The light in our eyes, the stars in our skies. The light in our skies, the stars in our eyes.
It works both ways.
It’s been a long day. In the literal sense, but not in the metaphorical sense. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, being on full-teacher mode for six hours straight.
Since I write about my life on the Internet…I’ve been doing a teaching gig for forty bucks an hour to kids whose homes are glazed in granite. Their soaps smell so fragrant they’ll linger on your skin for hours afterwards. The children are kind, down-to-earth, and well-behaved. The walls are decked in family photos, with quotes like, ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is.’ The family cat sniffs my toes.
In the meantime, I’ve also been eyeing graduate school, working my way into a field–Psychology–I’ve always loved.
This feels like the type of thing I would’ve done in this life, another life, any life.
I’ve always enjoyed non-lucrative passions, like art, photography and writing. Not to bash on the creatives out there, but I never loved any particular field enough to eke out a paltry annual income. But! I’ve found a subfield within Psychology that makes those elusive six figures and allows me to pursue a field I love. It’ll all take a bit of time, but it’s where I’d like to one day be. At least I do right now.
It’s taken a bit of mental gymnastics to stomach the process.
There’s a cognitive psychology heuristic called the hill-climbing heuristic, where people pick what appears to be the most direct route to their final destination. So, post college, one’s immediate goal may be to work and make money. But, for certain fields, it sometimes requires taking a step back–such as pursuing graduate school–to reach the final destination.
But I’ve been enjoying myself thus far. I really love teaching in the interim. I’ve always liked it; I used to tutor friends in science, kids in math and english, babies in math. In high school, I ran a tutoring program while working a tutoring job while tutoring friends for fun. Then I went to college, where all teaching came to an abrupt stop, since everyone was brilliant, anyways. There were programs where students were shuttled into neighboring areas to teach, but I never got around to it.
In the meantime, I did a lot of internships. Mostly in business. I was at the newspaper, where I wrote and took pictures. I learned a lot from these positions–particularly that I didn’t enjoy writing when I had to, that I felt sleazy doing PR, and that Google Drive was -insert angel chorus- The positions didn’t pay very well. They were okay, but nowhere near what the consultants and engineers made.
Upon graduation, I was dismayed by the income reports that, apparently, the university had been publishing every year. Aside from Engineering and Finance, most people started at 30-40K, despite the hoity toity Ivy League tag. Granted, I’m sure that people started off humbly, and then worked their way up, but still. Industry matters.
It dawned on me why everybody funneled into consulting, finance and tech. Because that was where the figures started at 70K and then ambled into six figures. At the same time, I was never drawn to those fields. So it wasn’t as though I was about to drop everything and apply to big banking companies because of the salary. That would’ve just been selling out, which was kind of funny joke on campus, but also not.
Then I stumbled upon this particular Psychology field and wondered where it’d been my entire life. Even though I’m not there now, it’s nice to have a goal (future) and well-paid work (present), both of which include personal passions and are lucrative.
Teaching is tiring, but it’s rewarding. I like working with my students, watching them learn, have moments of insight, struggle a bit. I remember when I was their age, learning these mind-boggling concepts, trying to recall formulas and whatnot. Over half the time, straight reasoning will do.
The best way to teach, I think–and I’m still figuring this out–is to let them learn on their own. As a teacher, I’m like a large, chattier version of a book with all the answers and explanations. I can see why some students excel in certain classrooms while others fall back. Classes are too big to account for individual differences, preferences and knowledge gaps. Teaching is closely understanding when, where and why students don’t understand.
I’d love to be a professor one day, maybe in Psychology, teaching and writing all day, but maybe later–after I’ve spent some time in the industry. As much as I love learning and teaching, I’m not yet ready to wed myself to academia.
I’d meant to write this blog entry about yesterday’s events, about the massive arcade-bar-bowling alley my boyfriend and I went to, the coconut pineapple rum, the giant furniture store, the frozen chocolate-vanilla-strawberry custard we had, the Cane’s sauce and fried chicken, the intense episode of OITNB, but I detoured into a long ramble of my goals and dreams instead.