Ever since I got back from Senegal in July, I've been having an existential crisis. It started when I was there and doing research every day. Reading, writing, going around town, interviewing people, learning a new language, talking to colleagues about my research... it was so freaking cool. All I could think about was how much I wished I could do work like that every day.
When I started teaching again in the fall, I thought that maybe this feeling was just boredom. Then I felt riled up because of the kids behavior. If only they'd seen what I'd seen, read what I'd read, and expanded their minds! Maybe they would realize that what they are capable of and get it together.
I immediately tried to figure out how to make it happen. Then fate stepped in and I hooked up with Urban Youth for Africa, which is one of the best things that has happened in 2011 to help combat my conflicting feelings.
However, I've been feeling so discouraged. I feel like the public school system doesn't work for the kids who need it the most. I've seen so many kids come and go over the last five years. Sometimes the ones I get closest to get stuck in these downward spirals... I can't describe it. In my mind, education is supposed to empower kids to think for themselves, to cultivate a passion for something inside of them. Can I really keep working so hard every day to just keep fighting those downward spirals year after year after year? That is what is going to happen to me. I'll keep fighting, having small victories, but ultimately feeling discouraged. I won't give up, but fighting so hard is so tiring mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I started thinking about getting my doctorate because I liked the research part so much, but then I freaked out because the schools I like are in Chicago and Boston. We have a life here and that would mean a big change. A house change, a salary change, and a lifestyle change.
I just want to get together with a group of people and start a school! How?!
I'm going to go watch I Heart Huckabees to deal with my issues! I need some existential detectives to sort through my trash and help me figure out what I'm doing with my life.