Do you have to like your job?

Clearly we have reached the questioning phase of my writing year, the period of time in which I write no answers only weird questions about how others feel about art and things like that.

Anyway.

I have been sitting on this blog post for the last few days because, honestly, I was a little worried about posting it and having someone misinterpret what I meant by it. Then, while I was brushing my teeth, I realized that if I have to sensor myself and my thoughts then I don’t like my job and therefore it is pointless to just sit on my thoughts and let them fester. So here it is; do you have to like your job?

(Let me be really clear here. This is not a blog about whether or not I like my job. This is a blog about whether or not you have to like your job.)

Interview-Questions

About two weeks ago my boss asked me to step into her office to talk with her for a minute. When we got into her office she asked me, “do you like your job?” Honestly I had never actually thought about it in black and white terms like that. Do I like my job? Well I like the people I work with (especially my boss, she seems to really care about what she is doing and the people working under her). I also don’t hate coming into work every day and don’t really hate my life when I am there (I do hate getting up at six in the morning). So I answered yes then explained that it wasn’t necessarily what I want to do forever but that over all I liked my job (I don’t always communicate so well when I’m speaking so it might not have sounded quite so clear as that). For most people that would be the end of it but I am not most people so the question echoed in my ears for hours, days, after that.

Do I like my job? Every time I thought about it I said yes then immediately wondered “well, do I have to?” Do I have to like my job? Does anyone have to like their job in order to be happy in their job?  Do you have to like your job in order to be happy in your life?

I think most people would say yes. You spend a lot of time at work. If you are working full time that is at least forty hours of your week, probably more. That’s forty out of 168 hours in a week. Roughly 23% of your time. That is more time than you spend doing anything else (except maybe sleeping). More time than you spend with your family or friends and definitely more time than you spend doing anything else that you claim to love. Time being a precious commodity. If you are going to spend that much of your time doing something it really should be something that you actually do love.

But I’m going to say that you don’t have to like your job to live a happy life or even be good at your job (although, what is not to like about being good at something?).

In all honesty 23% actually isn’t that much at all. You still have 77% of your time available. More importantly than time I believe that what you do to earn money is not what defines you as a human being. Most people don’t do what they are passionate about or “follow their dream” for work. I think it is okay to do something outside of your passion to earn money, especially if you are doing what you are passionate about on the side.

I am a writer and a reader. I am passionate about the written world (I was going to change that back to word but then I decided I liked it as written world). Unfortunately I live in a world that simply refuses to hand out jobs to people in which they get to just sit in coffee shops and read or write all day. That is not what I get to do. I have bills to pay and a powerful need to eat, as Captain Mal Reynolds would say.

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The fact that I am working in a school does not take away from that passion. I spend a lot of my free time (most of my free time actually) doing just that, reading and writing. I refuse to sacrifice who I am and what I am passionate about for the sake of a job but I don’t have to. I shouldn’t have to.

So here is my answer, I don’t think you should have to like your job but you”re fortunate if you do. What you really need is to know what you are passionate about and find a way to do that even if you are working a job that you may or may not like and you need to know that what you are passionate about is more important that earning a paycheck. There will always be another crummy job (somewhere).

Are computers killing art?

I accept the irony that I, considering myself an artist, am asking this question while I sit in an all too familiar spot, a desk only holding a computer. I still must ask the question, are computers, and the technology that comes along with them, killing art?

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Yesterday I got home from work and all I wanted to do was watch Jurassic World even though I had already watched it twice this last week (I just love the female lead, she’s such a great character. … And I love dinosaurs.). Except, I didn’t have time to watch Jurassic World, I had plans for the evening. Instead I put in Jurassic Park and explored the special features. On it was a special featurette titled “the making of Jurassic Park.” Stephen Spielberg came on screen talking about story boarding Jurassic Park after reading the book and hiring many of the best animatronic creators in the business to create beautiful, full scale, dinosaurs, which we see in the film. There were dozens of shots of artists meticulously painting dinosaur’s skin and sculpting life-like creatures. Then, Spielberg started talking about CGI and we all know that Jurassic Park made incredible breakthroughs in CGI. Watching it I couldn’t help but feel like the decision to insert CGI halfway through the pre-production process was cheating the artists who had been working (I’m not saying that Computer Graphics don’t have their own element of artistry or that Jurassic Park is not still the greatest movie that I have ever seen that was just my emotion at the time.). Phil Tippet is even quoted in the featurette saying that stop-motion artists were extinct, which they are. Now, largely thanks to films like Jurassic Park and companies like Pixar, we live in an age where computer generation is relatively easy and we know how to insert it into live action films with ease, so much so that Disney (you remember Disney, the producer of the first feature length animated film ever) no longer produces 2D animated films in favor of computer generated films. 2D animators are losing their jobs to make space for computer graphics designers. Is this just a shift in art or is art in film slowly suffocating (again I would like to point out that this is not a value judgement of either form and I am writing this from a computer so, obviously, I see their worth).

It is not just the film industry in which I think the over-permeation of computers in our society that I wonder if art is dying.

Do you remember doodling? Gosh, I love to doodle. To hold a pencil in my hand and make something that might not be perfect but is soley mine. I don’t see a lot of that anymore. Doodling isn’t extinct but it may be on the endangered species list, just like handwriting. Instead of doodling on napkins while we wait at a coffee shop or engaging in conversation with strangers we pull out our phones and engage in knock-offs of frogger. Whether or not this stops us from creating art is not the question, the question is does it suffocate our artistic abilities. The memes and pictures we post on social media are increasingly cliche to the point where most of what people do is share funny things that other people have posted. I just don’t know how to feel about it.

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Guys, I don’t know how to feel about art and film but I don’t think having a device in my pocket capable of accessing all of the information in the world (I use is to look at pictures of cats and win arguments) is helping us create.

If you would be willing I would love for you to share your opinion in the comments. The question; Are computers killing art? Why or Why not? Please cite your your sources.

I would die in Jurassic Park … I mean World.

I promised dinosaurs in my next blog post and when I promise dinosaurs I deliver dinosaurs.

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Today is the DVD release of Jurassic World, which I have not purchased yet, so in honor of that I am going to write a blog post that I have been musing about for a while.

I would die in Jurassic Park (or World depending on which decade you would rather be from) and here’s why, THERE WILL NEVER BE ANYTHING COOLER THAN DINOSAURS! I really do believe this and if I was in a situation in which I got to see dinosaurs I would be there.I would be there so fast.

I would also die in Jurassic Park (I choose the 90’s) because I have absolutely no regard for rules. In Jurassic World there is a scene with the two kids where there is a hole in the fence and they just go through it. I WOULD DO THIS! It’s dinosaurs and it it is safe to be in this one part it must be safe in this other part too. Yep, I would do that but I also pet giraffes at the zoo.

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You know what, I’m okay with this. How many people can say that they were killed in Jurassic Park (please don’t answer that)?

I’m not a good person (A formal Apology)

Dave Barry once wrote a column all about synchronized swimming and how it was not a sport. Some weeks later he received a letter from a synchronized swimmer challenging him to try it (this was pre-internet so if you wanted to leave a comment you had to work moderately harder). After maybe half an hour in the pool he wrote a retraction of his column  because there are times when, even if you did not mean something in a mean spirited way, you hurt or offend someone and the only appropriate recourse is to apologize and this is something that all writers face.

It has come to my attention that my last blog post (5 things you will only learn as a paraeducator) was not taken well. Some people, and I do not know who, felt insulted by the things that I wrote. Please believe me when I say that was never my intent. I realize that what I do is not nearly the same as what teachers do and I hold teachers in the highest respect, What you do is HARD! Teaching is hard, time consuming, and requires so much patience, patience that I do not have. What I do… well it isn’t those things, for one I leave at 1:00 in the afternoon. So I apologize if I belittled your job or your work, I was merely trying to describe what I do in a quick and funny way.

That is the problem with me. I like to be funny. If I am not telling jokes and making people laugh I do not know who I am anymore and because I am sarcastic (mean sarcastic usually) I tend toward that direction. I make large sweeping statements without thinking. I know that I need to be more aware of what I put on the internet and that what I think is funny and harmless can be taken in a completely different way so, again, I am sorry.

I want you to know that I was not trying to belittle anyone’s intelligence or the way they run their classroom either. My statements about adults being just as lost as youth were directed at myself and the fact that I know no one has it all figured out, no matter what they look like on the outside. If a teacher wants to use technology in their classroom that is wonderful I was merely pointing out that I personally dislike technology. Anything else that I said was meant in fun.

This blog is meant to be fun. I mean for everything I write to be read with a grain of salt because I can get carried away with being sarcastic. I don’t really hate everything and everyone I just, sometimes, sound that way.

I hope you can find it n your heart to forgive me but if you cannot I understand and I believe that is totally fair. Please no that I am making corrections to the offending blog post. Thank you for your time and your readership.

5 Things You Will Only Learn Working as a Paraeducator

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5 Things you’ll only learn working as a paraeducator… or by reading this blog post, you know, if that’s easier.

So I have been working as a paraeducator for the last… while. For those who don’t know what that is I’ll explain. Being a paraeducator is like being a teacher except you don’t get paid as much or do nearly as much work… actually it is hardly like being a teacher at all.

Specifically what I do is go to various general ed classes and help the students who need a little extra time to understand what is going on. Right now I go to a lot of science classes and often fight the urge to tell the kids “don’t ask me I was an English major.” I also fight the urge to correct the teacher’s grammar and word use (but that’s because I want to correct everyone’s grammar.)

In my brief time as a para I have learned a couple of things. I think it is only right that I share them.

1) Most adults are no better at adulting than you are.

There are a lot of funny internet things written by my peers (the twenty-somethings) about how difficult it is to be an adult and how there is always a moment in their life where they think “I need an adult. Oh crap, I am an adult.” Let me tell you something kids, those adultier adults have no idea what they’re doing either. Sure they might have a little more experience and they might be better at faking their way through things but really, really, they are just making it up as they go.

Think back to when you were in elementary school, middle school, and high school, remember how put together and smart your teachers were? They weren’t. So many of them were still figuring out their lives while desperately trying to maintain their status as the alpha in the classroom.

Which brings me to item number 2.

2) Elementary children are basically packs of wolves.

I have spent too much time in the last few months watching groups of elementary students interact to believe that they function the same way in society that adults do. Children are feral beasts waiting for whoever they perceive as the alpha to show weakness. Weakness is not an option if you are the adult in the classroom, they will tear you apart. Once the teacher goes the whole class descends into anarchy and only the strong survive. It is horrifying.

3) All trends are stupid.

In recent weeks I have seen dozens of high school girls walking through the halls wearing cat ears and I’m just not sure why. These aren’t nerdy girls and these aren’t the kinds of cat ears that you wear with a Halloween costume. These are normal, often popular, girls wearing nice cat ears. What the what?

Cat ears is only the most weird of the trends that I have seen (but they are the most memorable). I just wish that I understood and hope that the trends I followed as a youth did not look as weird.

Personally, I hate trends and try to avoid anything that I consider trendy (which is why it is such a shame that rose-gold is so in right now because I love rose gold). I think that if you like something then you should wear it. I also think that if you don’t like something it would be stupid to wear it just because it is what is in.

4) Technology was created by the devil just to make life awful.

Cell Phones came strait out of hell. I was sitting in a study hall one day when a kid’s phone buzzed. He was very good and didn’t pull it out but he kept reaching for it and stopped being able to focus. All this kid could think about was the fact that someone had texted him and he needed to find out who (more on my opinions of cell phones in a future blog post at the end of an experiment I have been conducting), He kept reaching for the phone until I finally asked him if he would be able to focus better after he read the message.

Technology is the absolute worst. With the 90’s coming back in style I hope it means that cell phones and other devices temporarily go out.

5) If you say something and it turns out to be wrong you weren’t just mistaken, you are a liar.

That’s right, you have no idea how many kids have accused me of lying to them because I wasn’t clear on where they were supposed to go and directed them to the wrong spot for their assembly or whatever. Even in high school kids think so much in black and white that I couldn’t have possibly made a simple mistake I had to be lying to them. I just don’t say anything anymore, it’s easier that way.

Well, that’s five . I have more but I’ll save them for another time. Maybe next time I decide to brave the library.

Tune in at (time and date to be determined) for more adventures, next time involving dinosaurs.