Teacher not quite ready to check out
As the clock winds down on my career as a public school teacher, I find myself scanning the Internet for ideas on what I can do after I leave the classroom. I realized it was time to change after I found an article - "10 signs it's time to find a new job." My job matched nine out of 10 indicators. I was redirected to a website called WelcomeToTheRealWorld.com. The homepage said, "Suck it up, Babycakes.
"Everybody else feels the same way, and their rainbow pony is stuck in traffic."
If teachers wrote anthropology textbooks, parent-teacher conference or teacher in-service would be synonymous with a indigenous purification rite.
What other profession keeps aspirin receipts for tax deductions? I'm not a well-connected administrator, and I haven't screwed up enough to get a promotion. I'm not asking for much. I just want something that doesn't involve making lesson plans according to a rubric designed by Rube Goldberg.
I'd love to be a weather forecaster. I could be wrong 99 percent of the time and still hang on to my job. Now and then, I tweak my numbers a bit, and nobody notices. Expect about 15 hurricanes. Make that 10 hurricanes ... five ... OK, two hurricanes. Where's my check?
You've got to hand it to the entrepreneurial spirit. A truly innovative person with a vision can market pet rocks, ab-busters and Yoko Ono to a gullible public. One such entrepreneur offers a tour bus to take wide-eyed gawkers through Los Angeles. They're not going to Mister Roger's Neighborhood, so they have to sign a release form stating they will not sue the tour organizer in case one of the neighborhood residents busts a cap on someone seated next to a window. Only in America.
One enterprising huckster offers hugs. Yeah, for 60 bucks, suckers. I mean, customers starving for human contact can spend an hour at the Snuggle House in Madison, Wis., with professional snugglers. Sadly, many skeptics looked askance at the visionary mission of this bunkum - ahem, business - most notably Madison officials who suspected that the business was a front for prostitution. One assistant attorney, a woman, stated, "No offense to men, but I don't know any man who just wants to snuggle." I'll bet she used to be a marriage counselor before her rainbow pony got stuck in traffic.
I grew up in Houston near Telephone Road, where plenty of snuggling was available for about the same rate charged by the Snuggle House. Where were these concerned officials when Leo Buscaglia was making a laughingstock of hundreds of gullible patrons who lined up for hugs on his tours all across this fruity plain? Say what you will about Leo; he knew how to make that cash register sing cha-ching.
Just when I thought nothing could top that, I found an article about researchers who "picked up and analyzed wild chimp droppings."
Imagine writing that want-ad: "Interesting job with benefits. Travel to exotic locations. Work involves following monkeys with Ziploc bags and examining the contents under microscopes. Your Trekkie friends will go wild with envy, and their girlfriends will want to wear your flannel shirt and live long and prosper."
Finally, I went to a local liquor store warehouse. If bottles were books, it'd be the Library of Alexandria. As I perused the shelves, I ruminated on my accomplishments of the last 32 years. Then I saw a sign taped to a post near the register: Now hiring cashiers/stockers. I swear I heard the sound of angel wings fluttering nearby.
No, I'm not ready to check out. I need an extra bottle of wine. I'm celebrating.
Patrick Hubbell lives in Victoria and is a Spanish teacher in the Victoria school district.