Friday, May 20, 2011


(1990, sun valley, ca: i'm the tall androgynous-looking kid with the paige-boy haircut . . . president of the future teachers of america club, 6th grade, at roscoe elementary school. oh, and btw, i was a narcissistic asshole back then, so that's why i wrote "me beautiful me" . . . i'm a dick.)

i hermit.

i hermit when things in my life go awry, which is, in recent days, much more often than i'd like. i hermit because it's painful--physically, mentally and emotionally painful--asking for help or for comfort. i prefer squirelling myself away into some dark corner and working things out.


so, i've been hermitting.

several weeks ago, i did, indeed, get RIFed (reduction in force, made redundant . . . canned . . . you get the idea).

i thought i was fine. i made jokes to all my friends about how i'd wash their windows, mow their lawns, clip their toe nails . . . and in a worst case scenario, prostitute my wares to the highest bidder.

well, i'm not ok.

as i face down the real possibility of losing the one thing i've ever really wanted to do, the one thing i've ever done well--teaching--i'm finding i'm definitely NOT OK.

teaching is all i've ever wanted to do.

when i was in 6th grade at roscoe elementary school in sun valley, i was president of the future teachers of america club.

and sure, i also wanted to be a rockette, an astronaut, mary poppins . . . and at my family's not-so-subtle behest, a lawyer . . . i always came back to teaching as my dream.

it was my FIRST CHOICE. yes, FIRST. not second or third. not plan B or C or D. it's what i've always dreamt of doing.


and i believed--mistakenly so--that as long as i worked hard, loved the kids, taught them well, encouraged them, helped them, served as a good role model i'd get to keep on teaching.

but i was wrong.

although tenured, i didn't have sufficient seniority with which to save my faculty position.

and, apparently, what matters most is years of service, not the quality of that service.

it's so fucked. good and truly fucked. sans lube. dry, painful, inexpert, passionless fucked.

y'know, they say that "those who can't do, teach" . . . but some of us who CAN, CHOOSE to teach and teach WELL.

and we teach, yes, but we do so much more besides. we encourage and nurture and counsel and laugh and bring joy and knowledge and perspective and questioning and understanding . . . and if we're lucky, inspiration.

i take it back, peeps. i take it all back.

i don't want to wash your windows or mow your lawns or dole out pedicures or blowjobs.

i don't want to be a rockette or an astronaut or mary poppins or a lawyer.

i don't want to be a textbook editor or an administrator or a substitute.

i want to be what i've always been, what i've always known i'd be and what i always hope to be: a teacher.


Holly Vance said...

You are an inspiration, my dear. To students, to adults, to me.

You are a wonderful teacher, what the school and the students risk losing in you is astronomical.

But, I'll still pay your electric bill if you give me a blow job.

The Wandering Gentile said...

Change the word from "teacher" to "trucker," and there I am, remaindered by the only speeding ticket I have gotten since 1984.

There is only one thing I have left, and that is writing, and I am stranded in this provincial market of teabaggers, Kluxers, and reactionary broadcasters.

Please pass the hemlock.

powdergirl said...

So you're not gonna blow me?

Seriously, that just sucks Lana. And I can't really think of a many a job in which people are ranked by ability over time-in, which is just sad. Good luck.