We’ve all been there. Those moments when you stop, look around at your life, and exclaim to yourself or loudly “What am I doing? And who really cares?” are not fun times. Not only have I done this, I’ve done it many times as I’ve tried to decide not only what I am supposed to do with my life but how I am supposed to do it.
As many of you know, I have worked in education in some fashion for many years – as a Grad Assistant in a learning center, as an English Instructor at a university, and a Tutoring Program Manager at one university and one art college. Truth is I never meant to be an educator. It just happened. Careers as a creative professional take time, and I like to eat. So, I had to do something to support myself.
When I have these moments regarding my job, it’s not that I hate teaching people. It’s that I am dealing with a load of extra bullcrap (and education has this by the dump truck loads) or I feel like everything I am doing is completely worthless and no one cares a whit.
The days like this really do suck, but some days…
This quarter and last, I have been working with a young student as he is editing a novel that he wrote. It’s not for a class project, but what kind of educator am I if I don’t help the whole student develop? Besides, it’s fun, literally the highlight of my week, and this kid is very talented. He has drawn all of the novel’s characters from multiple angles about different tasks, and he tells me his dream job is to be a storyboard artist at Pixar.
Last Friday, last day of the quarter, Brandon comes in to work as always, we finish up a chapter, and as he is getting ready to leave, he tells me he has me a Christmas present. When he pulls out this framed picture, I have to keep blinking to keep the tears at bay, and I seriously have a hard time talking. The characters above us are the main characters from his book…and there, we are.
Yes, people, some days REALLY suck…but some days you’re reminded that what you do really matters.
Merry Christmas to me.