Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I've been looking at volunteer services lately, thinking maybe that's something I'd like to do after graduation. It's all a part of my grand plan to not get a real job (ok, not exactly that, but to not get an office job or a job that requires me to wear nylons). Anyways, these volunteer organizations are very similar to the Peace Corps, except they are all faith-based so most operate out of churches or other spiritual organizations.

When I first started looking I narrowed down the nearly 200 options to about 50 and just today I got my list of options down to 28. It's hard, though, to know which ones are most suited to me and which ones will provide the best opportunities for post-service. They are all between 1-2 years long, though there is an option to renew, and they all provide things like housing, insurance, a stipend, and this really awesome thing called loan deference. The biggest differences are the locations (urban, rural, domestic, international...) and the actual placement (healthcare, education, human services, youth ministry...).

I'm not sure if I mentioned this already, but lately it seems all I do is teach, which makes me wonder if that's what I'm supposed to be doing. My entire life I've avoided association with any sort of "education" background--going so far as to take offense when people ask me if I'm going to school to be a teacher or if I'm in English Ed as opposed to "just" English. To set the record straight, I'm English, emphasis in creative writing and minor in sociology. No education classes at all. And I'm completely pleased with my decision--in fact, contrary to statistics they gave in high school (that the average student changes their major 6 times) I never once questioned my major.

Slight digression. Back to me, teaching. I do work at the Writing Center, where I consult students. I'm teaching writing to a home-schooled teen. And lately I've had several people tell me I should be a teacher. It's weird. And now that I've been looking into these volunteer programs, there are several teaching ones--some that would provide me with a grad school education upon completion of the program.

I still feel like a move into the education world would be like folding my hand, saying, yep all of you were right, I'm going to end up teaching anyways...and we all know with my stubbornness it'll take a lot to get me to do that.

Oh, how I long for the days of there anyone out there willing to pay me/provide me shelter in return for a lifetime of short stories and poems?


  1. Did Prof. MacDiarmid ever play that performance poet who gets really indignant when people say "He's just a teacher." for you? A lot of writers I know the lives of worked menial jobs while they established reputations for themselves. Teaching is not really menial but I think it is rewarding. You should probably not worry about prestige or opinions of others etc. when choosing what to do with your life. It will be a long time to be proving a point.