I have had this unfamiliar feeling over the past week and a half ever since I was interviewed for a teaching job in the New York City Teaching Fellowship program. I cannot think of anything in many years that I have faced with so much anticipation, anxiety, hope, and dread since my first few weeks flying as an Air Marshal just after 9/11. This time around the feelings of dread are much less, life will go on if I don’t get the job, because I will still have my current job if I do not get the new one. Whereas, as an Air Marshal, my life sort of depended on me getting the job done right.
Still, though I have been on an emotional roller coaster. If I don’t get the new job, I am stuck at the old one from which I am ready to retire. That’s okay but the job stinks. Heck, I would say that even ¾ of the people who are not yet eligible to retire are ready to retire; that is how messed up the job has become over the last few years. So the thought of not getting the new position gets me down. Then again, the thought of being selected for a teaching spot has me about as happy as one can be. I have not felt so much anticipation ever since waiting for that first kiss, from a very special gal, so many years ago. When I got it, the kiss that is, it was all worth waiting for; and so to I am sure would be a teaching job. I hope I get it, I do, I do.
If I do not get it, I have options. I am eligible to go out on retirement, and to collect my pension. The lure of that Siren’s song is almost too much to bear. I would almost be willing to crash my ship ashore with no hope of getting another, or in other words I am just about ready to retire with no second career job waiting for me, because the allure of retirement is that strong. I have not retired though because I have a family, and I have obligations, and those bill collectors get pretty upset if you don’t pay your bills on time. So even though the retired life calls my name in a sultry voice, I have tied myself to the mast; and I will wait until I get a second career lined up. Like Odysseus, there will be no falling to the lure of the Siren’s song for me; not just yet anyhow.
As for my reasons to keep on working until I can get a second career, no I am not madly in debt. In fact, if I retired now, my debts are pretty minimal, but I do want to continue to lead a comfortable life with my family, and a meaningful one at that, so I figure I’ll keep working. Teaching seems like a way to do something I want to do toward leading a meaningful life after retirement. I want to be able to help guide our nation’s youngsters down the road to becoming contributing members of our society. For the past 27 plus years, I have arrested quite a few of them who did not make it down that road by the time they had met me. Instead they tried to take the short cut down Easy Street, only to wind up on that bumpy back road called Hard Knocks Drive. At first I thought being a counselor would be the way to go, but after thinking about it, then discovering the NYCTF program, I decided that teaching would help me get to more of them, and therefore I could do something on a grander scale than just one on one counseling sessions. Heck I could reach them not only before they were arrested (or after the arrest) but even before they thought of going out to commit a crime. Giving them a better chance would be giving our society a better chance. I kind of like the idea, and I am no air headed idealist, I am a practical guy, and practicality is what has turned me toward teaching as a choice for my second career. The better educated kids our schools turn out, the better off for the USA in the future.
I am still far from my goal of becoming a teacher, they have not offered me a position yet. I am very hopeful that they will. It has sort of been like waiting to see if I would be able to get that first kiss oh so long ago from the gal I married. Hopefully the wait for the teaching fellowship will wind up with a similar result of my wait for that kiss. The result of that kiss was a long lasting, loving relationship, with my first, only, and current wife. It has been a relationship that has taken an awful lot of work to keep it going, and one for which I needed a deep rooted passion to keep alive. Married life has been quite the good thing; and so, it has been well worth the effort. I can only hope - that just like waiting for that first kiss was well every moment of agonizing anxiety filled anticipation that I suffered through - my waiting to hear the results of this job interview will work out in a similar fashion.
All the best,
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