Monday, August 29, 2005

Jealousy, Humanity, Prudence and Hope*

A good friend and ex-co-worker, Don, is a professor of Humanities at a college in Michigan. We keep in touch mostly by email, he’ll occasionally send me the tests he’s given his students (on art, literature, music, what-have-you) and I take them to see how I score in his class. It’s fun, it keeps me on my toes, and we have a good laugh at how much I’ve remembered/forgotten. This morning, Don sent me the syllabus for his fall Intro to Humanities class.

And I’m so freakin’ jealous I could just spit.

I’m a humanities whore.

I mean music, art, film, books, architecture, theatre, language, the creative bents that expand the fabric of the human experience.

I could just roll around in ‘em all day and never get bored, and eat ‘em up like a Roman feast, gorge myself, purge, and eat some more. I know a little about a lot of things, I can speak fairly well about the culture surrounding a work, or the artist’s personal life, or the effect religion/society had on the theme or somethingblahblahblah that I’ve learned along the way.

I’ve learned that insanity has a place in a creative life.

And that there’s no other word like ‘chiaroscuro’.

So, anyway, Don emailed me his syllabus, and I read every word, every extra-credit project he’d offer, every point given for attendance, burning it into my memory, all the while thinking, “I should be teaching this! I’d so rock!” Then the jealousy set in.

Because even though I love my job, it’s just not as fulfilling as I imagine a job teaching Humanities would be.

I drove through campus this morning, stopping at the crosswalks to let profs pass, to let freshman stumble glassy-eyed across, waving at the cute dark-haired guy who waved back when I motioned him. And I thought, “I should be there. I should be crossing. I should be hauling a shoulder bag full of materials and obsessing about this lecture and wondering how the hell I’m gonna get through to that guy in the front who keeps falling asleep.”

It’s too late, I think, it’s too late to go back to school, too costly, too time-intensive. I feel so fully vested in my job, in my current earning-potential, that I can’t imagine the upheaval of totally changing careers.

And yet I can.

But for now, I won’t. I have a connection. I have tests to take. I have a person who wants my opinion on how to structure his Winter Humanities class. I have time to think about it all.

And someday I’ll be in the crosswalk.

(*Bob Mould, forgive me.)


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At 11:09 AM, Blogger Sergei C. said...

You've got to pull the plug, hon - this is insane!

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Beltane said...

How do all those ads get in there? That is really annoying...

About the post: Mona, I so feel you - except, I don't even have a background like you do. I just started popping out kids as soon as I could. I ditched college and got married (got divorced) and got married again. I don't regret staying home with my kids, but lord knows I do feel like my brain is slowly seeping out of my ears like dead jelly, never to wiggle to the dance of synapses again. Is it too late? I wonder. I have so many varied interests that I feel sometimes consumed by the possibilities. Drowning in them. Can I really go back to school? At what cost? (and I don't mean financially) what would I choose? Would that mean putting my life as a mother and wife on the backburner and is that ok? Because after all, I feel like I am wasting myself, that I have a lot to offer and doing nothing about it is just as atrocious and ignoring my children would be. What a fine balance we women must make. But that's a whole other ball of wax.

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At 2:21 PM, Blogger No_Newz said...

It's never to late to do what you love. Make a few calls. See if you can get your degree online, on your own time, so you can continue to work.
Lois Lane

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Manjari said...

Dear Mona,

I stumbled on your blog a while back and taking a break from work each day to read. I love the way you use words adn express your self.

A while back I had express a desire to be a teacher. One of my friends told me to look into to it and I found it was something that I could do. I am really happy about it. I know it is more difficult for you with kids and all. It seems your heart is in it. It may take awhile but you can teach college. Its a whole lot easier credintial wise then elementary ed.

Just wanted to say I enjoyed your post.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Pisser said...

I'm with you; I agree with _newz, and do let me know if you find any reputable online universities...I can't shake the feeling that they're all kind of sketch.

Of course, I was also incredulous about being able to fax or e-mail your homework, last time I took a college course.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger your fiend, mr. jones said...

You have echoed something I've been thinking about for a while... I would love to teach drama or film history to High School Students, but it seems like a far away idea right now.

And here's to those far away ideas.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Sergei: Orange gave me da scoop!

Beltane: It's the priority shift that bothers me most. I don't know if I'm ready/willing/able to do that. Yet.

Lois Lane: Excellent idea! Tho I'll probably pee myself when I see how much credit hours cost nowadays...yikes!

Manjari: Welcome! Yeah, college is definitely the place I'd like to teach, I should see what's involved in that degree-wise.

Pisser: U of Phoenix online keeps bothering me to sign up with them, but they're too invasive (the constant emails and phone calls...urg!). Let me know if YOU find anything reputable.

Mr. Jones: YES! With your knowledge, with your wit, you'd be excellent! Maybe after Baby Jones comes, you and the Mrs. can discuss!


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