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A Leap of Faith: Episode 1: Memoirs of a sad, mad, badass Teacher

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

So it's Women's History Month and everywhere you look, digital posts show Teacher appreciation during women's history month, the month that celebrates women's accomplishments and what it means to be "Woman" (which can manifest in so many ways). Most teachers are women, I believe nurses too, are women majority and essential workers, but rank in the lower half of the income pie for professionals. Why? Is it because they are women majority jobs?

What does it mean to be woman?

Today, March 14, is Women's Equal Pay Day. It symbolizes the day women would receive their year's pay or "how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year," since women must work longer hours to receive the same pay. However, when it comes to professional women, there is no such thing as one year but many.

A teacher should not be making less than $250,000 a year. But they don't even make it to $100k. Sad, right? Neither do nurses, although they make more than teachers. It's not just about glamour but being essential what matters what should count.

This month, teachers, parents, media outlets, everyone is talking about Women's struggle

for equality. Hurry and learn before the history is banned or burned like in Ray Bradbury's book, Fahrenheit 451. This award winning author shows us an apocalypse of the mind.

I recently caught the film Women Talking, based on a novel by Mirian Toews about a Mennonite community where women were made to believe that the brutal sexual abuse they reported was imagined, self-inflicted, or satanic curse instead of perpetrated by the clan's men.

Here' a story worth looking into based on facts, which hasn't been brought to the screen. Many women's stories are yet to be told and brought to screen.

My favorite women's history character, and a biopic I have been developing on my own, first as a ghostwriter and then as the copyright owner, is Sojourner Truth. The screenplay I wrote in 2016 was based on The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, the autobiographical account of a woman who found freedom, real freedom of the mind and soul, and became a prophetess and seer. But biopics are very challenging for screewriters.

Boy has this image of Sojourner Truth changed compared to the ones below! It's been photoshopped to show a different attitude, one that is more in-line with the times. However, I'm not sure Sojourner would agree with the polka dots. I will create a blog strictly for her biopic and novel adaptation before Women's History Month is over.

But today's Episode is my story. "A Leap of Faith," is a mini series about how a teacher's feud with the system set an example.

What is a leap of faith?

Is it making a sacrifice for something you want to achieve?

That's what Viola did when she made the decision to stop running and get on the world stage and shed the labels society had given her to wear. She took a leap of faith on her self.

It's all part of finding yourself!

It feels really good to walk out of a place that only seeks to keep you down!

I left the only job I had known for 25 years. Being a teacher was the only means of sustenance I had known for over 20 years. The men that had shown up in my life were actually looking for me to save them instead of helping me cope with the demands of being head of household with teenagers. I believed I was doing something wrong. And I was, but not exactly the way I thought.

First, I imagined God would bring the right person to me if I went to church and was faithful. Then at church I found hypocrisy and bad advice for my troubles with my teenage child. Never put your child on the street for you might lose them entirely. No matter what, make your child a bowl of homemade soup, sit and listen to them and be there as a rock for support without judging or expecting them to be and do what you say. But that's a topic for another episode.

Years later, when I was leading a class in TV production, the task was literally impossible. I had no planning period, no help during class time, so much equipment to be responsible for, and the administrator would take it out of the cage and not tell me. Plus a regular language arts class, actually, 3 of them, all in different levels and programs.

How was I supposed to do the job single handed? There was favoritism, too, only one or two children got to do special projects with the equipment per the vice Principal. That goes against my rules And kids that didn't "make it: in another elective, meaning the teacher didnt want them there, were sent to TV Production out of the blue. Besides all that was going on at school, the TV network just wanted to make their anchors popular, so they sent them to tell their story and teach the same thing every time: The 5 W's and the 4th power—the Press.

But the actual skill of shooting and editing was left entirely to me. With just a few kids you can do it but as the class grew, it really was not even near the ideal that had been painted to me when I agreed to the position. The editor/cinematographer from the network visited only twice in almost a whole year. Meanwhile, every week they sent another pretty girl all made up, to talk about the 5Ws over and over.

Additionally, there was one more class that I would have to be responsible for grading even though I did not teach it. There was no way to get out of it! And the key to the elevator was a mystery joke. Only those that had been grandfathered in had one. If you asked for one, it would have to wait, fill out a form online for the time and reason needed. Ridiculous Principal and Vice-Principal combo! I refused to be treated that way.

I was expected to become the 1000 hand goddess and do that many things at one time in one short hour, hour after hour, week after week. But I couldn't even find a better situation among peers. Teachers who frequented the teachers' lounge during lunch time would complain about the school principal, but come faculty meeting time no one spoke out. If anyone did, the faculty would not appreciate it because it would make them late to avoid traffic. Meanwhile, they counted the years, months, weeks, days, hours, to retirement.

A few teachers in that school were battling cancer or other diseases and mortgage foreclosures. The happiest person in the building was the Psychologist, she had a great time not having to make lesson plans for 4 different classes and do the grading after hours for lack of planning or grading time. All she did was fill out IEPs and schedule meetings. There were also some cases of sexually abused children in the middle school which were pretty serious. One girl was a prostitute already. That's the type of environment teachers face every day.

I had already lost my house to foreclosure, had no more than a rented room close to the job to avoid getting old in traffic, so when I got the offer to write as a ghostwriter for someone who wanted to make a biopic, I saw the heavens open and a voice in me said. "Let's go!"

So I packed the few personal belongings I had brought with me to the position and rolled my cart down the stairs (because the key was forbidden) and took the keys with me. Before leaving, I wrote a letter to the powers that be explaining why I was out of there just like that!

Many things happened after I finished that ghostwriting contract. I got a job at a charter school that didn't pay teachers their summer checks (those that had part of their pay saved for the summer). I was driving 120 miles a day and getting horrible neck pains throughout the day. I was always sore and in pain— ended up with a case of osteoarthritis and had both hips replaced. I realize that it was my doubt and lack of self assurance that made me ill.

Luckily, I am pain free today and have moved into my family's old home in the country where I work as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and blogger. I took care of my dad until he passed away last year and have been fixing up this old house. Regrets, I have a bunch, but leaving that school of thought, that school of overworked, under appreciated and overlooked needs unmet by infra human conditioning that teaching has become? Never.

This is the year of my comeback as a filmmaker. Taking flight with my projects and those of my ghostwriting assignments IS my deliverance!


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