’m such a dumdum for not doing that stuff sooner but, alas, procrastination gets the better of me every time. It’s the way I’ve always been and I honestly don’t see any recourse from it only that it makes me feel guilty. Since guilt isn’t something good and feeling condemned by something that you create in your head (or, as in my case, as people have told me to feel condemned about since I was old enough to sit in a school desk – something I tried to wiggle out of as much as possible) I don’t see much need for concern. If it’s not something that really matters when it gets done, then, sheesh, who cares?
Anyway, so now that all of it has been turned in and I’m awaiting my final grades to be put in, I’ve already been on some interviews for teaching jobs. Now, I’ve not worked for over a year now and I’m still awaiting financial aid to send me a scrap of cash (something they can’t discuss until all the bills are paid – bills that include a $100 graduation fee. Oh no, I didn’t make that up.) If this job I applied for yesterday works out, then I’ll be able to start working next month, now that I have my degree. If I can’t work then, more than likely after Christmas I’ll have something.
However, now that my deadlines of school has finished, I feel out of sorts. Nothing to stress about that is in the means of productivity. Nothing to mark in my little day planner as an important date. Just me and the cat and the sound of the air conditioner running. (That broke during the last hurricane, by the way, and it took three attempts before the maintenance guys finally got the “small” leak repaired. Nice.) But while this stagnant feeling has taken over me, I see that it is an end to my last hurdle. When I started my work in the writing program it was because I was sitting at a desk in a public school, hating my job and stressing about it so badly that my body was eating at itself to create illness. I realized then, that teaching was something that tore me from my real love of writing and I wanted something for myself to work towards. Otherwise, each day was devoted to trying to stay in cohorts with the evil administrators and Lord knows that’s just not part of the plan for anyone. So…online and upwards in education I went.
The funny thing is, now that I have the degree to get away from the horrible teaching days, I’m getting lulled back into it. Granted it makes sense that someone with an English degree and a Creative Writing degree would only be able to sit at her own desk and type away at a little machine, or go into a classroom and teach her wide range of knowledge just to keep herself in a home. But as I realized yesterday, being shown the new hopeful classroom (it has windows!) and given books (free books) and materials, and being introduced to people at the school, I got the distinct feeling that I was going to be able to head out for another change in my life. And yes, it freaks me out, but no, I’m not going to shy away from it. For starters, I need the money; that’s obvious. For seconds, I need some new deadlines, goals, objectives and, hell, people to talk to in the physical form who are not close relatives. I couldn’t stand most of the teachers I worked with and at the interviews I went to these past few months, I saw that negative, ready to strike, overly critical look in some of their eyes. But I also met some very nice ladies, like the one yesterday, who would be lovely to work for. Nice, friendly, chatty, helpful and polite. You can tell when things are right for you or when they are not. Some interviews I went to, I thought, “Oh hell, no, I’m not going through the kind of pain they’re looking to dunk me into.” But others I felt at ease sitting with them.
I have also realized that teaching is a bit too much of a social task for me. Granted, I don’t know if I’ll feel like this once I get into the college arena. I may love that. I know I loved college after I left the horrible high school years. I know I loved the university after I went through all the bull in my early years at the community college too. Without the regime of the state standards and the women who preserve it, I may have a much better time at the private school or at the community colleges. I’m not dismissing that possibility at all. However, I don’t think I’m going to stay with that career move for long. For one thing, when I was at an interview last month, I was told that more than half of a college’s staff is part-time and it’s “extremely hard” to get full-time work over being an adjunct. My interviewer’s advice, “Go back to teaching high school.” Um…okay, no. Not unless I had a certificate and experience and full metal armor, would I go back into that arena. No, I wouldn’t even go back even if they couldn’t find some way to gossip about my faults; it’s not worth it. You waste your whole life and never get to fulfill yourself. Not that helping people is bad and not that I didn’t love working with the kids. I’ll love working with the “kids”, fresh outta high school hipsters who join my classes. But public school in Florida. Nope. Never again.
So my option for moving out of the education realm came across my mind earlier this year; to be a librarian. Now I don’t recall exactly how I came up with this idea. I think I was looking around at education websites or career websites or something and I saw jobs for librarians. I started musing about the idea but never really mentioned it to anyone because, well, I’m tired of mentioning it to people who make some negative comment about what I say, just to give “advice”, so I kept this and a lot of other things to myself. But anyway, so I started investigating what it takes to become a librarian saw that you only need a Master’s Degree in Librarian and Information Science, so I started looking up potential online programs. Some of them were asking for high GRE scores which I never could get after attempting that test three times. (Even though, at the time, I still had that chip on my shoulder that has since dissolved) and some were just way too expensive. So I found a handful of schools that were reasonably priced and that had admission requirements that I could manage. I applied to some, got some professors to write me some letters of recommendation (I’m still waiting on three and the deadline is in two weeks – yay!), a letter stating why I’d be such a good librarian, and the money to pay for the application and transcript request fees. It’s that money bit that gets me every time.
And that’s all I can say right now about the outline of my life’s events. These are the things that I chalk up to “professional” or “work” sense even though I’m really thinking about posting an actual website for my “real” me stuff (you know, use my real name, talk about my personal life, talk about my writing, lift the veil of half anonymity) and I will soon enough. There’s more I need to write in a real sense instead of in an escapism sense. Still, escapism is the purpose for writing anyway so this here little bloggy will have to stick too.
Photo credit: florian.b