Maybe it's because my benefits that I kept over the summer are about to run out, but people are starting to get desperate in their ideas for what I need to do in order to find a job. By people, I mean family. Here's a bit of a rundown of what family members have said or suggested. Some of it might help, in that they believe I can do more than just be an English teacher. However, I'm thinking that some of the ideas are

 

Both of my parents were teachers who lived through the best times for educators...ever, in the history of the world. Really. I'm not sure if it was a combination of public sector unions, relative wealth of the country, desire of the citizens to educate their kids, women's lib, or several combinations, but my parents were well-compensated for being teachers: they earned tenure, they received solid pensions, and they had excellent health coverage, AND they made it to the points in their careers when they could receive very good pay. Mom and Dad still hold out hope I want to be a teacher after the profession has lost all of the benefits listed above. They still send links to job openings. However, I am not looking at public education unless A. Scott Walker loses and Mary Burke throws money at the system or B. I get really desperate for even an interview.

The other opportunity my mom wants me to take is to go back to school. I know I'll always be her son, but I'm nearly forty now, and a college career is not what I need, unless a company that hires me wants me to get a new certification. More loans and debt to likely learn what I already know? The problem is that she does have a point in that I have not gotten interviews with tech companies because they think I cannot actually do what they want, and maybe I can't do ti their way. Of course, if I want to do it my way, the only option that might exist would be owning my own business.

My dad has said that he would help me open a bar in northern Wisconsin, which I take to mean he would invest in a company with me. The problem is that I have never run a business, and I'm not sure what I would sell (besides my web design service). I'm fine with the long hours of an independent business owner, especially if I could have my kids around (not a bar) and if it was close to the house. I looked into franchises, but that's about as far as it got.

Cousin Jason sent me a message saying that there is a need for electricians. I found it ironic only because electricians make more than he makes (at least at any one of his several jobs) and he has known me for a long time as someone who would not be terribly qualified to be an electrician. It's possible that he did not know that I have crossed the home electric current twice in my life and survived, though that does not quite qualify as training. Anyhow, the training is the part I can't afford, just like one of my former students who suggested plumbing. Yes, I could learn it, but if it's not right for me, that's time and money thrown into a new career that doesn't work, and I'm not as young as Cousin Jason or former students.

My grandma on the same side of the family as Jason cannot believe that I don't get back into teaching. She is upset for me that I lost the job the way I did, but she can't fathom that there isn't a better fit out there. I can see her point, in a way, having been a farmer's wife/mother all her life, even when times were tough. Just as she was skilled in running the household of a farm, I am skilled in running a classroom. I get it, but I just want to step away, like the millions of other farmers in our country who have done just that.

On Lisa's side of the family, I have received similar advice, or at least lack of perfect solutions. When I first finished my musical play Philadelphia Store, Lisa tried to be excited for me. Unfortunately for her, it was the same week we saw both her grandma and he father. She told each of them excitedly about what I'd accomplished. Her dad said something to the effect of "Yeah" or "Oh" and her grandma, possibly not understanding the commitment involved, changed the subject without a word. Neither of them offered new ideas as what to really do with my life, but I assume they were not approving of a career in the arts.

Lisa's mom, however, has been vocal about a career change. Because she is impressed with the family of some male nurse she's met, I should also become a male nurse, according to her. Forget the fact that I have not even the slightest interest in healthcare, at least not as a caregiver. Forget the fact that I made Joanne Litke dissect for me in biology class. Forget the fact that it would be several years of me in college and our family even more poor in order to get a job that has just as much stress as teaching. She says I was good with her mom. Fine, I didn't have to administer meds or give her a sponge bath, so I was fine with hanging out with an older lady. In the same way, however, if I hang out with professional basketball cheerleaders at a bar, that does not mean that I could suddenly become a pro basketball player myself, even if those cheerleaders really, really enjoy my company. 

I'm sure something will come to me and that family members are just trying to help. I will listen to their advice and mostly avoid following it. Just like anyone who is unemployed, I enjoy hearing all of the ideas and opinions of those who never had to deal with it, so please keep them coming. In fact, anyone reading this post can also feel free to suggest away.

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