Monday, July 09, 2007

I Think We're Ready

Adam had his last game of the regular season today (It's like NHL hockey-- everybody makes the playoffs). We had a lot of great conversations this weekend, and went over to best friend Jim's barbecue Saturday night (Kim had previous committments with some old friends, and my step-daughter is visiting her grandparents), where I had a good talk with Jim while Adam charmed the socks off of everybody at the party. On the way home, while Adam told me why he found adults more interesting than people his own age, I got a call from The Elk, who was just getting out of the Cheap Trick concert downtown. He got to our house right when we got there, and he and Adam snookered me into a game of Risk, despite my fatigue.

Today, I return to work for four weeks-- I'm teaching summer school, and then am done with my teaching career. And this morning, they're scheduled to begin the renovation of our kitchen and bathroom. Most of it should be done at the end of two weeks, when our kids will be back.

As Kim and I finished clearing out the kitchen, all the while figuring out places to store the stuff, she laughed and commented on the fact that I hadn't seen the kitchen this way since the day I moved in there nearly 9 years ago, with my ex-wife Cynthia. Adam had been commenting earlier today about how long we'd lived here-- that I'd moved into this nearly ten years ago. His mother has moved frequently, and this has been the place that's been his home through that. It seems like a year ago, and it seems like a hundred years ago, moving into this place. Kim and I joked that if we can survive this renovation, we can survive anything.

I had to move some things out-- the garden table that I'd used as a kitchen counter and the wine cart I'd used as a kitchen island (both in great shape and free to anyone who'll pick them up-- I need to start using Bubs' new service, the Please Take My Crap.

As we finished up, and we retired to the back porch for relaxation and red wine, it occurred to me that when I'd moved into this place, I was just starting my first full-time job as a teacher. I've alluded to the fact that I'm now leaving the profession; I've decided to try to get a Pharmacy Degree. There are a lot of reasons for these decisions-- leaving teaching and trying to enter a new one. First is that I'm just tired of all the crap that goes along with teaching-- stupid administrators, being a substitute parent, and of course the whole direction the profession is going-- it's sucking every last bit of inspiration, innovation and fun out of the job. And secondly, bluntly, I'd rather spend my last 20-some years making six figures rather than the pitiful amount I've been making the last nine years-- so little that I've had to work a second job. Teaching is terribly underpaid, and will be so for the foreseeable future.

So along with the changes in our surroundings, I'm about to embark on what hopefully will be a 5 to 6 year journey to change professions. I think we're ready.

14 comments:

cheer34 said...

Good luck with the career change. I live in an area that has a college that was able to add a pharmacy school to it a few years ago, thanks to a hugh donation by an alumni. It is my understanding that it is one of the few in the country ( I could be wrong on this point) I suppose the pharmacy industry needs pharmacists? Is it a growing field?

Big Orange said...

what happened to summer vacation being just that-- VACATION??

::sigh::

Mob said...

Best of luck with the new career, I hope it's an easy transition.

Having a couple of friends in the teaching and school administration professions, I can understand your feelings entirely.

Beth said...

Did I miss something? I didn't know you were ending your teaching career; what are you doing next?

Bubs said...

Man, that is brave. Do you have any idea what direction you're going in? Hopefully something people-oriented, given your gift of connecting with people. Or something that would use your talents as a writer.

I used to think I wanted to go into education when I left law enforcement, either middle school or high school, and my contact with teachers over the past few years has ended that notion.

Good luck with the renovation, too.

Chris said...

Good for you! I wouldn't want to work everyday doing something that's a net negative (I'm sure there are still some rewarding aspects to teaching). Best of luck!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good luck with all the changes - with the kitchen, which, while significant in what it represents (also it will be nice to have a new kitchen) is minor compared to the change in careers. Pharmacy, eh? I dated a pharmacy student for a while in university and god he was smart. Pay attention in chemistry!

lulu said...

I just can't imagine why in the world anyone would chose to leave a respected, lucrative career like teaching.

I think what you're doing is great!

Skylers Dad said...

Good luck with the change in careers JY, it is a tough thing to do, isn't it? I hope that studying pharmacy related topics isn't too taxing, I don't believe I have the necessary brain cells left to try and learn anything new!

Flannery Alden said...

Alas, education loses another great mind due to stupid, petty spirit-crushing bullshit.

Grant Miller said...

Good luck with the career change. And I'm sure your son's baseball team is much more exciting than the NHL.

The Elk said...

Nice cheapshot against hockey...
For your info, only a paltry 50% (16 of 32) teams make the playoffs. maybe if we actually had a professional hockey franchise here in Chicago there would be a little more interest. WHOA! gotta go....Looks like a tornado is about to descend on the aeroport....
Elk Out

Johnny Yen said...

Cheer34-
It's a hugely growing field. The shortages in the field are similar to those in nursing. Like nursing, they are paying bonuses to get people. The rapid increase in the field are expected to last for more than a decade.

Big Orange-
I could actually have begged off on it-- without pay.

It's actually not too bad-- full pay through the end of the summer for working four weeks of half days.

Mob-
I think it's going to be a lot of work, but so has teaching. At least I'll be working hard and making some dough.

I'll bet they have some stories. People I've met from other countries are appalled at what we educators in the United States deal with.

Beth-
I hadn't said anything about it on the blog. I'd made the decision some time ago, but am getting ready to implement it.

Bubs-
I will definitely write in some capacity, probably not job-related. I'd like to set myself up financially where I can pay for my kids' college and make sure Kim and I can retire comfortably-- running around in our Airstream, visiting friends, etc. If I can pull off Pharmacy school, it's a good thing-- I can do those things.

Chris-
As Lulu and other teachers can tell you, the respect, innovation and joy have been stripped from the job in this country.

Barbara-
Thanks! I was actually a science major for my first two years of college (biology), and took lots of Chemistry, Physics, etc. I think I'll be okay. Although I can't say I'm as smart as your old boyfriend.

Lulu-
Do I detect sarcasm there?

Isn't it funny how this society neglects education, and then wonders why each generation turns out, for the first time in history, dumber than the last rather than smarter?

I think what you're doing is great as well, stepping outside of your comfort zone and having an adventure. And I sense a book in this experience.

Skyler's Dad-
I'm actually looking forward to the studying. It's weird-- things that used to be tough for me-- math and science, specifically, come much more easily to me these days. And frankly, I'm not the pissed off guy I was when I was 20, which makes learning much easier.

What's funny is that if this all works out, I'll be finishing college-- this will be my fourth college degree-- around the time my son starts college.

Flannery-
As a fellow educator, I know that you understand. Spirit-crushing is indeed an adjective that keeps coming to mind.

Grant-
Thanks! And yes, they've been pretty exciting. And the best part was that I got to take a cheap shot at the NHL.

Elk-
Jeez, yes. I guess it was a cheap shot. But you'll notice that I did refrain from saying "It's like the NHL-- every team except the Black Hawks makes the playoffs."

Oh, I guess I just did say that.

'Bubbles' said...

Back to school. Wow!

When I was in finals week for my MBA I told my mom that if I *ever* say I'm going back to school to just slap me.

A couple of years ago I talked about getting a PhD. My mom asked me if she should slap me right then, or wait until I registered!

Good Luck!!