I have begun cleaning out my desk.
I have worked here for three years. I don’t desire to work here a fourth.
I have written a lot about this school. There are many things I don’t like about this place. I won’t commit everything I’ve written to the (semi-)public record, because honestly, some of it is just purely hateful and would only put a burden on the souls of anyone who reads it, and unnecessarily.
Venting is a good thing to do. Ruminating, not so much.
Suffice to say, I don’t like this school. I don’t feel valued, and I don’t feel welcomed.
What in the hell possessed me to work at a high school, anyway? There was very little good in high school when I was a student, so what did I expect?
There is a chance that I might hear back from a job I secretly had an interview with two weeks ago. It’s for something I’m far more suited to: copy editing.
I had what felt like a very good interview. They sent me home with a document to copy edit. A test.
I can not emphasize to you how intense that document was. There were obvious errors included, as if to throw the unsuspecting applicant into a false sense of security.
But they gave me a week to edit a 10 page document, so I knew there would be much, much more to it. It was around the moment that I noticed that the graph title in tiny print didn’t end with a period while all the other graph titles did that I realized this job is for documents what a scalpel is for a surgeon.
It is a thing of precision, a thing of razor-sharp attention.
I fear both getting the job and not getting the job.
I fear not getting the job because that would mean I’d be stuck at this stupid school for another year. It’s somewhat obvious at this point that there are some bad vibes between teachers (and some students) at the school and me, and I haven’t done much to change that situation. (To be brief: I am a very by-the-book kind of guy, and the teachers and students at this school seem like they’re more worried about being well liked than education.)
I also fear not getting the job because it would allow me some professional development of actual skills that I could use to make the foundation of my future. What I am doing, teaching English in Japan as a para-professional, is essentially a dead-end job. There are no promotions, no raises, and when you go to a new school, it’s as if your experience and reputation has been reset to zero.
This job would allow me to build a real track record. It would allow me to start a family.
It would allow me to get the fuck out of this school.
But then again, I fear getting the job as well. If I got the job, I’d work longer hours and ocassional weekends. I’m interested in weight training and studying for the JLPT N1, but if I get this job, it would affect my ability to get extra sleep to help post-workout recovery, and the time I’d need to study Japanese.
There’s the more practical matter of my having already signed a contract with the school to continue teaching for the next year. If the copy editing job does invite me to join them, I would be hypothetically putting myself in a position where the company that contracts me out to the school might seek legal compensation against me.
(But then again, this same contracting company snatched me up from a different school to work at the highschool I’m at now. The school I’d signed a contract with wasn’t happy about that, but did nothing.
((As a matter of fact, the contracting company I’m technically working for now needed to snatch someone up at the last minute because the guy that had originally signed a contract with them bailed. “He found a better-paying job,” they told me plainly. I’m pretty sure they didn’t pursue him for any legal relief.))
I’m also afraid of getting the job because of it simply being a new situation. Will I really be able to do it? Will my coworkers be unwelcoming? Will the job kill my social life and put me out of dating, studying, writing, and on and on?
And yet the job I have now has already negatively impacted me in each of those regards, without fail, year after year.
Saying goodbye to a bad situation to dive feet-first into a completely unknown situation. Of course I’m nervous.
But I know it’s what I have to do next. If they’ll have me.
And if they won’t have me, fine. I’ve been meandering in mediocrity for ten years. I’ve been looking for a path, but all I see is murky and dark.
So I will start stepping out into that unsafe murkiness. I will start doing the things I need to do even though I don’t really know how yet. I will make my own path.