School, why are you going back to school? That is the question I have been answering for the last few months. I have a good job, make good money, and have worked for the same company for the last 11 plus years. Why would someone start all over again? When that question comes up, I remember a few lines from the movie “Passed Away” (1992) the main character Jack Warden, played by Bob Hoskins had been sharing an idea with his wife about making some life changing moves and was told by his wife “You can’t just pick up and change things in the middle of your life.
The character Jack Warden responded “When else would you make a change, you can’t do it at the beginning of your life you haven’t done anything yet, there’s nothing to change, and at the end it too late, the middle is the only time you can make a change. ” Change happens no matter what we do, so I ask myself if change in my life was happening to me or was I the driving force behind the change. I needed control and hoped school would help. Six months ago, I decided it was time to take control of my life, so I started looking at some online schools.
I was no longer enjoying the work I did, or my lot in life, something needed to change. School seemed to be the answer to taking some control back over my life and basically get back on track with some of the dreams I’d had. I had planned to go to school after retiring from the Army, but I did not retire from the Army. August 31 of 2009 would have been my retirement date and the start of the next plan I had for my life. I could see going back to school would put me back on track for achieving the goals I had set as a young man.
The plans I made when I was young have not all gone as I had hoped, but making the decision to return to school is the first step in getting back on track, and taking control of my life. Becoming a teacher was something I was very interested in, and was a big part of the crazy ideas I had. I was not a very good student, and trouble seemed to be my main focus. Looking back on school I don’t remember most of my teachers, but the one’s I do remember were great.
The teachers I enjoyed learning from all had a few things in common, they have all traveled a lot, and had not become teachers until they were out of school for many years, but the thing they could do was tell great stories about life. They made life sound romantic and exciting. When listening to them they seemed to just know something about life that helped put thoughts into words. I knew that was the type of teacher I wanted to be, and to do that I would need to see and do a lot more than other people.
Teaching requires more knowledge than I could learn of a book. They say that we are better educated than our parents’ generation. What they mean is that we go to school longer. They are not the same thing. ” (Douglas Yates). When I was young I had a lot of crazy ideas, or so I was told. I was going in to the Army to see the world, serve my country, gain knowledge, and experience. I took an atlas of the world and started setting my goals to travel and see everything I could. I loved the stories my dad, granddad, and my uncles would tell about all the places they had seen.
Everything about traveling excited me, and it was all I could think about. I started putting those crazy ideas into motion after high school. From the ages of 19 to 29 I had been to 37 countries and scene more places and had experienced more than I could have ever imagine as a young man. I may not complete all of those crazy goals I set, but I have had a lot of fun with my crazy ideas so far. To get the knowledge, and experience I thought I needed to teach I did look to the Army.
I can tell you that if you are looking for knowledge you can find it in the Army, but the experiences you get cannot be found anywhere else. The Army helped me see the world in a way that most travels never can. I did not just visit Germany, I lived there, and I work in bars and had the chance to become a part of a whole new world. Ever place the Army sent I became a part of the fabric of that place and that place became a part of me. The Army gave me more they knowledge, and experience, it open my mind to new ideas about life that helped me enjoy all that life has to offer.
What war is like seems to be the question everyone asks me about after here I’m a veteran, it’s hard to put into words, but over the last few years I’ve come up with a couple of things about war. First, when you are at war you become blissfully aware of how much you want to live. Second, you learn just what you are willing to do to stay alive. Knowledge and experience be careful what you wish for. Taking control of your like isn’t easy. For the last few years coaching has been the closest I’ve come to reaching my goal of becoming a teacher.
I some ways I was using coaching to fill my desire to work you kids and share my knowledge and experience I had gained. It worked for many years, but I feel that I have a lot more to teach and learn. Taking control is never easy, but I’ve since it work very well in my life and I know I’ll be thankful that I did it in the long run. With early adulthood behind me and the onset of middle-age I find myself starting to reflect more and more. I think I’m general happy with my life so far, but I haven’t taken the time to think about life after reaching my goal to become a teacher.
Now, that I’m on the last leg of my journey to get the knowledge and experience I’ve been looking for, I’m ready to set new goals. My plans have not moved along as I’d hoped, but I know setting goals when I was young helped me take control of my life a little. I don’t know what tomorrow will be like, but with a plan written out I’ll be able to get back on course no matter how lost I may be from time to time. Over the last eight or ten years I have learned that if you do not take control of your life, someone else will, and they will not have your best interest in mind.