Random Musings

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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye is always difficult. Even when you're leaving something you hate, at the moment of leaving you always see it through a momentary rose-colored light that makes you think you'll miss it, no matter how bad the place or situation is.

That's not the case for me this time. I love what I'm leaving. Seems like that's getting to be a habit. As of today, my teaching career is over. No, I wasn't caught in a scandalous relationship with one of my students. Saying goodbye would be easy if I had no choice. No, I finally found a job as a lawyer. After 8 months of "No's" I wasn't really expecting a "Yes". It pays literally about 5 times what I've been making as a teacher, which is good, because I haven't even been making enough to cover rent lately. So I had to take it, but it was hard.

I honestly love teaching. There's plenty about it that sucks, namely parents, schools, administrators, but the students make up for it all. At this point in time I had two groups of students; my tutoring students, who are ages 16-18 and studying high school English and writing, and my ESL students, who are ages 19-37 and are learning the very basics of English as a foreign language. I've been with the tutoring students for 2 years now, and some of them feel like my children to me. They ask my advice about dating, drugs, college, everything. My ESL kids are important to me too. They're a bit olderand wiser, but they're new to this country, and I help them figure it out. For the last two years I've actually looked forward to going to work everyday. That's a nice feeling.

When they offered me the job I had to take it. I can't hold off my student loans any longer, and the goverment has just given me a very firm demand for the money I owe them as well. I should have been happy, but instead I felt like I was abandoning all the people who depended on me. That night I had nightmares for the first time in 10 years. Both the adult kind of nightmares and the kid kind, all night. Then I had to tell all my kids.
My tutoring students just looked at me with surprised disappointment. One of the ESL students cried. They got together and took me to lunch and bought me a nice gift. I'm writing this during our last class as they take their final exam. Someone else will see them every morning now, and I don't know if the new teacher will really care about them, or just teach them English.

We all have each other's contact info, and are swearing we'll keep in touch, but I have my doubts how long that will last, no matter how sincere the feelings. I guess its time to think about the new beginning, how it will feel to not be poor, to finally do the job I went to school for.

The Stormcrow is back. Not just metaphorically; he was waiting in the tree outside my classroom window when I came in this morning, and he gave me that black stare, the one that says, "It's time again."