Monday, July 20, 2015

When One Door Closes...



Alexander Graham Bell has been famously quoted as saying, "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
Several people have related this quote to me over the past few months since losing my teaching job as words of encouragement. I've taken it to heart and I can see the door that is open for me, but I need your help to enter that door, and this is not an easy thing for me to do. I never thought I would be jobless at this stage in my life. I've had a distinguished teaching career, and I have worked incredibly hard for everything that I've achieved. Yet, back in May, I saw the rug pulled out from under me. I'm now facing a hallway with many doors, and while those doors may scare me, I will persevere.
I've tried to open several of the doors and some remain shut, as I send out application after application, so far I have only received rejections. I am either over qualified or under qualified, but there is nothing in the middle. I have a possible job for the fall. It's substitute teaching, and though I've done it before, I'd rather not do it again, but if no other opportunities present themselves, I will become a substitute teacher again. It might be bearable, if I knew I was doing something that would help my career.
When I began college, I was a history major, and I loved educating people and spreading my love for history. I received my BA and MA in history as well as pursued further graduate studies in history (for a variety of reason, some beyond my control, I was unable to finish my doctorate in history). For the past five years I taught world and American history, government, economics, civics, geography, and English to high school and middle school students. Recently, I lost my job to unforeseen circumstances, which has made me reevaluate my life goals. I want to educate people in innovative ways, and with your help, I can achieve this goal in two ways.
First, I love to teach, but I want to take that avenue and change its direction to make it more accessible. Therefore, I would like to focus on museums and the educational opportunities they can provide, but to do that I need to gain some educational credits in museum studies. I am currently volunteering at a museum and archive to gain experience, but the key word there is volunteering. I am doing this at my own expense while currently unemployed, but I hope it shows that I am willing to do what needs to be done to better my situation. If I am unable to secure a community college job or a paying job at a museum, then I would like to pursue a Certificate in Museum Studies. This would add the educational background I need to my studies in history, which have included courses in public history. Because certificate programs are not degree programs, they are ineligible for federal financial aid and the expenses would come out of my pocket. With your help (and if you can't help but know someone who can), I will not have to cash in my life insurance policy to pay the expense of the program.
Second, many people have encouraged me to become a writer, not just of history but of fiction. I think fiction is a great way to get history to the mass public, as long as a book is well researched. Fiction writing can help change the world, but I need financial support to make that happen. I have already written a good portion of a first draft to a novel, and I have received positive feedback, but it still needs more polishing. I want to get my writing career off the ground, but I need financial support to make that happen, which means I need help covering the expenses associated with printing copies, mailing manuscripts to publishers, and editing. I have a few book ideas, and I want this to become an extra career, or if by some miracle, I'm better at it than I think, a primary career.
I am asking that you help me make this world a better educated world. Allow me to pursue a museum studies program and to explore the world of fiction writing. Your help would be tremendously appreciated. I do not ask this lightly. Some of you have donated through this blog in the past, and I can't thank you enough. It has always come when it was most needed. I don't know how you knew that, but each of you is truly amazing.
Also, as you may know, GoFundMe is not anonymous for the person asking for funding. GoFundMe has you use your real name and a real picture of you. This scares me the most, because I've always been anonymous with this blog. By giving a link to my GoFundMe site, I am no longer anonymous; however, with no job and it's doubtful my family would find this blog, I have nothing much to lose at this point. So I'm asking for your help. Please don't make me lose my anonymity in vain. I know not everyone can contribute, and any amount of your generosity would be greatly appreciated.
http://www.gofundme.com/z837bk

4 comments:

Dean said...

Glad to be the first to add a bit to your pot. Maybe you should think about writing a weekly "local color" story ion your local paper. After a while, you may be able to hit up some of the little old ladies (not as in "The Producers")for a donation. Several of my friends have published books and they have to shamelessly self-promote. No need to mention this blog if you don't want to. Also, there is no shame in being gay. Don't hide your light under a bushel, get out and self-promote.

Dean

Rachel said...

If you don't want the gofundme link to be associated with this blog, I'd recommend masking the actual gofundme URL in this post (somehow hehe, I don't know how it can be done).

Good luck Joe, hopefully you'll gather enough money and start this new journey.

Btw, any chance we'll get a snippet of any fiction you've written? I'm very excited and intrigued to read your novel!

Jay M. said...

First of the month...gotta wait for payday, you know how us educational employees get paid! Once a month!

Peace <3
Jay

(God, you're still handsome as can be!)

Joe said...

Jay, I know what you mean. I have one last paycheck coming my way and then hopefully I find a job or my unemployment kicks in, as long as the state of Alabama doesn't decide to totally screw me over.

And thank you for the compliment. That is one of the best pictures I've ever had taken, but here's a secret, it's not a very recent picture but I wanted to put my best face forward.