Sunday, December 07, 2008

Career change

Once upon a time, I was a teacher in a private school. I loved teaching, but I hated almost everything else about my job. I was burned enough by the experience to pursue a Masters degree in a totally different area--International Development--which I also found fascinating. It opened up the world to me in a way I'd always wanted to understand but couldn't or didn't or wouldn't without that study. For this, I am grateful, but it's unlikely that I will be working in that field. To do so would either mean working directly in a developing country (not practical for our family) or working in a developed country for a major international organization (which I know I would hate). I'm just not cut out to be one of a million in a huge bureaucracy. Know thyself, and I know that's not me. But what is? Good question! People who know me well insist that I am a teacher, despite my reservations. I am and have always been passionate about education, and I don't see that changing. But I cannot work in another environment like the place I started. It was profoundly unhealthy for me and is fodder for bad dreams to this day (I'm not kidding). Also, my reservations about teaching kept me from signing up for education certification in time while at university (I decided to go for it about one week after the deadline), so I'll need to go back to school whatever I choose to do. This makes me look at all options, and lately the gleaming shining new subject of interest has been midwifery.

After Stephanie's beautiful home birth, I felt so compelled to look into midwifery. When I thought about med school years ago, I wanted to be an OB, so midwifery isn't a new interest...just a renewed and attainable interest sparked by an incredible personal experience. In The Netherlands, midwives are not nurses (like nurse-midwives in the States), which was most appealing because I have no interest in becoming a nurse (and would be beaten down by my experienced nurse mother if I did). Lo and behold, there is a university here that trains direct entry midwives: no nursing! Hooray! I know I'd have to retrain in the States if we moved there, but think of all I'd learn! So fascinating! Plus, combine that with my Masters degree and think of the possibilities for development work! It's a full-time, three year program, which means I would need to get started next term to finish before we have to move again. So despite the fact that I had planned to be a full-time mom until my baby was in school, I called them up today: Permanent residents only.
Alas. I am oh-so-sad.

But it's just as well. I do currently have my dream job (though it's not nearly as easy as the dream itself), and I'll just have to keep searching for the best choice of what's next. I'm pretty sure it will be education, but what age? Kidlets? Preteens? Teens? Adults? What subject? So many possibilities! Having too many interests makes life interesting, but it does complicate decision-making. Suggestions? Comments?


azure said...

Jennifer, no.. Is there someone else you can talk to? Is there some sort of international exchange program or something that would allow you to do it? Can I and the other blog readers write a letter of appeal?

Maybe you should explain to them your vastly different birthing experiences. I don't know how many times you've tried, but if it was only once I would call back and speak to someone else. That's one of the rare things I've learned at my job: nice yet professional but not pushy persistance can pay off. Shoot, I'm so bummed for you.

Good luck and be nicely persistant!

Karly said...

Oh, I really, really wish it had worked out for you to be able to go...I cannot believe they don't have some option for people who aren't permanent residents...that just doesn't seem right.

In the meantime, I'm glad that you enjoy what you are doing (and no, it's definitely not an easy job!!) and that you have some time to think about what to do next. Education does seem like a good fit for you...but I don't know that I'll be a lot of help in suggesting options...I'm not a very good decision takes me waaaayyy too long to decide on things! :)

I know you are very passionate about education...perhaps you could eventually open your own school that goes along with your vision of education? Or maybe you could still do the midwifery thing and then also teach that? Whatever you do, I know you'll be fabulous at it!

Quinn said...

I was thinking trampoline artist.

azure said...

I think that's hysterical! You two were always pretty funny on the trampoline.

Could you do some sort of online tutoring to restless college kids here in the us? You can set your own hours, feel like you're intellectually engaged, help someone, possibly make some money on the side, and best of all you're your own boss! It's something to think about.

gail said...

One thing you didn't hate about that school? Working in a tutorial cubicle next to moi for a summer, of course ;-D

This is the world's way of telling you to get back into education, Jennifer. (I am sitting here with my arms crossed, petulantly sticking my tongue out at you as if to say "See? I told you so.") Having worked with you at the school that wakes you in the night to this day, I consider myself an expert on my next statement: not all schools are like that. Many schools are wonderful, awesome places to work. And why limit yourself to schools? Education takes place in so many different settings!

For the love of pete, woman: get thee to an education program!