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Yadda yadda yadda

Posted by pilgrimly on Nov 22 2008

I have been unemployed for the last eight months.  After returning from Asia in March, I chose not to seek immediate employment.  I had worked endlessly my entire adult life and decided that I didn't want to give anymore of my time to anyone or anything save myself, friends, family, and a handful of controlled substances. During these past eight months, I have focused on music, creating the garbage that adorns my profile, and drinking heavily.  I figured I had to make a real push at something that was important to me: music, and put everything else on hold.  I had to or I would regret it the rest of my life.

I was/am a teacher.  I studied history in school and, after not wanting to put in the effort to find a high school teaching job here in the states, I outsourced myself to South Korea.  I felt a little guilty about this.  The status of the majority of schools here in the U.S. is embarrassing.  The moronic policies of the past administration blah blah blah…you know the score. 

My mentor while I was student teaching was a man we'll call Poopy McPoopington.  He was the Head Coach of the Turd Valley High School Football Team.  He taught Poopology, Geography, and Military History.  Mr. McPoopington taught me many things.  He was a perfect example of why our education system here sucks and also an example of what you should try to avoid becoming as you negotiate the tumultuous road of life.  I remember this man because in the six weeks I spent observing him, teaching his classes, and listening to his philosophies of life, I had discovered the negative end of my spectrum of aspiration.  This will serve as a sort of visual aid to illustrate my point:

 

 

On one end of this spectrum, the positive end, you have what you would consider to be an ideal manifestation of yourself at whatever station of life you deem to be suitable for you.  Most of us envision ourselves as being good people striving to change the world for the better, and, for the most part, we are.  You don’t find too many people aspiring to bring detriment to their fellow cohabitants, at least not in their youth.  On the opposite end you have the pathetic sack I described earlier.  

Life can be hard on an individual.  It can be easy to rationalize your unsatisfactory place in the world with being dealt a bad deck of cards, a string of bad luck/karma, or less-than-fair circumstances, and once this rationalization is made, you begin to find ways to take a little back, which I’m not totally opposed to, except when it involves people’s minds.

In Mr. McPoopoocaca’s case, he felt that he had paid his dues as an educator, that his work/pay ratio was skewed a little too far out of his favor.  His curriculum consisted of students silently reading chapters from the textbook and answering the questions at the end while he made football plays on his computer at the back of the room.  He didn’t become a teacher to inspire and impassion his students.  He was going to leave that to all of the sissy nerdy teachers like me that actually wanted to impart an education to their students. 

He pulled me aside one day after I had recently taken over another of his courses, Military History.  This was a course that he was moderately passionate about.  However, his lessons were still about as stimulating as a trip to the DMV.  He had been reluctant to let me teach it, but I was growing tiresome of teaching Geography every period, and I persisted.  So as I wrapped up one of my lessons on the Battle of Hastings and had my students on the floor redrawing the Bayeux Tapestry, he saw an opportunity to try to explain something to me.

He said, “I know you probably think you’re a real hot shot coming up with all of these cool and interesting projects for the kids, but I’m an old bird and those days have come and gone for me.”

To which I replied, “Mr. Vomitsack, I don’t think I’m any kind of hot shot.  I think I am a teacher.”  Oh yeah!

I empathize with Mr. Hairyslothanus.  It seems he is dissatisfied with the choices he’s made in his life.  Unfortunately, the price has been paid by the countless students that have drifted under his tutelage.  Rather than take the initiative to divert his students to more adventurous currents, he has allowed them to remain in the same stagnant pools, unaware of the world around them.

This may seem extreme, but if you’ve ever attended or visited a not-so-well-funded public school anywhere in the states, it’s plain to see the sad state of affairs (complacent teachers) and their impact.  It doesn’t take too many bad apples to spoil the bunch.

So let’s wrap this all up into a nice, concrete, premise.  Go get more of what you love.  You only have one life, so you better make the most of it, and, don't get me wrong, nobody needs this advice more than me. If Mr. Squidpenis wanted to coach football full-time he should’ve planned his life accordingly or had the responsibility and maturity to accept his position as a teacher first and a coach second.

I look around and see many people that are unhappy, or feel that they’ve made a wrong turn somewhere in their lives.  Driving around town, I see many illegal U-Turn signs and I always think of this metaphorically.  The idea that, on the boulevards of life, you cannot make a U-Turn and plot a new course is limiting.  If you are unhappy, as Mr. MacManus so eloquently put, Get Happy!

Find what makes you happy and get it whatever the cost.  If you don't know what that is you better be looking for it.

And yes, I did just plug the title of my song into this blog.  This is absurd on many levels besides the obvious one, but that is exactly what the song is about.  The fact that the title line came from a Pizza Hut Meat Lovers ad cheapens this whole thing somewhat, however.

Say "Rock!" Say "Roll!" Say "Rock and Roll!"

- J

 

 

1 Comment

Coralie said:

That's probably the best "yadda, yadda, yadda" I've ever read. Too funny and so completely true. I really hope your musical dreams come to fruition...although it sounds like it will be a sad day in the world of education. There seem to be far too few teachers who truly give a damn about the impact they have on the lives of the kids they're teaching. It sounds like you were one of the few who did. On that note, rock on dude!