Your Memory Is A Monster

Completely anonymous, letting the guilty live free and the interested live happily.

Which is better? March 23, 2010

Filed under: Work Job Teaching — memorymonster @ 3:34 am
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I’ve always thought it was better to be messy… I mean, if we all have the same amount of time in this world, and I have some dirty socks on my floor, doesn’t it just mean that I spent that time doing something else, possibly more meaningful?

Who feels totally at ease in an impeccably clean home? Doesn’t it always seem like people with impeccably clean homes have something to prove?

I’ve always thought it was better to be honest… I mean, no one ever got better at something from someone telling them “good job.” What makes me better is someone telling me which parts I got wrong. I don’t take criticism all to well on the inside, and I tend to let thoughts like “got this person must think I’m a moron for making this mistake” or “I don’t want this person to think I always make errors like that” or “I wish I had fixed this first, so that this person would see me as a little smarter or more capable” run through my head. But that’s just because I have this hyper-sensitivity/awareness about someone’s perception of me. I don’t NEED for everyone to like me or think I’m wonderful, but I do NEED for everyone’s understanding of me to be ACCURATE. What I can’t deal with is someone thinking I’m the kind of person who would XYZ when really, I wouldn’t.

What I really want is to be appreciated, recognized, honored, and laureled all the time, for everything I do that I think is wonderful. I know that the consequence of this would be disaster, but when no one notices what I’m doing, it makes me think they don’t know I’m the kind of person who does those great things, or has those great ideas, and then I’m back to be lumped in with all the other half-assers of the world.

Maybe I just have an ego problem. It kind of seems like the common theme here is ego. It seems like, whatever I’m doing, whether it’s leaving dirty socks on the floor, telling the truth, or (in my mind) revolutionizing the way high school English is taught, I want everyone to know that it’s right.

I mean, it is, though.

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Looking forward to: August 7, 2009

1. Making jokes that are hilarious to me & so lame to my 10th graders.
2. Having 10th graders.
3. Being done with HR paperwork.
4. Decorating my classroom. I’m so into office supplies.
5. Learning cool new slang, using it, and ruining it for my students.
6. My students’ jokes. It will be tough, though, to cease laughing at my students’ use of “That’s What She Said.”
7. Talking about books.
8. Extra-curricular events.

I’m starting to see that I am really revealing myself to be a huge nerd. What’s worse is that I’m pretty alright with that.

The truth is, I am silently freaking out. About paperwork, about when I will have time to do what, about being ready for the first day, about other teachers liking me, about standardized test prep… and about my students’ attitudes.

There are moments, like today, when I was getting the books I’ll be teaching, that I am so excited I almost actually squeal.

There are moments when I am terrified of something happening and not knowing what to do.

There are moments when I panic about getting things done, doing them right, and everything actually coming together.

There are moments when I am so ready to be here, in this new apartment, with this new job.

There are moments when I feel the wave of regret of leaving where I left, who I left, the job I left, the students and former students I left.

Will it be better or worse? Did I just fuck something up?

 

The best years, some of the worst people. February 20, 2009

I loved college.

Every expensive minute of it.

No, no, not every minute of it. I think there was a day when I thought, “if I throw myself down these stairs, I bet I can go home.”

I know that I’ve romanticized it greatly since it ended, but I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t yearn to go back, I don’t spend my days missing being in college, wishing I could re-drink all of those keg beers. I simply try to unremember things like being left out, not really fitting until the second part of my junior year. 

It is pretty easy to unremember my freshman year, as ugly and un-fun as it was. As boring and sad as it was. I think I was always uncomfortable that year. Plus, there have been many beers between 2000-2001 and 2009. 

It is equally easy to focus on my junior year–finally living with someone I liked, finally not feeling like the unwelcome guest at the party, the one invited because no one knew how to avoid doing so. There were road-trips and movie marathons. There were nights spent in boys’ dorm rooms, doing something better than having sex: hanging out. 

My senior year was unquestionably the best. My friends then were really my friends, they are (mostly) still my friends. I fit with them, I didn’t have to be quieter or pretend to be less messy. I didn’t have to pretend like I wouldn’t rather be drinking. There was a party every night. There were roommates who were (clinically, certifiably) out of their fucking minds. There was stumbling home, there was the discovery of drunk Taco Bell, there was keg after keg, porch after porch. There were Carefree Monday Afternoons, a hat party, a cross-dressing party, a happy hour every Friday that lasted at least 8 hours. There were cops and there were camping chairs. But there were also real friends.

What I try to not think about most of all is the sheer number of fucking assholes who were there. Not at the parties and on the porches; only a few slipped through the filter of the capable men of ** and the Duplex. But everywhere else. These bad people, male and female, had this power to make me feel like an outsider, like an inferior member of the species. They didn’t care about learning, except for the ways it could make them rich or find them husbands. They were what many would think of as standard-issue frat boys and Gamma girls. 

I try to avoid thinking about the weirdos, the creeps, the ones who thought anything that didn’t serve them directly and immediately wasn’t worth anything. There were people everywhere, at my private, Christian college, being self-serving pricks, usually while wearing crosses and contemplating missionary work or a summer stint with Habitat for Humanity. As if they cared about humanity.

They were resume packers before they showed up on our green, historic, comfortable campus, and they served that end throughout the 4 (or 5) years. 

So, can someone tell me why I accept their friend requests on Facebook? Or why I look to see where they are working? Or why I feel bad that they have better jobs, have traveled to better places, are married, look cute in their pictures, have photo albums doing things more fun than I am doing?

I know it doesn’t matter. I love my life, and my job that pays me nothing. I love my students who can’t use apostrophe’s*. I am excited (and nervous, terrified, etc) about the job I’ll have next year teaching high school. I consider my life fun and full of excitement. I have better friends than anyone else I know (who isn’t friends with me, of course). I go on trips. I spent my summer at my parents’ lake house. I work hard and I have a Master’s degree. 

I know it’s possibly, hell that it’s even likely, that some of these same bad people look at my Facebook page, and long for a lake house, friends who are this much fun, people who can be counted on, fulfilling jobs, goofy shit I find myself doing, or even just a creative sense of fucking humor. 

But I am still looking. And thinking:

Someone married that fucking guy? Jesus, there must seriously be something wrong with me if B____ D____ can hook a spouse and I can’t.

I can’t believe that total loser lives in Scotland now. I mean comethefuckon. He is incapable of appreciating it the way I would.

Wow, look, that c-face from across the hall my junior year is a bank president. Look at her house that is bigger than every place I have every lived put together. Look at her two kids, sexy husband, cocker spaniel and heated in-ground pool. 

I KNOW it doesn’t matter. I KNOW that in the ways that do matter, my life is richer, better and more meaningful. And even if it isn’t better, it is all I could ever need, it is literally amazing, as in, it amazes me on a regular basis how simply great my life is. I am usually so excited to be me, I don’t notice there’s something to be jealous over. I usually wish good things on all people, knowing that my good fortune is just wrapped in a different package.

But, really. Comethefuck on.

That guy?

 

Teenage devils. February 6, 2009

Should I be bothered that I am a better teacher than the people teaching me to teach?

Should I be bothered that the state requires me to learn how to teach, even though I’ve been teaching for 4 years?

Should I be bothered that, in order to sustain and fulfill my life, I’ve accrued $70k in debt?

To be honest, I am most bothered by the fact that I don’t even know how to get a job once I’m done learning to do a job I’ve been doing. Maybe, somehow, these classes will make me a better teacher. But how are they going to help me get a job?

One of the FAQs on the Ed department’s Teacher Certification program website is “Will the department help me find a job?” The answer is simply “No.”

Perhaps I should have a different department, eh?

Though my MA will earn me only a little more a year (when I do, eventually, find a job), I don’t think it was a wasted effort, or even wasted money. I think that those three years, that that writing, those experiences were intrinsically valuable. I don’t know that I would have named a price so high, but I would never say I’m not glad I did what I did.

I did wish this process was easier, though.

I want to teach English to high school students. I am ready to sell my soul to the teenage devil. I am ready to lay down my life for standardized tests. And I am willing to do it all for less money than I could make doing little more than checking my Facebook as an office worker. So why isn’t someone making it easier?

There is an abundance of well-educated, under-employed people in this county, this state, this city, this effin’ neighborhood, even. Why aren’t we being snatched up, courted, wooed and escorted into jobs that need filling, that change lives, that meet important needs?

Why do I have to fight to do the right thing?

I am still going to do it, and I won’t complain (more than this). But what about all the equally qualified folks who are up for the job but not this strenuous process?