Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Kinder, Gentler Jennifer

Thinking of my last post...I didn't mean to criticize academic poets. I should have used the word 'I' more. 'I' don't think tenure is the place for me. Ironically, I am a professor, but I use that term loosely. I teacher comp part time, and I am thrilled with my job for the most part.

I think I warn people from putting too much stock into their career (career versus vocation) because I did and I got burnt. I worked so hard at being an inner-city school teacher. I sacrificed my family, poetry, and mental and physical health. I wanted to help people. I wanted to be sucessful. I wanted people to look up to me. The whole thing was a bitter failure. The system didn't care, the administration didn't care, and only a few of the students cared. It chewed me up and spit me out. I spent a year staring at a wall, recovering. Don't get me wrong, I love my students now, and I bend over backwards to help them. But, in the words of the lovely Liz Phair, I'm gun-shy.

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