Prof. of English Language&Literature
Why did all this happen?...
because I decided I world not continue to compromise my personal values at my place of employment. I decided that I was larger than the limited amount of professional courtesy they were willing to grant me. decided that I could no longer afford to waste time in a situation/environment that was corrupt at its core. I could no longer attempt to elevate young minds with theories of freedom, liberty, diligence, and integrity, when at the same time, the administration of the institution was aggressively enacting "unwritten" policies that were quite the contrary. These issues, coupled with the professional jealousies, intimidation tactics, "office war games," were sources of unnecessary stress and fatigue.
I resignes. I struck out on my own ignoring the news of an ensuing national Recession. I figured I had enough education, experience, and wherewithal to land another position without much worry. -and I was wrong.
Thanksgiving Weekend 2008, after selling everything I couldn't take with me, I packed all my belongings in a Jeep... and I headed home [Texas]. During that 1,500-mile trip west, I thought about how my nation's media was reluctant to discuss the ensuing economic depression in open/honest terms, "Is there really a Depression?" "No, its more of a slight recession. We'll homes back shortly." "Is there an and in sight?" "If it's just a recession, how long will it take to recover? "Then they'd bring some "expert" economist on to discuss the "possibility" of a Recessionary/Depressionary economic climate. This charade world ofter times evoke profane rants leveled at my television as I banished all the pundits to Hell.
I pulled into Texas on Thanksgiving Day 2008... and I stopped at a friend's house in Dallas. His family was in the middle of having Thanksgiving Dinner, and they allowed me to shower "the road" off me. I was probably in need of a GOOD shower, too. I felt like a Bum. I remember looking at all the residue I left in their bathtub... and I know I wasn't far from BumStatus at all. Little did I know, I was just at the beginning of a nine-month period of Awakening.
After visiting family in Austin, I eventually got to Houston. Houston would be home-base for this particular period of my life as my mother and sister live there. I moved my stuff in the garage, and immediately "opened up shop." I was on the internet everyday. Job search. Job search. Job search. I enacted the dame routine that proved futile in Baltimore. But, the good news was I had my suppiles ready [resume, e-mail, cover letter templates] and my rhythm down-packed. Everyday I world contact schools. I was in between the phone and computer. Go, go, go. Day in-Day out. Finding a job was my full-time job.
In between searching for a job, I found time to go through all the FEELINGS of insecurity, anger, depressing, disgust, shame, bewilderment, confusion, frustration, angst, doubt, and embarrassment. Inviting my Brain to participate with my Heart wasn't too hard, as I also had THOUGHTS which included engaging in political violence, bank robberies, entering the dope game, Panhandling, robbing random "rich people," pimping, and I even though about working as a male stripper. Life was tough.
I can remember sitting in church in Sunday mornings. As I would sit and observe the deacons pray, the people clap, the choir sing, and the preacher preach, I would occasionally think about how I could collect a few dollars from the members as efficiently as the church did. *Oh, Devil, get thee behind me.* I did enjoy the inspiration presented in the sermons- Church also gave me the opportunity to mediate and relax. The music was often times uplifting. ---and it also gave me the opportunity to see my mother in her HappyPlace.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This day the rhythm of my Life took a drastic change. I hadn't realized that I had grown so accustomed to meeting "dead-ends" in the job hunt. I had grown so comfortable with hearing "No, sorry, we don't have a position available" that I actually got scared by hearing, "Yes, there's an opportunity." On this day, TWO opportunities lay before me. I suddenly felt a new kind of pressure. Now, the "ball was in my court," and I held a leverage that I hadn't held in nine months, in actuality, I hadn't EVER held this type of leverage/choice. My options were as follows:
1) Take a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor at a Texas university.
2.) Sign a contract with Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education and rake a job teaching English at a high school in South Korea.
Robert Frost's, "The Road Not Taken," is the poem I took with me to sleep.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I woke up that morning prepared to take "the road less traveled by." I didn't tell anyone about my decision to sign the contract for the job in Korea because I didn't want any external "noise" in my head. I signed it. I faxed it. I visited the Korean consulate and quickly finished the last steps of obtaining my Vais. I was going to board a plane five (5) days later and fly to country I had never been to? Knew very little about? and live and work for a one-year Period of time.
Soon after securing the position in Korea, I had visit the professor who was quite instrumental in securing the Assistant Professorship at the American university. It was going to be one of those tough talks that a person hates to have... but, nonetheless, HAD to be done. I had been at orientation for the entire we다 with the university; I had received a teaching schedule; I had met the faculty members of my department; I had met faculty university-wide; I had even seen my new office... I had all but signed a contract, and now I had went to discuss my decision with my Colleague and Friend.
Though we hadn't known each other for the longest time, through this employment process, we had connected on a certain level. She was someone who I liked, and more importantly, someone who I respected... and still do. Not Knowing how she would react to the news, I called her cell phone and requested to meet her on campus. I think she could tell by my voice that something was up. When arrived on campus, she left an orientation session (a session I most likely would have been in) and met me in the hall way. "What's up? Everything okay?" she asked. I looked at her, and broke the news. "I've signed a contract with a school in Korea. I'll be flying out next week.' I went on to explain how grateful I was for her help through this process; and I MEANT that. I was truly thankful for her honesty, candor, and kindness through the process. She accepted my decision with grace.?
And if she ever reads this, I want her to Know, "I got nothing but Love for you, Doc."
WHAT A DAY!... and it wasn't even NOON yet!
I have been in Korea for approximately one year and a half now. I must say, this has been one of the BEST decisions I have ever made. I can truly say the "road not taken" is sometimes the BEST road to take. I had a multitude of reasons to stay in the States. I had people who I KNOW Love me... try to convince me to stay. But, I knew that I had to leave. God had shown me how rough Life be through this experience... and I felt through the decision to come to Korea, He wes also showing me that the choice to change my lot Life in Mine.
The decision is YOURS, People. Do not limit yourself through Doubt and Fear. You can do Anything you want to do. You can. you can do anything want to do. AND you can do it the WAY you want to do it. It's going to take a Plan; it's going to take dedication, a tolerance for Pain, and some Endurance. it may not be east. BUT, you can do it.
Growth ain't supposed to he comfortable and Pain is an ingredient that comes with territory.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost, 1916
GOODDOCTOR'S LETTER -
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