So, yesterday was my birthday, right? A friend of mine posted this image of MLK yesterday, and I commented that I’ve always been delighted by the happy accident of my sharing a birthday with Brother Martin.
A little later, my friend came back and said this: Actually, Chili; I do believe that you share a lot more than a birthday with that great man.
That kind of set me off this morning, and I found myself sitting behind my computer in tears.
I don’t feel like I’m doing NEARLY enough with all the energy I have to share. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything meaningful; despite Mrs. Dingo’s loving reminder that, as teachers, we do meaningful work every single day, I don’t feel like my work lately has meant much to anyone, especially (and perhaps most importantly) to me.
I continue to put myself out there in search of work that will resonate with my need to work for justice and compassion. I’m trying to make connections to people who work in the kind of positions I envision myself working – I’ve been in touch with the NARAL Pro-Choice people and am going to have coffee in a few weeks with a family friend who is a former state senator – but, as happened pretty much all of last year, I’m being very kindly told by everyone I ask that there’s simply nothing available.
What I REALLY want – my ideal situation – would be to find work in a supportive, progressive, ethical high school (I’m SO jealous of Carson, who’s totally landed in the PERFECT spot for him. His professional life is exactly right, and I’m not proud to say that, for as much as I adore the man, I kind of hate him a little for that). The problem is that I’m not sure such a thing exists; at least, not in my neighborhood, and working as an adjunct really isn’t cutting it.
I met with my advisor yesterday and we decided that I’d do the independent study for my post-grad certificate on the processes of opening a school, and on the best practices and research into what makes education truly meaningful and effective. I have no illusions that I’ll actually be able to OPEN that school, but at least I’ll be getting a better idea of what needs to happen. I’m tired of my children coming home from their public high school and complaining that they learn more from our dinner table discussions than they do in their English, History, Current Events, Film Studies, and American Government classes combined. If nothing more, maybe I can use the work and research I do this semester to become a consultant and effect a little bit of change in our current shitty system.
The long and short of this, though, is that I don’t feel like I do share much more than a birthday with Brother Martin. I have the energy, I have the (com)passion, and I have the drive to make big changes but, at the moment, I don’t have the outlet for any of it. I’m not living up to my potential right now, and it’s frustrating the ever loving hell out of me.