It was a Wednesday in the end of August this year at around 4 pm when I got the email. I was asked, “Would you like to teach 41 students computer technology?”
A day before, I received another rejection news from a company I really wanted to work at for months, and for the first time I cried at my horrible work desk feeling like gum stuck on the bottom of a shoe. There was no excuse for the rejection, but they asked me if I would like to work on a need basis because I am highly skilled. (It seems I am not highly skilled to receive a full time position though, and each one has their own opinion, but stop the sugar coating eh?) When I read that email I had many feelings inside me that ranged from anger to utter despair. What did I do to deserve all this? It is what I asked my self at the end.
Did I want to tell them off and burn all the bridges? Who am I kidden, what bridges? Nothing was built yet. I wanted to reply very quickly but I hesitated. I fidgeted in my chair and I thought of the proper words to reply. Without me realizing it, I wrote this: “Thank you for the opportunity.”
My hand clicked on the mouse and that was the end of that. I started to cry because for the first time I felt low. I felt rejected for being me and not for not having enough skills. I wanted to know what was wrong with me, but nothing crossed my mind but the curse of being in a very competitive profession.
A day later, I revisited my Master’s degree application and wanted to finish it once and for all. I had an essay and transcript to send and let the school decide my fate. Did I want to pay for each course, books, and the hassle of being a student again? I had no ulterior solution. I thought I was destined to be a student and just learn and earn more titles. How many titles can one earn? Are too many a recipe to pollute your life?
I thought more about it at work and the essay I have to write to complete everything. I worked away in my own corner of the world and checked job postings sporadicly to remove the focus of programming. Maybe something will come up my alley this time? Who was I kidden? My self only. No one wanted me. Or I believed until later in that afternoon.
I never taught before. I never engaged students in any activity before. 14 weeks of teaching? At the college level? What did I posses that made me eligible for such a position?
My excitement clouded me, and within a minute, not realizing what I was agreeing to other than leaving work twice a week for two hours, I said yes. I did not ask my boss. Why should I ask for permission? The story of my horrible bosses will not be told until I quit. It will be long and bitter.
The lady on the other end of the email was surprised by my quick reply that she stated it in her replied email. I was happy and excited. I received a contract later and I was surprised. Part-time Professor for a mandatory course? Was I reading this right?
I told my boss eventually, but at the 9th week of me leaving to teach, I was asked by my other boss, (seemed clueless at that point), where I was going. It had me question the integrity and lack of communication I have to endure every day.
On my first day of teaching, I wanted to throw up and I was sweating profusely. I didn’t know what to say. What did I put my self through? The students are looking at me. Mona say something!
Eventually I became comfortable, and it all became clear to me. I am the professor, and they have to do what I say and I grade them. Am I reading that correctly? What did I just write? I had to convince my self that I was talented enough and I held the power. It took me a few weeks of teaching to realize that I am older. I am wiser. I know what I am doing and I have to show I do.
My 14 weeks ended today. It was a profound experience. I was happy that it ended and changed my life. Maybe it changed it to the better. I can’t judge that solely, but I never regretted it at all. I agreed to go through with it, and I did the best I could possibly do. The students seemed to like me. I looked like I am in their age group, and I had no problem expressing my self. They became open as well and I treated them fairly.
That’s all I have to say about such an experience.