I get bored pretty easily. It’s hard for me to sit through an entire movie anymore without having to check my phone or play a game at the same time. As a kid, I got so bored that I got prescribed pills to keep my boredom in check. I guess the wandering mind of an introspective 7-year old doesn’t match up with the American education system of the deep South, which was almost solely “sit and get” education at that time. But I needed more in my education than a pill that I had to take with my fries dipped in ranch and mixture of chocolate milk and mashed potatoes that I would create art out of on my lunch tray. I could never get down with the day in and day out routine of school. So naturally, I decided to be a teacher.
As I have started doing this podcast, I have always asked my guests about why they chose to become educators; and it seems more often than not it was because they didn’t benefit from the education given to them as a student and they wanted to make it more like how they wanted it to be when they were kids. It seems there are a lot of Ritalin riddled teachers currently in practice. No, this isn’t a post about the uselessness of medication on attention spans, I am simply making a point that many teachers tend to be restless by nature, which I think leads us to being open to the self-improvement and change that comes with 21st-century education.
I am always leaving the door open for change. I am always ready to ponder the future. As evidenced by my resume that looks for like the phone book of a one-stoplight town rather than a 29-year-oldsocial studies teacher, I have no problem making changes. That’s why I was open to doing this podcast. But something really grabbed me recently that I need to talk about.
This last weekend, my wife and I participated in the 2nd Annual Kabbazz classic; a bean bag tournament put on my friend Kevin Haar and his wife Ashley in an attempt to create a family tradition, and we have been adopted in that family. In this tournament of cornhole (it’s cornhole Kevin, not bean bags or bags. Bean bags are those things that we sat in during circle time in Kindergarten or were the centerpiece of our college dorm room because we were unable to make it all the way to our bed after a long night of geocaching and laser tag. Cornhole is a serious game. Bean Bags is a child’s game)…Rachael and I got split up and put on different teams. I beat her and her partner in the first game and then by me and my partner’s third game and Rachael’s second game, we had been eliminated- with Kevin and his brother winning the cup. Shenanigans!
After we were done playing I was telling another person about my podcast and the direction I want to take with it. I told him that I was getting paid for it, and through no fault of his own he made a comment that has stuck with me: “Everybody that I know that does podcasts does them as a passion project and doesn’t get paid for it.” Now, I was and am still not mad about the comments, but the phrase “Passion project” really stuck in the brain like an executioner had tried to behead me with a dull blade…(I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones lately).
A passion project? Am I not doing this because it is a passion? Am I just in this because I got bored and I needed something new to do and somebody would pay me for it? I like to think not. But the more I thought about it I realized it wasn’t that, it was the fact that I had felt a calling to be in broadcasting in one way or another my whole life and a door had finally opened for that to happen. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I wanted to have a voice in the media. I went to school to become a broadcaster but found another passion halfway through school in teaching. I never really sat the idea behind. I would continue to announce high school sporting events whenever I could. But my more income-stable passion took precedent. But now that I am getting paid, I don’t feel like I am just doing this for the money, I feel like the passion is there. I feel that finally, my two passions for education and broadcasting have combined to create a perfect synthesis of the two. I don’t think people often get to do that. People have multiple passions in their life and many people’s passions have nothing to do with their jobs, but I got lucky enough to find a career that allowed me to combine both. I am extremely grateful for that opportunity and want to show people that this is truly a “passion project” despite the income that I am receiving to do it.
This is more than a passion project. It is a career of project passion proportions that I want to make the most out of. I want to share the stories of educators everywhere. I want to be in schools, I want to hear the hearts and minds of the people because ultimately my passion is people. People are my passion and now I get a chance to tell their stories on every level, and I hope that you will join me in that passion.