The interview that Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy went to a couple of weeks ago at the local American private school has delivered some positive results. Yesterday, I received a phone call asking me if I could come in and substitute teach for some biology (yea!) and physics (eek!) classes. (Let me just say that one the few C’s that I received in college was in physics…and “Physics for Poets” at that!)
While this opportunity does not represent full-time work, the part-time days on/days off schedule actually fits in quite well with my situation at the moment. (I can still schedule my doctors appointments and physical therapy sessions during the afternoon, and my language classes in the evenings.) Though my first steps are small, my goals remain large. They already asked if I would be interested in becoming a permanent math teacher in for the following academic year.
It’s interesting, the path that our lives takes at times.
A few years ago I would have never imagined that I would be teaching. Now, on top of teaching my home-schooled nephew three times a week, I will also be starting to teach these high school classes on a part-time basis. Teaching continues to become a much larger part of my life, and I am enjoying it.
I have a new found respect for my favorite (and most supportive) professor from graduate school. Ten years ago, he told me that I should become a professor. His recommendation at that time would have gone a long way towards placing me in an open faculty position in the architecture department at another university. I passed on the opportunity, deciding instead to wander into the new world of web software design and development. While I never regretted this decision, I always wondered what my life would have been like had I decided to teach. I need not ask myself this question any more.
I knew this phone call might be coming soon…when I interviewed a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I needed a few weeks before I would be able to respond to any requests. Little did I know that my availability would coincide with a major flare. When I got the call yesterday, I hesitated for just a second. Should I, or shouldn’t I? When they told me that my day would end shortly after midday, I accepted.
So today is a big day for me. It’s not so much about what this may or may not mean for my career which continues to span different areas (personally, I’ve never been a big fan of over-specialization). It’s more about my being able to return to work during a major flare, despite my disabilities. This means a lot to me.
The director of the school is fully aware that I live with rheumatoid arthritis, and we spoke of the impact that it has on my life. I applaud him for giving me this opportunity to be a part of his institution. I had hoped to have some news to share for World Arthritis Day, whose theme this year was “Let’s Work Together”. I am two days late, but I am happy to finally be able to share this good news.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!