Monday, December 04, 2006

You Never Know

When that mind-blowing (or spirit-altering) job transfer (of the previous post) occurred, I was knocked for the proverbial loop. It seemed like such an awful situation, something that I surely hadn't planned on. If it had just been a transfer, I might have coped better, but everything seemed to go wrong at once: the insane department head, the apparently unfriendly staff, not having a corner to call my own, being in a different kind of school, and teaching out of my subject area. It was a lot to deal with at the time, or it seemed to be, but I was young and still growing up … as opposed to now, when I am old and still growing up.


As I said, it seemed bad, not what I had planned at all. And yet … and yet … it turned out to be the best career thing and one of the best personal things that ever happened to me. Once that first dreadful year was in the history books, as they say, I remained in that school for five more years, but everything changed, including me, I guess.


By year two, I had my own room and was fully removed from the insane department head and fully welcomed into the warm and friendly embrace of the English department. Frankly, I thrived! It turned out that I loved teaching English, and the students seemed to love me. Not that they really said that to me, but word would get back to me in odd and circuitous ways. It was all rather strange because I had only a few university English courses and hadn't received any training in how to properly teach the subject, but it all seemed to work so very well.


It seems somehow profound to me that what I deemed to be so very bad at the time I now deem to be the best thing. I still get all warm and fuzzy over those five subsequent years when I taught out of my subject area in that rural school to which I had to commute in all manner of weather. There's a lesson there, but I can't find the right words to nail it.


Sometimes, it's like that for me – when there seems to be some deep truth to convey, I can't find the proper words; the punch line, as it were, eludes me. But I really think that you understand anyway. It's got something to do with keeping an open mind and spirit because we can't always see around corners, and we don't always know what's best for us.


I later went back into my subject area, received a promotion, and got transferred back to where I had thought I always wanted to be. I had supposedly set my course right again, but times were never as glorious for me as they were back then, teaching English in the rural school. However, when I am tempted to think that I did the wrong thing by proactively seeking a transfer and promotion rather than remain in that most happy situation, I also catch myself, for without living out both scenarios, it's simply impossible to say which path was the better one. Neither happy nor unhappy situations are guaranteed to endure forever, after all. You just never know.

16 comments:

Sarah Elaine said...

A response to your comment on my blog: IMHO high school teachers are the next best thing to saints. I could never deal with high school age kids. My hat goes off to you.

Leann said...

both your posts took me back to my time in the little country school near my home.it was a one roon school house with a wood stove that needed to be feed.at christmas there would be plays and raindeer prints on the snow covered roof.santa would hand out gifts,and Jesus was still welcome there.it was a time of peace and love and people moved alittle slower and cared alittle more for their fellow man.we still were able to read the truth about the christains who founded our country.and the bible was some thing we could still learn from and read without some one having a hissy fit!!it was a good time to be a kid.I thank God for those years.yes one doesn,t know what they have till they lose it.I miss those days.Merry christmas and happy new year.

PBS said...

I agree with Sarah Elaine about teachers, especially high school teachers! That old saying says, "everything changes" and it's true. This was a great story and would make a super essay in a short story compilation!

methatiam said...

There have been many, many times when the worst possible thing that could happen to me turns out to be the best after all. I still kick and fight and scream to avoid these times, but I have to think that God knows better than I do, because the harder I fight, it seems the wrong(er) I am.

Any teacher of any age child is a marvel!

Anonymous said...

How about "serendipity"?

Coll said...

What an inspirational post... filled with hope. I used to believe more profoundly in our control over things, places and situations. Now I lean more towards acceptance and letting the universe unfold as it should.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how things work out as they should. Waiting to see that is rough sometimes ~ but always worth it. :)


Peace,

~Chani

Gina said...

Agreed!

Although we could sit forever and try to imagine where each alternate choice we never made would take us and drive ourselves nuts!

pupski said...

even the best decisions can end up going wrong and as you say sometimes the worst ones can end up being the best!

Ginnie said...

I had to chuckle when I read that you are "now old and still growing up". I know the feeling well. You would think that after living for 73 years I would be ahead of the game...but I learn something new every day !!

Cathy said...

"It's got something to do with keeping an open mind and spirit" - If I've learned 'anything' in life it's that, AC. It can be tough, though - stepping onto a new path - when the old one is so well known. (Hope you'll post more about your teaching experiences)

Granny said...

Personl opinion? Perhaps the lack of formal university training in English was a good thing.

I'd call it flexibility which seems to leave at times with the overly educated.

mreddie said...

Being old and still growing up is something I know about as well. ec

Heather said...

That's happened to me several times too - the thing that seems like the worst thing at the time turns out to be just what I needed.

Shauna said...

I remember.... your days at the "rural school" seemed to have a very happy tinge to them. It was home wasn't it?

Shauna said...

I remember.... your days at the "rural school" seemed to have a very happy tinge to them. It was home wasn't it?