Wednesday, October 5, 2011

50 years working and going strong

I made a casual comment to one of my sons today telling him that I had worked for 50 years. That means that I have been paid for doing some kind of job or another for all those years give or take a year or so when I stayed home with our first child. From the time I was a teenager, someone other than my parents paid me for a job. Every summer throughout my high school years, I took care of four kids while their mom worked. It was an all day job, and I was paid $35 a week. I worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. You can figure out how much an hour I made. Heck, I thought I was rich! In college, it was a $1.35 an hour working in the infirmary. The head nurse had been a missionary nurse in Africa, and she had all kinds of unorthodox ways to break a fever, none of which I will describe in this blog. Let's just say that my 19 year old virginal mind (yes, it's true) was horrified more times than once. I learned a whole lot about human anatomy. Lawsy!

I really wanted to be a star on Broadway or somewhere, but I just didn't have the drive or inclination to do all that it took to accomplish that goal. I became a teacher instead and have loved this profession. No, I have never gotten rich, but it doesn't matter. The thing is, you have a captive audience as a teacher, so you can sing, dance, spout poetry, act out Shakespeare. There's no limit to the performances! In between having children (I was pregnant from 1973 - 1983--four little darlings), I did leave teaching for a bit and sold art for Archie Campbell (yes, that Archie) in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and worked as a reporter/columnist/photographer for our local paper (now defunct).

For the past 20 years, I've worked with adults in our local college who need to get their GED. It has been a most rewarding job. I love these people. I even taught English as a Second Language for a time. An artist, I am not, but I did a lot of drawing on the white board. My first student was from China and she spoke Mandarin. I had no clue as to how to speak the language, but we somehow communicated. I came to love her and her husband. Wonderful people, indeed.

I'm also a writer. Writing is just in my blood. It's good for my soul.  Plus I direct and act in plays for our local Little Theater. I'm a pretty busy woman.

So, I worked for 50 years. I'm hoping to retire someday from my "real" job and write for the next 50 years. Well, let's be least for the next 30 years.


mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Impressive track record.

Coleen Brooks said...

Thanks, mybabyjohn/Delores. It's been quite a trip.