Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

America’s Children Potential

My number one reason why I want to be a teacher is because I love kids. Absolutely, genuinely, whole heartedly love them. But there are other reasons of course. One major one is that I believe in order to produce education that is going to contribute to our society and democracy later, we must teach tolerance, love, and cultural acceptance at a young age. Intolerance and fear iswhat caused our country set backs in the past that are unfortunately still here today.

Instead of Anglo Saxon Americans just admitting that they had superior power in the past over the Black Americans for example, we had to make evidence up that we were a superior race. (Anglos’ skulls measured larger than blacks…must mean they are dumber? Come on. Race is completely man made.) All of a sudden the belief was that Blacks were an inferior race, therefore that was reason to enslave them. We couldn’t just admit that we had power, authority and the need for human labor…we had to make them lower than us. So what happened then after the slaves were free? Prejudice. Then it didn’t stop at Blacks; Americans wanted to assimilate and conform the Natives who were “savages,” then we put a ban on Asian immigrants because they were inferior. This prejudice applies to everything…or I should say, everyone. Some how we have become a country that believes one can be superior than another. Straights are better than gays. Men are better than women. The rich are better than the poor.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am so not bashing America. I love my country. We are a country that has good, very good, intentions. We promote freedom and have given everyone in the world the opportunity to pursue their dreams. We have so much to offer and we contribute to the rest of the world. I am a proud American, but that doesn’t change the past. The past is something to be shameful about, however we cannot undue the past…just move ahead and do better for the future.

Because of our past, our present is filled with prejudice, racism, intolerance, inequality, hate, and fear. This is no way for our children to grow up. It’s in our hands to fix the future. This doesn’t just apply to teachers, but to everyone…aunts, uncles, moms, dads, grandparents…we need to teach the kids of today to grow up open minded, tolerant, loving and compassionate.

Why? Why not? Children are constantly teased for being different, whether it is of their race, ethnicity, culture, weight, height, voice, opinions, dress, sexual orientation, social class…the list goes on and on. Why not stop the teasing in it’s tracks? Kids will be kids and teasing will never die, but could we at least try to teach our kids the concept of acceptance? Some people may say this is just a right of passage and that all children go through it however, there are teenagers committing suicide daily because of bullying, fear, depression from societal expectations, and rejection from peers.

I hope being an educator I can promote a classroom that is safe, loving, and open minded where I can have my students appreciate each other and welcome each other’s differences. I just wish these teachings and attitudes could go further than the classroom and reach the streets, homes, and lives of all children.

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Priority #1? Happiness.

About 5 months ago I couldn’t have told you anything that I can tell you now. Right now I can tell you that I’m going to grad school and getting my Masters. I can tell you that I love my job. I can tell you that I can’t wait to be a teacher. I can honestly say I feel stress, oh, only about 10% of the time. Overall, I am a rather happy, satisfied and optimistic person.

About 5 months ago I could have told you that I hated my job. I had no idea where my future was going. I was confused. I was depressed. I was stressed 80% of the time. Why the huge difference you ask? Well let me rewind…

About 5 months ago I was working at a well known corporation, who has a great reputation, and is doing fairly well for our times. I was psyched when I got offered this position and couldn’t wait to begin my new career. I had originally gone to school for business because I had rather big (and rather shallow) goals for myself. I wanted to be a boss. I wanted to manage because it was my way or the highway (I’m a tad bossy, says my husband). And the worse part of my dream? I wanted to make lots of molla. I wanted to make the greens. I had a brief stint after my first 2 years of college and was playing with the idea of teaching instead, but quickly talked myself out of it. Teachers don’t make any money. Pfth! See? I told you my goals were shallow. Anyways, getting this job was perfect to me. I had high hopes. I was planning on working my way up the corporate ladder and stay with this company for many years in the foreseen future. I was getting a nice paycheck, fabulous benefits, and felt respected.  Finally I had my “grown up job.” This high was quickly deflated when I actually started working.

Working consisted of sitting at my “desk” (aka cubicle), pretending I was busy, kissing ass, following a million procedures-doing a million of them wrong-then fixing them to fit regulations before I got written up, making phone calls after phone calls, and emailing half of the day. It also consisted of meetings with my manager on a daily basis that I seriously had no idea how it was contributing to really any results. Don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t hating on my job because I was failing at it. I was doing great. Top numbers, great results, happy clients, the whole nine yards. However, doing “great” had it’s tolls. Everyday I would come home completely worn out, irritated, stressed and worried about the next day. How was I going to perform tomorrow? Where and how was I going to get my day’s numbers? Who am I meeting with? How many meetings do I have? I wanted to pull my hair out every single night. My poor husband had to listen to me bitch and rant until bedtime, and even then, it didn’t stop. I was loosing sleep from laying there awake with my mind racing about going to work the next morning. I even called my parents and told them, and I never do that. Admit defeat to my father? Yeah right. So this must have been bad!

Then in the morning after my fabulous nights sleep filled with nightmares about work, I would put on my suit…and wanted to shoot myself. It gets worse. I am not exaggerating (and I swear on my future baby’s life) that when I reached the street my office was on, I wanted to throw up. I had to swallow chunks back. ( I know, TMI, sorry.) Not only throw up but possibly get into a car accident so that I could miss work. Oh how wonderful would it be if someone crashed into me? I bet I could get a couple weeks off! I would even find myself cursing and whining all the way into the office like a child even though there was no one there to listen to me.

Each day I’d greet my work bestie and cubicle neighbor R, and give him the look. The look that says “Please kill me. Or punch me. Or anything to put me out of my misery.” I love R. He was one of the only reasons why I didn’t get suicidal. We would email each other back and forth during the day with smiley faces and dumb jokes to lighten up hell.

“R, do you feel like we are living ‘Office Space?” I asked him one day.
“YES. Everyday!”
I only nodded. We didn’t need to tell each other about our miseries…we both already knew them. Finally it hit me I couldn’t do this anymore. Life is way too short for this BS!
“R, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“Me neither, but what are we going to do?” R shrugged. Get the F out of here is what we’re going to do! I thought.
“Shit. I don’t even really like what I’m doing much less the company. I don’t even really like people!” I started thinking out loud. “I like kids. Damn it. I should have been a teacher.” Long pause. “I think I’m going to do something about it.”
“Like what?” R was half encouraging and half thinking I was looney tunes.
“Hmm. I don’t know yet. I’ll tell you when I know.” And I instantly went to my desk to do some “work.” My work? I went online to search up new jobs. I cruised the internet and started reading about graduate schools, different programs, and careers that are looking’ good in the future. I think I did this for a week. (Shh. I know. Bad bad employee.)

I seriously felt like I was having a quarter life crisis. After getting my undergrad done, my resume built up, my “dream job”…was this all that was left? Was this it? I enlisted the help, advice and opinions of all around me and came to a conclusion.

“R, I’m going back to school, and I’m going to teach kids!” I proclaimed to R the day I made up my mind. I was happier than ever. I was getting out of that place once in for all.
“Seriously?!” Yes he totally thought I was nuts. I was a business major. A former manager. A current private sector employee. What the hell was this person doing about to change her life?
“Yeah. I’m not happy. And I’m not going to stay unhappy forever.” I was sure. I already knew the things I would be loosing…my awesome benefit packages, my fat paychecks, my cute business cards…but really, enough was enough. I wasn’t going to make the mistake of going through the rest of my life wishing I had done something else. So that was that. I quit shortly after, on the spot (to boot!) and have never been happier.

I got judged immediately from what feels like thousands of people.
“Are you sure? But you are such a business woman!” – My mother.
“What are you thinking? Quitting a good job in this economy?” -From my lovely brother in law. Gag.
“You want to start over?”
“You know you’re not going to be getting paid as much.” – My (former) boss! Hah.
“This is sort of a hard time to be making such rash decisions.”
Blah blah blah. Life is too short to be unhappy people. Money, yes we need it, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t rule us. Happiness on the other hand I wouldn’t mind being ruled over. So I stuck to my guns and left. I’m now happily watching kids, making more money, happily a student once more, and prepared to finally do what I’ve always wanted. Money no longer looks like the best option to me, and even though I spent years studying the art of running a business, and how to direct people I don’t see any of that time as a waste. I will someday run a classroom and direct children, so in the end all my education was worth it.

To my bestie R…he’s still there today biting his nails and working his little tush off. His numbers are now the best in the office and he’s getting his well deserved recognition. But I still hope he ends up finding what he really wants and ends up happy. Like me. 🙂

Good night and here’s to a happy tomorrow!

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

After my last entry I started thinking even more hardcore about waste. Thinking about the way we, Americans, live I see that we waste so much. I’m not bad mouthing everyone else, I too am guilty of waste. We all take the things we have for granted because we are used to this lifestyle. For example, we all think that having food and shelter is a given. We rely on welfare, food stamps or the like if we need it. We don’t really give thanks for these things. We believe we deserve it, or it’s our right to be given these things.

Well, how about the countries that don’t have these luxuries?

This video haunts me every time I watch it and breaks my heart. Please at least watch this video even if you don’t agree with me. I think it will make you realize how much we have here in America. Even if there’s no way to change things, we can at least be more gracious, thankful and appreciative of what we do have.