Wednesday, February 28, 2007

That’s definitely a bull (market), if I’ve ever heard one.

I had the TV on in my classroom the other day (where else would I be?), while I was doing some grading. This commercial for Rosencrantz Investments aired. It was a real cutesy piece for their retirement products. You know the ones, people fly-fishing, walking on the beach drinking coffee in the early morning, or climbing the Matterhorn in their golden years. Well, as these scenes cut away, the actors portraying retirees were running through their different retirement plans. I nearly dropped dead when one said that he was thinking about going into teaching.

Wow. Where do I start on this one?

How insulting is this commercial to teachers? It implies, amongst other things, that teaching is a) something anyone can do, b) something one does as a past-time, like fishing and mountain climbing, and c) something one should not undertake before they have their finances in order—and they better not count on it to pay the bills. Okay, they’re kind of right on that last part, but it’s not feasible.

Maybe before you start making plans, Mr. Upper Five Figure Income, we should trade jobs for a week. I could likely take a year or two off after that paycheck and do some fly-fishing. And I promise, no matter what your job is, I won’t be nearly as scared as you should be when that first period bell rings. Unless people are piercing one another in the bathroom at your job, that is. Unless your company doesn’t fire employees for being incompetent, but are given chance after chance until social promotion occurs, as it is at my school. Unless, at your job, reports are submitted with analysis like, “He’s crazy because he did crazy stuff.” That came from my students’ poetry explications, which is what I was grading when the commercial came on, by the way.

My point is that I’m proud to be a teacher. My blood pumps for this job, and I’m not going to stand for parties to portray this job as a hobby for those who are accomplished.

Of course, if I ever do finish and sell that novel I’m writing, then I’m outtta here.

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