Endless Summer: My Very Last Education Post

Following a 20 or so year career with Albuquerque Public Schools and a hastily convened “starter retirement,” I’ve been dabbling at K-12 education at a South Valley charter school for the past three semesters.

The experience been the usual combination of fun, exhilaration, exasperation and plenty of 3:30 in the morning angst trying to figure out why “it” just isn’t working out. If you’ve ever worked in K-12 education, you know that “it” can be just about anything, because teaching, especially now, IS just about everything. A true gamut from gerunds to inspiring academic passions, back to semi-colons, over to freshly divorced parents both coming to a conference hate brimming in their eyes, and a big red bucket in the closet that the kids are supposed to pee in when the “active shooter” comes.

It’s a tough job.

Sure, it’s not the only tough job, but it’s the only tough job I’ve known the past 25 years, and I’ve decided it’s time to find out what else is out there. Unlike my “starter retirement,” I hold no illusions that I will retire “mutual fund commercial on TV” style, eternally playing golf while overlooking Monterrey Bay.

No, there’s work to be done, some of it paid, some of it not, some of it banging on the keyboard here at Better Burque. A hodgepodge of things, more than likely, but neither hodge nor podge will involve ever stepping on the campus of a K-12 educational facility again. Ever.

At least that’s the plan.

So, as I head into work today, I’ll leave you with a photo/scene that’s always stuck with me since I first saw it while bicycle touring the Sandhills in Western Nebraska, and a John Prine tune that has sustained me many, many times when the crazy world of K-12 education has been at its personally most fraught apex.

Happy professional trails, everybody.

Click here for a larger version of the picture
Between Ogallala and Arthur, Nebraska, 6.5.15

 

“That’s the Way That the World Goes Round,”
by John Prine, originally on “Bruised Orange” (1978)

 I know a man who’s got a lot to lose
A pretty nice fella, kinda confused
Got muscles in his head that’ve never been used
He thinks he owns half of this town
He goes out drinkin’ gets a big red nose
Beats his old lady with a rubber hose
Then he takes her out to dinner Buys her new clothes
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
You’re up one day, the next you’re down
It’s a half-an-inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
I was sittin’ in the bathtub just countin’ my toes
When the radiator broke, water all froze
I was stuck in the ice without my clothes
Naked as the eyes of a clown
I was cryin’ ice cubes, hopin’ I’d croak
When the sun came through the window, the ice all broke
I stood up and laughed, I thought it was a joke
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
You’re up one day, the next you’re down
It’s a half-an-inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
That’s the way that the world goes ’round
You’re up one day, the next you’re down
It’s a half-an-inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown
That’s the way that the world goes ’round

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