I learned something about myself whilst working in a high school:
1. I’m still not hip.
2. I was never hip.
3. I will never be hip.
4. I don’t know what terminology all the hip kids are using. (I doubt they use the word “hip.”)
It was indeed interesting, however, due to the fact that despite there’ve been 2 presidents in office since I’ve been in high school, it’s still pretty much the same. It’s impossible to change a $20, the vending machines never have diet Mountain Dew, it’s impossible to eat cafeteria food, and despite having various teachers state that I would be a good teacher, I firmly realized that I would NEVER make a good teacher. Ability means nothing—desire, talent, and TALENT is everything. I noticed this when I volunteered to accompany a young man for his, I don’t know, Senior Day recital or something. He was a good singer, and unlike the vast majority of times I accompanied people, didn’t run off with the melody, leaving me to catch up.
No, ability wasn’t a problem, it was the fact that even though it took a half hour (at the most), it was DRAINING. You can never go in carelessly (no matter how much you care—or not), you’re always going to offer suggestions, ask about their future plans, etc. The fact that I did this automatically was interesting, and rather telling. What it told me was that I am infinitely more interested in improving my own playing/career/life than helping others. Selfish? Sure! But you can’t help but realize that when you’re teaching and tutoring that there’s sooooo much for you to learn, how much you truly don’t know.
But it was a great assignment, and was (interestingly) the same job I received a “Thanks But No Thanks” letter from. Turns out that it’s a permanent temporary position, which means…uh, they may or may not hire someone. Their loss, as they truly need someone—the principal’s secretary was swamped, so I got to help out there. We rushed to get out a 1000+ mailing, only to find out that the postcards had been changed (unbeknownst to, you know, THE SECRETARY), so all that hard work went down the drain. It’s nice (and rather depressing) to know that lapses in communication know no level. Whether you’re at a university, junior college, or high school, the secretary’s always the last to know.
On the plus side, it’s nice to know that the chances are slim to none that I’ll have to temp in a school with no air conditioning!