I’ve got two, maybe three part-time jobs lined up for this fall, and one of them starts Monday. I’m usually excited when the school year fires up, but I’m less than thrilled this year, because although I will be doing some teaching, which I love deeply, I’ll be spending more time in meetings and managing people’s emotions and concerns about a new web-based academic initiative that I’ll be co-administering. Blurg.
When I was a kid, I played the usual “when I’m a grown-up” games, and took on various roles: doctor, chef, bounty hunter (yes, really, I think this was Boba Fett-inspired), mermaid (what?), teacher, etc., but what I really thought I’d be was a primatologist. I am a huge animal lover, and I thought that was totally the way to go. I would be Jane Goodall, or Dian Fossey! I would live in the jungle! I would snuggle with apes!
I got over that eventually, and cycled through other things: Olympic swimmer, carpenter, puppeteer, and later lawyer, actor, politician (which really have quite a bit in common), before I came back to teaching at the university level as my aspiration. So, lots of schooling and a few worthwhile, quasi-related detours later, I’m doing it. Not as much as I’d like, and I can’t feed myself doing it, but it gets my blood up and turns my brain on. It’s live. It’s hard work, not terribly well-respected or -remunerated, but it is my dream.
If I couldn’t teach, what would I do? Blog for a living? Go back to non-profits? (almost as well-respected and -remunerated…) Those would be okay, but the brass ring is a tenure track university position. …Someday.
However, if I could just wave a magic wand to give myself the skills and training to do anything, I think I would want to be a Broadway star (a la LuPone), or an opera diva (Fleming, Netrebko), because I find great singing/performing so thrilling and moving.
So, today’s FFT is about workin’. What do you do for a living? Is it what you thought you’d be? What you planned for? What did you want to do as a kid? And most importantly, what would you do if you could do anything?