Tag Archives: life lessons

Things I Can Do Now

Sometimes I get anxious about my new career path– because change, no matter how good and how healthy, is always difficult for me (and, like, everyone on Earth. I know I’m not unique in this. I do think I am slightly more panicked/anxious/dramatic/unable-to-calm-the-fuck-down-y than the average human during a transition, but I recognize that general feelings of discomfort are pretty universal. So if anyone else is out there going through a time of change, feel free to hit me up for some commiseration. Or just try the exercise below. I found it extremely therapeutic, and I think it would make both my therapist and Oprah proud.)

Here’s a nifty list of things I can do now that I am no longer a classroom teacher, just as a reminder that I made the right choice for myself.

  1. Pee
  2. Pee in a bathroom that is a bathroom, not a closet or former jail cell
  3. Breathe without inhaling germs
  4. Breathe (in general)
  5. Go to the doctor
  6. Not go to the doctor, because I’m not sick anymore
  7. Have air conditioning when it’s hot
  8. Have heat when it’s cold
  9. Overall do my work in temperatures humans were meant to exist in
  10. Read the news
  11. Curse
  12. Curse while reading the news
  13. Not eat a packed lunch
  14. Not make a packed lunch
  15. Not make 5 packed lunches at once on Sunday night because the process of packing a lunch is so depressing, I have to do it all in one shot
  16. Cry. In the moment I feel like crying, without having to find the nearest janitors closet.
  17. Raise my voice without fear of abuse charges
  18. Make an important phone call without fear of being caught
  19. Answer an important phone call without fear of being caught
  20. Read/write an important text/email without fear of being caught
  21. Eat a snack without fear of being caught
  22. Drink a hot beverage without fear of being caught
  23. Not fear being caught for doing things all humans need to do to be human
  24. Wake up no earlier than 7:00am, as God intended
  25. Teach the way I want to teach, teach everything I planned to teach, and use my actual personality while teaching, because behavior management is no longer the priority
  26. Be honest, not politically correct, with parents.
  27. Truly know and care about every single child I work with (some classroom teachers are able to do this– I found it impossible)
  28. Be appropriately compensated for the work I do and the effort I put forth
  29. Feel effective
  30. Feel appreciated
  31. Pee (it’s worth repeating)



Early Lessons in Racism

When I was in 5th grade, a kid in my class brought in about a dozen baby hamsters to give away to classmates who wanted them (a scenario that, as a teacher now, I can’t even believe was allowed to happen, but I digress)…

Of the roughly 12 hamsters, 11 were beige and 1 was black. I approached the hamster cage to make my choice (not having asked my parents permission to have a pet, just straight up assuming that because I wanted it, it shall be mine). I perused the choices and stated with authority, “I definitely think the beige ones are cuter.”

My teacher, who was a tyrant and certifiably batshit, got wide in the eyes and said, “That is extremely racist. You’re taking the black one.”

The black one had patches of fur missing. Its eyes were swollen shut. It had one ear.

My preference had nothing to do with color. Also, I was 10 years old. And it was A FUCKING HAMSTER.

Still. I never made that mistake again.


Lessons I Learn From My Dad

Dad was here this weekend and, over some wine, recounted the story of how he was being groomed for the family business, but decided, most irresponsibly, to skip the business boards and instead go to a basketball game with his friends. He thought he could just take a make-up exam, but he was wrong. So, on a whim, he decided to go to law school instead. He then became a very successful lawyer and discovered a profession he loves.

So the lesson here is that if you ditch your responsibilities, a better opportunity will simply fall into your lap. So just be as flaky as possible and it’ll all work out.

Or something about a mix of serendipity, hard work, forging your own path, and opening yourself up to endless possibilities.

I don’t know I was drunk.