Friday, June 26, 2009

Past, Present and Future

I'm going through a change in life. Weird, since I just went through a major change 4 years ago, buy hey, that's what life is like, right?

Anyway, I'm writing this to let any readers I have left that I'm mothballing this blog for awhile. I do have good reasons, though, and I don't know that it will be forever. I just thought you might appreciate a heads up on my plans.

I've been doing software development for 17 years now. It's a good career, and it's served me well. However, it leaves me a little cold and frustrated these days. Nobody really cares about my work except me, and it won't leave any lasting impression in the world. In that respect, my part-time work fostering is far more meaningful than what I spend my days doing, often for 50 or more hours a week. If I'm going to be pulled away from my wonderful family for that big an ongoing chunk of my life, I'd like it to mean something big to somebody.

So I think soon I'll be going back to school, probably 100% online if I can manage it. I want to become a teacher at the high school level, or possibly junior high. I've spoken with a few people about it, and they all seem to immediately feel like I'd be a natural at it. I've done a lot of work in Boy Scouts and in fostering with this age group, and I have a special love for kids that are having problems of one sort or another. I really like it when I can legitimately feel like I've made a positive difference in someone's life. The best way I can see to accomplish this, given my skill set, is to get into special education.

One of the people I spoke with was a fellow foster parent who is also my wife's supervisor at a day treatment school (who is also a recent PhD in Psychology or somesuch) and who has hired special ed teachers for the school. She seems to think I could do this, and said she would consider hiring me after I get the proper certs and stuff. Of course, she takes 4-5 teenage girls at a time, so she's probably certifiably insane herself, but that's another story.

I figure I have at least 25 years left in my working life, possibly more the way things are going in our economic system. I can't spent that long doing what I do, or I'll end up a hollow shell of myself with not much to show for it except money. That's no way to live, and I won't do it.

So I have some serious academic challenges ahead of me, and I'm hoping to start sometime soon, whenever we can get the money saved for tuition and stuff. I'll continue to foster as we love it, it's needed here and it will be an excellent source of inspiration and fodder for class assignments. It will also keep me networked with the local people that I'll need to suck up to in order to have a better shot at getting a job when I'm done.

This isn't going to leave me much extra time for blogging and other outside pursuits, so I'm just going to let this blog go dormant the way it has been for a little while now. I may pick it up again later, once I've met the new challenges I've set for myself. My best guess at this point is that it will take me somewhere between 1-2 years to get myself positioned for a hire into my new field. At the end of that, we'll see. I may have professional ethical prohibitions against it at that point, but if I don't, I may well begin again.

Until then, I just want to thank all the great readers that have cared enough to leave comments and encouragement for me in this space. It's been a really exciting time and good experience to start up foster care and take care of these kids. I hope some people have found things here that have been useful in their own endeavors to help the kids that need help. Take care of yourselves until we meet again.

Or until I get mental constipation again and start writing. Heh.