May 24, 2011


One of my worst traits is my lack of ambition, I think.

The other night I had dinner with some former coworkers.
We went to a sub-mediocre Chinese buffet where I was spit on for an hour or so by a semi-continent 90 year old, the father of one of them.

Then we all retired to watch a marathon of "Little House on the Prairie".
One did needlepoint of Ringo Starr's head, while the other's boyfriend wheezed a monologue about Stalin's nazi medical experiments in Roswell NM.
Yes, you read that right.
This was my Saturday night.

But back to my lack of ambition.

They'd been pressuring me to leave my school ever since they left, a few years ago.

"You need to just come here. You'll make nearly twice as much as you're making now!" They repeated. "I should have left long ago. Come on, we'll put in a word for you. Here's the number."

I make so little money, less than just about anyone I know.
Heck, I think my students make more than I do. They were only looking out for me. I love them for that.

My job is a nightmare sometimes, believe me....but it's my nightmare, you know?

For many reasons: fear, inertia, comfort, security, commitment, love, laziness...I just didn't feel like going to teach with them there. Of course, they clucked their tongues at me, but I was too afraid.

Now, however, things have changed. I'm still making a pittance, but they're both unemployed now. One because she was laid off in the mass purge of teachers last year, and the other because she's just tired of teaching. Actually, come to think of it, every other teacher I know has quit working in the past few years....burned out. I can understand.

Over "Little House on the Prairie", they both regaled me with horror stories, the defecation in the halls that greeted them every other week, the fires in the bathroom, in the trashcans, the arrests mid class.

They'd both taught murder victims. One had taught a total of three convicted murderers, one of whom had been arrested in the middle of her Social Studies class...for murdering one of her other students in an earlier class.

Thankfully, I've only met my share of murderers at PTA.
I've never taught any, well, yet.
The three murderers (parents of my students), that I have met, by the way, have all been perfectly lovely...much nicer than most parents.


Anyway, if I had gone with them, who knows what would have happened. I'm pretty sure I'd either be unemployed or worse by now.

Maybe my lack of ambition paid off after all, come to think of it. Or not. Who knows.
I'm glad I did not move.

But the next time I'm at dinner with a spitter, I will at least move to the further side of the table.
Baby steps.


Thombeau said...

Rest assured, you make more money than I do!

Thombeau said...

And you're far more ambitious!

mrpeenee said...

I think you're a saint. But I think when you run across poop in the hall, you should leave. Even if it's your own hall.

Margaret said...

Can you get bars around your desk? I'm not advocating drinking and teaching...

Seriously, our school system in the U.S. is a dirty little secret, and teachers are grossly underpaid, underappreciated and unprotected. Virtual schools are the way to go.

David Toms said...

Let us hope that you have been the inspiration for somebody.

Kim Hambric said...

Yes -- baby steps.

Inertia?!? Gravity is a powerful force.

As far as money goes, aren't rich people extremely happy?

MJ said...

Always carry Wet Wipes in your handbag in the event that you're forced to dine with semi-continent 90 year olds.

ShadowDreams said...

i believe no matter where u go in life it's forever a challenge we all fight it can either make u stronger as a person or u can let it beat u up but always remember the Choice it always yours to make :)

Salty Miss Jill said...

There was a Little House on the Prairie marathon and I missed it!?!

I am glad you stayed put, too. (at work, not in the spitting)

Marshall said...

I'm glad to see that your inertia paid off. Now, let's all go and take naps.