I’m at a serious crossroads in my life. As our education system implodes, I find it increasingly difficult to motivate myself to challenge my students. Their apathy for their own education has drained me of the passion and energy I once carried into the classroom. The endless tunnel of bureaucracy burrowed by the administrators and bean counters has become such a hindrance to our mission as educators that many of us want to throw up our hands and walk away. If a major publisher or a Hollywood executive came calling right now, I would not hesitate to jump ship.
If only it were that simple. If only I could walk out the doors and start a new career tomorrow, one that would nourish my creative side and provide for my children at the same time. I did it once, walked away from education and started a new career. I went into sales, and after washing out in the insurance business, I was actually quite good in the car business and even better in timeshare. Then, the economy tanked and the money dried up. I saw the writing on the wall that my child support wasn’t going to get paid if I didn’t find a secure job, so I went back to education.
This time, I feel trapped. The blade of child support dangles just over my neck, and the ex has proven that she will hound me ceaselessly and use the full extent of the law to punish me if I cannot make the payments. It’s not that I don’t want to provide for my kids. If I could verify that every penny of the money is spent on them, I wouldn’t resent it at all, but something tells me that it’s being funneled to other expenses that have little to do with the direct needs of my sons. That’s only a suspicion, though. The only facts I know are the amount I owe each month and her greed at collecting it. When it comes to compassion and understanding, let’s just say that she has been found wanting.
So I need to make a change, but I’m lost as to where to begin. I have to have steady income, and I need to use my creative skills. There are a handful of ideas I keep kicking around, but they are all risky long-shots. One thing is absolutely certain — a change must be made. This generation is too passive, too apathetic, and too unread. They have no sense of history beyond what’s on Facebook and no sense of the importance of language. Give them the quick answer, the microwavable meal, the convenience store service. Anything beyond that is too complex.
I will find my way, and I will do it on my terms.