Monday, August 3, 2009

Where This Stuff Started



Thank you Julie, Joan, Rick, and Robin for the notes. That made my day.
Like I said yesterday, the next few posts are going to be about work. That's nothing new here on the wfb; I write about work every now and again, and most of the stuff I'm going to talk about is stuff that has come up before. Work, for me for the last two and a half years has been substituting on call for the custodial/maintenance department of the local school district. Not exactly life in the fast lane. Nonetheless I like it well enough.
So much for the 'where I am'.

How I came to be here is another matter. I mean- this is how I started out almost forty years ago: pushing broom for a small town school district. Irony is- I recognized, in 1975, that I had every reason in the world to stay right where I was. Surfing was The Most Important Thing, and the job was tailor made for a surf bum. Fall, winter, and spring were on the swing shift, so I could surf every day if I felt like it. Summer was day shift at work, but the summer beaches were crowded, hot, and usually flat anyway. Besides- I actually enjoyed the work. Cleaning up the school was simple, but it was important that it be done, and done well. Administration was easy going, and most of the faculty was appreciative. Life rolled along on the rhythm of season and tide. I was having fun, and I knew it. Money? I had enough. That was enough.

Seeds of discontent sprout anyway. Girlfriend arrives on the scene. Late night beer and bedfest. Bye bye surf, and "By the way, why don't you get a better job?"
So I left the night job with the school system for a job in field service with the gas company. I hated the gas company for three years before I quit. I took a trip through Mexico, and came home wondering what to do. A couple months of salt water therapy later, I had my answer.
I wanted a job that mattered, not just an eight hour exchange of time for dollars. I wanted to do work that was more than just work. I wanted a job with meaning. [insert eye rolling emoticon]. I was on my way home from the beach, waiting to make a right turn. And I just got The Voice. Suddenly I had a picture of myself standing up in front of a high school class getting a bunch of first semester freshmen ready to gain the basic skills that will get them through the next four years and beyond...
So just after my thirtieth birthday I signed up for college. I wanted to teach English in high school.

And so I did. For ten years. Until the breakdown in '97.

JWM

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