Friday, March 14, 2014

It's Like What Robert Frost Said

Have you ever asked a little kid what he wants to be when he grows up? The answers I love the most are when the kid says something like, "A killer whale" or "A kittycat." Once the kid gets older and becomes completely ruined by television/cable/DVDs/Netflix, the answers do too. Then he's likely to say, "I wanna be Batman" or "I wanna be fill in the blank with a Disney hero."

When I was a kid, I was awfully boring. St. Patsy confirms this. Actually, her response was, "Boring? No, you were just good and didn't give me any trouble when you were little." So, boring. I did all kinds of creative stuff with art supplies, but I was really a straight-up-and-down sort of child. And when anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said the same thing, always.

So now, let me ask you, sort of, in a question supplied by a Dear Reader:

If you had to start over again, what career path would you choose?

My stock response back then would be my response now: a teacher. I've never regretted my career choice. There were plenty of things about it that I disliked, but the teaching was never one of them. If I could simply teach--just teach--right now, I'd do it. Not grade papers, not discipline, not fill out stupid forms, not supervise standardized testing, not babysit study halls or lunch, not all that UNteaching--just teach the books and grammar and writing that I know and love and can pass along and help others to understand and appreciate and learn. I would do it. Seriously.

Now, for those of you who say, "That's not fair. The question seems to imply that you must choose a new career path," I would say, 'I'm at a loss then.' I had dreams of being a veterinarian, as I discussed here before, but couldn't manage the high-level chemistry/math. Perhaps I'd be a Life Coach, specializing in teenagers and women. I really don't know.

But it's your turn. Let's hear what direction you might have taken, had your life made a different turn.



  1. I think I would have tried to be a professor. I had a choice between law school and grad school and I picked the former, thinking I could always use the degree to be a professor if I didn't like practicing law. I didn't like practicing law, but around the time I got out, universities were demanding PhDs (and wouldn't consider JDs or MDs even though those degrees are supposedly more prestigious...don't know about that though!)

    I like being a special ed teacher but you are right about the paperwork and other bullshit. The march towards absolute and total full inclusion is just not a good one for many students and the burden gets placed on classroom teachers. Parents realize that one or two students are sucking up all of the teacher's time and so sometimes they yank the kid to a charter school (who can and do find reasons to not take special ed or discipline problem kids)...public schools lose the bigger parents that can yank out their kids and on it goes.

    Inclusion definitely works in a lot of cases but not all, especially when the student is violent or literally can't stay seated or know how to act (and these issues do not apply exclusively to special ed kids, as you know!)

  2. If I had been born in this generation, I might have easily gotten into something related to design. I loved that part of textbook editing; once I had writ what needed to be writ, I gleefully delved into deciding on the layouts, color, fonts, etc. So maybe I would have designed web pages or something. Another thing I have imagined myself doing is coming up with ideas for commercials, lol. I hate most commercials, but admire the really good ones. It would be fun to be in some kind of "think tank" where you hatch all the ideas out. Lastly... I think I would have enjoyed writing scripts for TV programs. Go figure.

  3. Ortizzle--I love working with color and design also, but not as much as books, writing, grammar, and teaching. I can see myself working/playing at that now--which I kind of do, at home and on the blog.

    I like the idea of you and me starting a think tank! (If I can horn in on your business.) Not necessarily about commercials, but okay, some of that. I'd do whatever you tell me, actually. You can be the boss of me. After years of bossing others, I appreciate being a lackey now.

    TeacherPatti--Nice to see you here again. Inclusion and mainstreaming are rarely done correctly for the best result for the SpEd kid, the classroom teacher, and the larger class. It's almost always done to administrative convenience or necessity, such as scheduling--for the kid, the room, or the teacher(s) involved. Lots of times, it is done insanely, such as at my former school, where over half the class was SpEd, the rest "regular," and the classroom teacher did all the work while the SpEd teacher just sat there (in one case, knitting). Inclusion and mainstreaming were such great ideas that, as usual, have been poorly implemented due to exigent circumstances.

  4. I always said I wanted to be a librarian. I have no idea what turned me away from that idea.

    Actually, yes I do. I did a semester of library science (basically working in the library) my freshman year in college & had two humiliating things happen: 1. a couple of upperclasspeople came in & asked for our research folder on "euthanasia." I had never heard of such a thing, and I told them that we didn't have a folder on "youth in Asia," but we did have one just on "Asia." They were highly amused as you might imagine. 2. I didn't do very well on the Dewey Decimal test.

    I think if I'd been older I might have let all that go & still pursued my dream. But since what I DID end up doing led me to my husband I don't think I have too many regrets.

  5. I think I should have stuck with being a coach. I'm a really good coach, and I loved still being in the volleyball world, even though I wasn't good enough to play it any more.

    Problem is, it doesn't pay much, until you get into the upper echelons of the sport, and that takes a long time. A couple of my coaches from high school have only recently become coaches for big colleges, which if we do the math, took twenty years or maybe a bit more for them to reach that level.

  6. Gina--I know how much you love sports, esp. volleyball. Once you get to that level, the jobs are few. You're right, the pay for women's sports, unless it is basketball, is pathetic when you compare it to men's. Title IX doesn't cover compensation for coaches, that's for sure, and women's volleyball isn't getting a college any endowments. Keep your name out there for high school jobs, however; they don't pay much, either, but the girls are coachable and you'll really feel valued.

    Bug--I am astounded by what it takes to be a library science major. One of my colleagues left the classroom to be a high school librarian, and he is probably the coolest librarian I know.

    LOL on youth in Asia. You got the most out of the library that you could, The Professor. Just as I got the most that I could out of my golf class, Rick.

    Best classes we ever took.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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