In Her Shell
Sunday, December 07, 2008
  There's Something In My Navel (An Ongoing Series*)
Reading about Coaster Punchman's paint job in his new house reminded me about a theory that I heard once and immediately adopted as my own: that the least stressful jobs are the ones that have the shortest time between work and result. Painting, for instance, or carpentry--you can labor, then look at a thing and say "I did that." Teaching isn't like that. Even if students do well on a writing assignment or do something cool with their lives, you can't know that it was your effort that impacted them. Sometimes, years after you have a kid in class, he might come back to visit and say "Thanks, you really helped me." If you are really lucky one of them will say it at the end of the school year. Not that teaching doesn't have its satisfactions, but the wait time between throwing the pebble in and hearing it plink is long. Ergo, stress.

Which is why I'm happy for CP and excited about tackling my own house soon. Working in the abstract is fun and all but it just encourages types like me to go further and further inside our own heads, where we impress ourselves with theories like this one, and words like ergo.

*Part One can be found here, another self-referential post, but I also refer to it here, somewhat less offensively. I even worried about this in my very first post.
Start teaching one thing, say, how to spell ergo, near instant satisfaction!
I love doing dishes, for exactly this reason. They are dirty, you was them, they are clean. It's very simple.

(my word verification is capowee)
Dale: Maybe, though it might limit my job options in this tough market.

Lu: Good point, and yet I hate doing dishes. But I do enjoy a good home cleaning every once in a while.
I'm still not done painting! But I have usually made it a point to tell teachers about how they have helped and/or influenced me. Karmic payback.
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