I have a few mantras that I bandy about, depending on my mood, the situation, or how I am being affected by the constellations. One mantra, which forewarns everyone to ‘get out of my way’, is ‘People Suck’. I do not indulge in this mantra too often, because it is a little negative, and tends to alienate even my most loyal friends.
Another mantra, one I have mentioned here, is ‘Traveler, traveler, traveler’ which reminds me to have a positive mindset and to see people, places and situations with untainted eyes. It is, I suppose, the anti-thesis of ‘People Suck’ because it elicits empathy and patience.
But the one mantra that guides my current path with a firm hand, is ‘Do what you love’. I mentioned this here a little while back, when I was talking to a group of students about their choices for the future, and I had another taste of it the other night.
My senior students were showcasing the work they did for their external exams in Drama. We collated their monologues and short plays into a showcase for family and friends, and they performed under lights and on the stage, the way theatre is meant to be. At the end of the night, they offered some thank yous to staff and students who had helped them this year, and then my seniors acknowledged me. I walked up to accept their gift of flowers, and I started to say a few words, but some of those words caught in my throat. “These are your girls, and I know you must be proud of them, but they’re my girls too, and I love them and will miss them…” and it about here that my voice broke and I finished my thoughts through tears.
As many times as I say, “I have to get out of teaching,” I am really only ever referring to the mountainous piles of paperwork, politics and pandering that comes along with it. The stuff that happens in the actual room, the interaction with these young minds and spirits, I love that. It is just a shame that the profession comes with so much negative accoutrement, because the JOB, well that is something special. I do love to teach, and maybe I will be a teacher when I move to Seattle. Maybe I will find some other way of ‘teaching’, and working with young people. They are, after all, extraordinary. It has been my great pleasure and privilege to teach many of the students who graced my classroom in the past 14 years.
As I pack for my next trip to the city I will soon call ‘home’, I am more mindful than ever of this mantra. I will need to find work there in January, and I am starting the ground work for that next week. I know that it is a big move, and I am not sure what sort of work will be available, but the move is about ‘doing what I love’. And right now, that is being in the same city as Ben. A great job will follow…