11 November 2011

Epiphany #56 - In Which I Figure Something Out, But It Probably Means My Life Will Change

You what's weird?

It's November 11, and I have not pulled out any Christmas decorations.  I have not played any Christmas music.  I have not had a hankering to bake things.

Yeah, that's weird.

Anyway, onto the sublime title of today's blog.

For a few years ago, discontent was starting to seep into my professional life.  Teaching wasn't as inspiring as it used to be; I was losing my passion and merely "going through the motions".  So, I took action.  I taught at the high school level only part-time, and I started adjunct teaching at the college.  I told myself that maybe I needed a change of scenery, not to mention a change of clientele.  But still, some unrest lingered...

Last May, I resigned my high school position for good, and remained an adjunct.  So now I'm only working three, maybe four hours a day.  Life should be good, right?

But, no, I'm still not feeling it.  Many days come with some kind of mental pep talk to get myself into that classroom (once I'm there, I'm fine). 

Concurrent with this timeline of events is that of me and my journeys with food.  Food and nutrition are fascinating to me, and I feel sometimes as if I've entered into a lifelong love affair with the things.  And this feeling has grown since a few years ago.  Consequently, here became the dilemma slash paradox I needed to figure out:

Why am I deliriously happy to spend a Sunday morning and afternoon in my kitchen, cooking, simmering, marination, and baking - and yet I can hardly get my game face on for two, maybe three, hours of classroom teaching a day?

Here's the answer that came to me about a week ago: the difference is product.

When I'm in the kitchen, baking cookies, sauteing vegetables, or baking bread, there is an end product.  My family, who then consumes it, provides immediate feedback.  It's not always good feedback either.  But, in the end, there is a tangible fruit of my labors.  I usually know right away what worked and what didn't, and I can troubleshoot for next time (less water, more time in the oven, etc).

In the classroom, though?  There's not such a product.  Sure, there's student papers and assignments, but those products often have very little to do with me.  Sometimes, they have very little to do with the students as well.  And, when there is a problem, I might be able to troubleshoot it, but many times I cannot.  There are often variables involved I can't contend with (abject lack of ability, lack of motivation).

And, well, knowing what I know now, that I thrive on seeing a finished product, be it poor or not, it's no wonder education has lost it appeal.

So, yep, that's where I am.  I'm nearly 37 years old, and I think I am about to make a career change.  And I don't mean a lateral change...

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about the need to create something tangible. I suppose you could say we do that with theater as well. Would you put in the hard work of play rehearsal if you were never going to perform it for a live audience and get that immediate feedback?

    I think that's what I love about Nano, good solid word counts to show for my effort :)

    Good luck with the decision making!! The only constant is change.