Some people talk about the compulsion to write, or the compulsion to read. I definitely suffer from both of those (the latter more often than the former, regrettably) but my true addiction is giving books to other people. I give away my books, wheedle copies of other people’s books away from them for someone else, and have accounts on every swap site – all in the service of getting books for other people.
So that’s why I’ve been working in a library for almost 15 years.
Unfortunately the school district I work for is in a serious financial crunch, and it’s come to a point where my job in the library was the one in the crosshairs. I’m honestly – truly – surprised that my aide position has lasted as long as it has in the climate my district has found itself in. I was offered another position – within a classroom – but I don’t teach or tutor for a reason.
1. Lack of patience
2. Inability to understand your inability to understand
You can see, there’s a reason why I never went for an educator’s license. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I don’t have good qualities for a classroom setting. Another person would, I’m sure, serve the students better, and get more value out of the position themselves.
So… I’m now a full time writer.
It’s a little scary, a lot sad, and entirely freeing. I’ve been living on a school schedule since I was 5 years old. Cicadas singing has always made my stomach drop a little because it means summer is almost over, and since resigning last week I’ve been able to simply listen to them for the first time in my life, not use them as a natural clock for the death knell of my mid-afternoon naps.
School hasn’t started yet, and I’ve already been back in my office twice. Once because a student at band camp (who didn’t know the only reason I was in the building was to resign) asked me if we had a copy of a novel she needs for English class (and of course we do, and of course I went and got it for her because that’s who I am at my core), and the second time to grab a used book for a swap account I run on behalf of the library.
I think I’m going to end up back there once or twice a week as a volunteer (okay fine, probably twice) because it’s part of my identity to match people to books.
And also because I have a Keurig and a mini-fridge there and I don’t feel like moving them.