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.


At 1:02 PM , Blogger FosterAbba said...

I for one have definitely enjoyed your blog and I'm sorry to see you stop blogging.

I really identify with your "escape from I.T." My wife and I both work in the industry, and we want out, too. We've been freelancing for eight years, and we are noticing that the projects are getting less interesting, the deadlines are getting shorter, and the amount of money people are willing to pay is less.

Good luck in your escape from I.T. If you have time, I for one would like to see you write about it.

At 1:50 PM , Blogger Mama Drama Times Two said...

Blessings and Good Luck in your new career path. I'llmis your insights...

At 12:39 PM , Blogger Jenny said...

Best of luck to you! We are about to be foster licensed and my husband is making a career change as well. For the past two years, he has been getting his science pre-reqs in at a community college and will begin physical therapy school in September. He, too, wanted to do something that really helped others. Our prayers are with you. Please keep us in yours.

At 10:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of luck - it's a brave adventure, and I don't doubt you'll enjoy your new life much more deeply and fully. Bon voyage!

At 5:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck to you Dan, the very best of luck. I'm glad you are moving into teaching. Our young men are often growing up having never known their dad, or feel abandoned by them. In education, they are taught by mainly women from preschool age upwards and very often, our boys in particular, do not have enough positive contact with mentoring males. There are simply not enough men out there teaching. We all remember the teachers that made a difference in our lives, and I know you will make some huge difference in many young men's (and women's) lives.
Thank you for your blog, I want to foster someday but my husband is against it. I was hoping to use your experiences as a foster dad to help convince him! So I'll miss your posts but you are on to bigger and better things! Good luck! Adrienne


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