Posts Tagged ‘profession’
Does being in some minority pressure people out their profession? In an office of whites, would lone Hispanic gentlemen feel out of place? Popular opinion would affirm that he would. Given my work environment, however, I feel as if I should have the similar reaction, even though I don’t.
Nearly every other active photographer in our office is a little different than I, although to say that is a little backwards — I’m the newcomer, here. To be sure, I’m a little different than most of the active photographers in our office.
Simply put, I’m a dude. Most everyone else isn’t.
Though my company is an equal opportunity employer, and ignoring for a moment that the office staff is pretty evenly split, the bulk of our field photogs are female. Of about 25 photographers, there were six guys when I started. Four of us were hired just this year, and one of us had the initiative to get himself fired before training ended.
Although there was nothing improper about his firing — he didn’t think twice about calling in sick whenever he didn’t feel like showing up, and this during training — I liked him well enough, chronic absence and all. Had he showed up, he might have been an ideal employee. Probably not, though.
Among the photographers, now, there are five guys. On one of our so-far rare reprieves, I asked why there were so many more gals driving to schools every day. Basically, she said:
Guys just don’t tend to last that long. Maybe they just say, “I have enough girl problems, already.”
After a pause and a bit of a chuckle, she noted:
Those guys who do stick usually don’t have girl problems.
Even as an adult heterosexual white male, I’m perfectly comfortable with the mostly female staff I see every day — my year or two in a sorority steels my nerves in that regard — and I can’t help but be amused.
In America, adult heterosexual white males are supposed to crowd out everyone else in from the adult heterosexual while male professions in construction, politics, journalism, high finance and the military. After a year in education and the beginning of what may be many years in school photography, I’ve managed to choose two fields where adult heterosexual white males are in the minority.
I’m either open minded or I really want to seem that way.
I rushed through college. With all those classes flying by, there wasn’t much time to breathe — and yet there were a few things I learned.
My very first collegiate pet peeve: “It’s because I’m so passionate.”
I heard this all the time, often for the silliest of reasons. Dislike a political rival? Tell everyone who will listen that you’re better, because you’re passionate. Blow up in unrighteous anger? Defend yourself by proclaiming your passion. Desperate for attention? Scream out to the world how passionate you really are.
Professed passion smokescreens deep faults, and helps keep you in denial. In this sense, passion is a lie.
Passion itself isn’t a lie, because deep, unfailing devotion has its place, as does zealotry. When the cause is just, and when the tangible benefits are few, passion fits in. Passion, however, is no excuse for a lack of self-control.
Maybe that’s because I really don’t know passion as much as everyone else says they do; I don’t feel that strongly about anything, especially what profession I want, even now. I’m 21 years old — I don’t know what I want to do with my life, and I certainly won’t pretend to have some deep, unending passion for anything I don’t love or hate absolutely.
When I graduated college, I thought my years of hearing passion in the form of an excuse were over. Then I started the credential program, and got a peek at the profession of teaching.
On the very first day, in an context I was familiar with.
“It’s because I’m so passionate.”
I remain skeptical. In college, I learned this passion is a lie.
There’s about 10 minutes in every morning that I hate being a teacher.
These five minutes start when my alarm clock tells me it’s 6 a.m. I know it’s lying, because I set my alarm clock 20 minutes fast. I doubt I’d really even care about my alarm clock lying like this, were it not also telling me that it’s time to get up. In these 10 minutes, I hate my alarm clock.
I flop out of bed, dragging my carcass across the floor, towards my buzzing, buzzing alarm clock. I hit it once, twice, three times before it finally shuts up. In the brief silence, I rue the day I decided I wanted to become a teacher.
I stumble into the shower stall, the shower head coiled and ready to strike with a blast of cold water. I try to block it. I mostly fail. After this, the rest of the morning is one tired, hazy blur.
Brief breakfast; brief blog; brief drive to school, to the tune of “Holiday in Cambodia.” My trepidation and anxiety haven’t melted away just yet. Early mornings: the backache that only slowly fades away.
None of this matters the moment I step foot on school grounds. It’s game time, and I like this game. I like this game a lot. By the time I see my students gathered before me, and assorted into groups of distracted, interested and I-really-don’t-wanna-be-here, I know I no longer fit into that last group.
I know I love this job. I know I will endure early morning alarm clocks, cold morning showers for this job. I hope this feeling lasts.