When I Grow Up

January 31, 2014 stephhwilliams 2 Comments

There’s a reason I don’t work a traditional 8-5 type job anymore. Well, actually, there are several; here are a couple, in no particular order:

I like naps. (Okay, if I’m being really honest, this probably would be number one).

We have three kids, and Bryan’s job is really demanding. So my schedule being flexible allows me to be available for day-to-day kid things. It’s a blessing.

I can’t stand traffic. I know no one likes traffic, but I mean I really can’t handle it. Last Friday, I had to stay on campus for a required composition faculty meeting until about 4:30 p.m., which put me smack in the middle of rush hour traffic heading home. As I rode my brakes and cringed as the sounds of squealing rubber all around me, I could feel my blood begin to boil, which I’m now convinced is a manifestation of feeling my blood pressure on the rise. But when I was stuck in that tense sea of red, one thing I noticed was that I wasn’t in a bad mood. When I called Bryan to tell him I was on my way, I said something like, “Well, at least I had a good day, was doing something I enjoyed instead of being stuck in all this after a crappy day.”

Me, in the 4th grade
Me, in the 4th grade

And that’s when it hit me. I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. At almost 40. But, hey, better late than never, right?

I’ve said before that I liked law school but hated practice. That’s not exactly true. I did like law school because I’ve always like school. I’m a nerd. My first year out, I worked for a judge in a one-year clerkship, which was mostly research and a lot of learning … so I loved it too. Then I went to work for a big firm, working long hours and stressing out a lot. I liked it at first, too. But it got old really quickly. I think my enjoyment of practice exponentially declined in direct correlation to the increasing amount of time I had to spend on the telephone.

Back in 2009, I started teaching. I credit long-time friend Tina Hall for this development. What started out as a lament on how I never really wanted to go to law school and really just wanted to be a teacher ended in a “well, duh,” moment when she suggested I talk to the local university about teaching as an adjunct. Since then, I’ve taught (either online or on-campus, or both) in the writing department at the local university, paralegal classes at the local technical school, and law classes at the local law school. While I’ve pretty much enjoyed all of the classes I’ve taught, my favorite has become evident over the last couple of semesters: freshman composition. It seems to satisfy my love of writing and love of teaching, along with a healthy dose of organization to appease my OCD. And I think I’m pretty good at it, too.

Ideally, I think I’d like to do this for the rest of my life. I’d even like to do it in a full-time capacity (I could always set my hours to avoid rush hour traffic, right?). Of course, I’m not sure a J.D. and M.B.A. are sufficient degrees for a full-time composition faculty position, so maybe I just need to go back to school again.

Hmm, teaching writing and going to school at the same time. Man, wouldn’t that be the life?! 😉

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