I keep starting and deleting this post, which might be partially caused by it being after 1 AM. My hope is to finish writing War of Nytefall: Anarchy today and spend Sunday doing the outline for War of Nytefall: Eulogy. The rest of the week will be War of Nytefall: Savagery editing and a few outings with my son who is currently with his mother. Plenty of time to do writing, editing, and outlining . . . So, why am I so miserable and constantly on the verge of crying?
Well, this week saw a really nasty turn in a few arenas. One I’m not going to get into because it isn’t settled. The other is Graduate school, which is going about as smoothly as practicing french kissing with a blender. I was asked why I hadn’t signed up for any classes yet. Well, I didn’t even know I had an advisor, so I had no idea what I was supposed to do. After I mentioned this, somebody sent me a curt reply with two classes listed and a note that I need to talk to the teachers for details. I can’t talk to them until I sign up for classes. Keep in mind that I couldn’t talk to anybody about my situation until I registered too. I haven’t had that conversation either.
One of the big cruxes or whatever issues here is the student teaching. First, everything I did in Florida doesn’t count, including classes. No life experiences or previous work are considered from what I can tell. That means, my current job as a TA doesn’t help me at all with this. Heck, they won’t even tell me if I have to retake the seminars I already did to get my TA certification. All of this means that I might have to leave my job to do student teaching, which I am not a fan of since I need the money and benefits. My questions and concerns have been met with unhelpful responses that range from sending me to someone else or a ‘we will cross that bridge when we come to it’. Keep in mind that I’ll have already spent maybe $2,000 by the time I hit that bridge. If I can’t cross it then I’m out the money and all the time I used up.
Time is the other issue. This is going to take a lot of work on top of my job and I’ve heard that some teachers act like you have nothing else in your life beyond their class. Might work for someone fresh out of undergrad, but I’m a 40-year-old single father with a day job. My weekends and evenings will be spent getting this work done, which means I’ll be sacrificing several things. Writing and this blog will be tossed into the furnace, which is something that I’ve noticed a few people around here practically celebrating. I genuinely don’t know if I’ll be able to return in any fashion with this type of crushing defeat. It does feel like a crushing defeat regardless of what anyone is going to say in the comments. The other thing is that it really limits the time I get with my son and that’s already looking rather slim because of other responsibilities. The kid might not see much of me during the week and I’m supposed to ignore him all weekend while I write a research paper? That’s going to be the situation for a few years and I might even have to throw a summer session or two into the mix.
The truth is that I’m really having doubts and the people I have easiest access to talk to around here are locked in on grad school for me. They don’t care if I’m happy or miserable from what I can tell. I get lectured and yelled at if I complain or say that I’m not entirely sure any more. Don’t get me wrong. I love being a TA and helping students in a big hands-on level. Yet, will I still be able to do that as a teacher? The biggest argument for doing this is that it will make me more money. Yet, that isn’t a guarantee since there is a vast army of unemployed teachers waiting for a spot. As someone who isn’t able to move very far for a job, I’m at a big disadvantage. That’s not even counting experience, which I’ll always be behind on. That means I could spend thousands of dollars, sacrifice my writing, and lose a lot of time with my son for absolutely nothing.
At one point, a friend asked me what would make my happy. I was stunned because nobody had asked that during this entire debacle, which will probably get worse when certain people read this post. Keep in mind that I’ve stressed myself and had a few crying breakdowns over this because I feel trapped. Will I be seen as a failure if I give up on grad school now? Will I be shunned and yelled at routinely? Is money the reason I want to get into teaching? After all of these questions, I got hit with the happiness one and I could only think of one word:
It’s lame and abstract, but I’ve spent so much of my life stressing and toiling away at dreams that were designed by others. I’m easily convinced to follow them, but they turn sour and then I’m bullied into continuing on. The more miserable I get, the harder I get pushed as if I’ll eventually smile. Can’t even remember the last time I felt like I genuinely had peace. There’s always been some drama and chaos in my life. Just the ability to go to bed every night without being on the verge of crying would be a welcome change. It feels like it isn’t too much to ask for, but I’m getting driven ahead by people who have always treated me this way. It’s never about what I want or what makes me happy. It’s about the money and status that my life holds. Graduate school is supposed to secure all of that in their minds, but that isn’t how it works any more. I’ve talked to more unemployed teachers who say that it isn’t the silver bullet they were promised than those who say it’s the only way to go. This adds to my torture because I genuinely don’t know what I’m supposed to do any more. It feels like I lose no matter what.
This post has really been nothing more than a rant that I’ve kept pent up for the last few days. My goals are what you see at the top. I finished watching ‘Umbrella Academy’ Season 2, which I recommend. I’m starting in on ‘New Legends of Monkey’ from the beginning. Beyond all of that, I hope to be in a better mood next weekend. For now, I think I’m fairly broken. Maybe grad school was one step too far for me at this moment since I’m still trying to piece my life together after the divorce. Not like anybody really cares. It’s all about the money, right?