We barely knew ye!
We barely knew ye!
I really think I’m doing the right thing now.
In winter/spring ‘03 I lost my nerve. I was worried that I couldn’t make ends meet. The war also had a real effect: I was anxious and angry all the time and I felt it physically. I was making almost enough money to get by, and if I had just raised my income a little bit and reduced my expenses a lot I could have stayed with it. I succumbed to the temptation of going back to school where I had always had an easy time of things before. And thanks to generous family support, my financial worries went up in smoke.
I hope it will turn out that my going to law school was a good thing, but if so it will be merely an accident. I went for the wrong reasons and with the wrong attitude.
Doubly true for my dalliance with the College of Education. I had nothing but contempt for that institution from day one. I was going for an easy degree leading to an easy paycheck. It turned out not to be so easy.
Though it was never intellectually taxing in the least, my emotions went through the ringer virtually every day. My fellow suckers and I were insulted and demeaned at every turn. We were burdened, Harrison Bergeron-style, with ridiculous tasks and expectations to assure that we really were all “finally equal…every which way” and that “nobody was smarter than anybody else”. You can’t really expect individuals to maintain their unique qualities and talents and still justify a system where the new physics teacher makes as much as the new phys ed teacher, and both of them make half as much as the kid-hating stiff who’s been taking up space in a classroom for thirty years and thus has become entitled to $60-70K a year, plus two-thirds of that for the rest of his life upon retirement.
Do I sound bitter? Yes, I’m f’n bitter. This pathology of an education system hurts kids every day. Maybe I was arrogant enough to believe that I could single-handedly flog this decaying corpse back to life.
So, uh…what was my point? This will work out. I’ll tutor, I’ll teach (or instruct or coach if you prefer), I’ll write. I’ll live simply and cheaply and learn to be comfortable with less. Then, as long as I can keep my head above water financially, I have the whole rest of my life to figure out who I am and what it’s all about. Not a quarter, not a semester, not a weekend, but as many years and as many experiences as it takes to find my place.
I don’t really feel like I have a passion for physics right now. I once had it. I don’t really see the beauty in nature. I guess a good physics teacher needs to convey this sort of thing, and it would probably help to actually feel it oneself.
I feel like I’ve lost all clarity: moral clarity, clarity of thought. Or maybe I’ve lost courage. It takes some guts to say: “Yes, you have a Ph.D. No, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I’m back…school starts again tomorrow. My Introduction to Cosmology book came in the mail…yummy!
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