What do you want to be when you grow up?

Today is one of those Friday, sub days. I am covering for the elementary special education teacher. It is a fairly easy thing to do, but it keeps you busy enough not to be bored. Mostly my day is helping students stay focused and get them through anything they have not turned in yet this week. A little math, a few sentences, remind them what punctuation needs to go where. As a former high school teacher, I tend to be an asker rather than a teller. I typically ask them, “What should go there?” “Why did you put that number?” James and my daughters go crazy because I never give an answer, I always ask another question to lead them to the answer. They always tell me to quit treating them like they are students. Sorry, just my nature. How can I stop who I am just to tell what they should already know?

A few minutes ago was time for recess. The hallways here are fairly large, but nothing is really wide enough for four classes of lower elementary students digging in lockers, putting on coats and hats and gloves. They just seem to jumble all over the place. I was actually stuck standing still for a couple of minutes until I nearly shouted above them with an “Excuse Me, please!” I was afraid I would trip on someone or step on someone. Stepping on someone would make me feel really bad for them, but tripping on them in my frail old age could send me to the clinic or chiropractor, and I am not interested in that sort of thing right now. On my way back to the room, I stopped by to see the kindergarten teacher and asked her how it is that elementary teachers live through all of this, and still come to school each Monday with a smile on their face. Amazing.

Yesterday, I was able to fill in for a high school English teacher. Yipee, ya and hurrah! Well maybe. This is my subject matter, though not my major. I ended up in that particular field because I was able to pass a few tests because of my love of reading. Anyway yesterday was good, with the exception of the “all boys ninth grade” class. They were watching a movie that had a few “love” scenes. There was nothing shown except that the film sort of implied certain things were going to happen or had happened. Of course comments were made, and the note from the teacher was that it was to be expected and hinted that perhaps it should not be blown out of proportion because that is how boys are. So, OK, NOT in my presence. I also related that attitude to the young men.

My question is this: Actually my questions are: Why do we tolerate this behavior in the somewhat formative years? At what point do we teach proper social interactions? Why don’t we teach proper social interactions? Why don’t we explain that it is not appropriate to make crude sexual comments when an older woman is in the room? when the other gender is present? Heck, at what point do we say it is not appropriate to make crude sexual comments. (As in at all). Anyway, I would be using the “teachable moment” to explain problems that sort of behavior causes later in life.

Anyway, I have this theory from past experience that there is something about young boys that makes them think it is ok to “try out” these behaviors and comments on older female teachers because they are safe from any shut down or actually having to act as they might with a female of their own age. I am appalled by this behavior and have been very uncomfortable in several places because of it. I will also say that as a woman, I have not had the same treatment at all by men of my own age or peer group. I can honestly say that I have worked in some places where all the women were hit on, but I was left out. I really believe it was because of the “don’t hit on me” vibes that I send out. The problem is that immature adolescents cannot read that stuff. They just throw it out at random, or maybe they can read it, and don’t send it where it would be taken up. Don’t know, but do know that I am happy not to be bothered, but did want to bring it up and would welcome any comments you have on this issue.

If you haven’t figured by now, I am sort of going through some job possibilities as I am telling you about my week. Last night when James and I returned to Herreid from Linton, we had the honor of cleaning up one of the houses that my sisters and I own. We are not a hotel or a bed and breakfast, though I would like to get there someday. We have a campsite that we rent spaces out in the summer and have a couple of furnished houses that are used for short, long-term rentals. One was empty and needed some work.

I would love to turn that into a more intense business, but we are slowly working on the up grades. New windows at one place and additional bathrooms at the other and such will be needed before we can bump up. I keep dreaming of a web site and more advertising, but for now the occasional cleaning between those long rents will have to work. I keep teasing my oldest daughter that if I die and she has to take part ownership, it could make her a slum lord. She is not interested and doesn’t think it is funny. Neither do I, thus the reason to get the up grades in the next few years.

Now I will come to my latest occupation possibility. Some of you have come to read my blog based on one of my least used categories, the Layperson sermons. Here is a little background information for those who have not followed for so long. When I left South Dakota after high school to head way north to North Dakota and (then known as) Jamestown College, I was torn about majors, so I narrowed my three to two and double majored in Health, Physical Education and Recreation (thus my teaching degree) and second majored in Religion/Philosophy. The second part of the second major should be AKA: screw up your head degree.

I dropped my plans to be a Fine Arts major because I hated my drawing class where the first week was drawing a straight line. We went from drawing straight lines for four days in a row to needing a 15 drawing portfolio of still life’s of fruit and pop bottles and such. I had never done anything but landscapes in high school. I guess that was my fault, but this paragraph is another story altogether.

So, fast forward to age 55+, and my life is taking a turn or a loop or something, but as of late, I have been doing a few pulpit supply things. Also a couple of years ago, I took a moderator spot in our church association. It made me realize what drew me into this, I don’t want to say mind-set, but that is sort of what I mean. Draw is probably the best verb that I can use here. Now I am contemplating, considering, leaning towards and somewhat yearning to head in the direction that I likely should have gone right from the start. Oh how different it all would have been, and perhaps not for the best. Maybe all these other life lessons and challenges and experiences had to be worked through before this venture.

So why am I sharing any of this with you? Why am I asking what you want to be when you grow up? I am still looking. Each day I pray that God still has a purpose for my life. Each prayer I ask that I can be shown the door or the window that is open to me and that I be given the courage to walk, leap or enter through that opening to do what it is that I am being asked to do. I also ask that I have enough strength to do it, and that those closest to me have the courage to come along for the ride, sink or swim. Crazy metaphor to use when thinking about my husband since he can’t swim and thinking about my daughters since they were all life guards at some point.

Wow I look down and see a word count of 1448, and I wonder who in their right mind will get to the end of this rambling mess. Anyway, I ask that you give me a thought during your prayers. And, if you have the time, put down a comment about your occupation and if it has changed or always been the same. How many lives have you lived? I almost can’t count mine. I didn’t even mention the newspaper job, and now I am over 1500 words. Oh bless those of you who actually got to the end of this blog without quitting. Catch some of you later. I hope for some comments.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zooperson
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 02:22:17

    Got to the end, I think most of us wonder at some point if we are in the right pew so to speak. We evolve so what once was a good fit, doesn’t always remain so.

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  2. Kathy
    Oct 26, 2013 @ 17:23:09

    I read to the end! Fascinated with all of it, and wondering how many people actually figure out what they want to do when they grow up. Some people fall in love with their jobs; others just sort of fall into them; others just wait them out until retirement. Really happy that you are being able to contribute spiritually to your church. I believe that God is using us, but it sure is sometimes hard to figure it all out.

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  3. christinelaennec
    Oct 26, 2013 @ 13:37:53

    Oh gosh, I am still waiting to grow up. My “occupations” have included: classical music, language teacher of French, language student of Gaelic, university lecturer, writing tutor, adoptive parent (my hardest job), church elder, and now full-time carer for my daughter. And throughout all the years, knitting, and trying to grow spiritually. I often feel like a dilettante compared to my husband who, though we met in graduate school and initially followed the same path as colleagues, has continued along that path and built a very solid career with a few areas of expertise.
    But I know that God doesn’t look at us this way at all. I believe he isn’t interested in our worldly resume, but in how we have used our gifts to help others – which He alone knows all about. Have a look at a fab quote on Tina’s blog: http://thequiethome.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/who-we-really-are.html
    I will keep your searchings in my prayers, Lucinda. You’re not alone!

    P.S. When I read your post title, the answer that popped into my head was: “A grandmother”! 🙂

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    • lucindalines
      Oct 26, 2013 @ 22:36:41

      I must say being a grandmother has some of the greatest rewards of all the things I have ever been. Thank you so much for responding and many blessings to you Christine.

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  4. Glenda
    Oct 25, 2013 @ 19:42:24

    What’s in your heart? What do you really love to do? Where are your talents best used? You might be able to have more than one occupation at the same time, you know. I know you love to teach and preach, soooo, just do both. I’ll say a prayer that God opens that window that makes you happiest or, should I say, more content.

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