This summer hasn’t gone the way I planned it.
I started working at Radical Eats, a vegan friendly restaurant & the definition of commodity fetishism, as a waiter. It was a good job but I wasn’t making as much as I used to make while waiting at other places. I wasn’t breaking even at the job and then we were told that the restaurant had fallen on hard times, so they let 3 of the waiters go, myself included.
So for 2 weeks I applied for almost 500 positions, online & in person. I eventually got a job as a front desk agent at a Marriott 5 minutes from where I live. It’s fantastic but it’s only part time so I’ll have to find another part time job on the side as well.
With this in mind, I had planned to read & write throughout the summer but bad finances have made reading difficult & writing damn near impossible. It gave me a perspective that I hadn’t experienced in a few years. It also made me realize how hard it is for students of all levels to focus on assignments & essays when they’re hungry. I’ll have to keep this in mind when I begin teaching in a few years.
I started reading Capital with 3 friends this summer but one of them left the group, so now it’s just 2 people. We are now on chapter 10 & over 300 pages deep. Idk how far I would’ve gotten without their enthusiasm and knowledge. Capital is a tough read when you’re worried about other things.
I lost a good friend this summer as well bc of some stupid shit that I wish had never happened. I hope that he & I will be able to reconnect at some point.
Another good friend of mine just moved to Sweden yesterday to work on his Masters degree. I’ll miss our 3 hour conversations about philosophy, history, economics, & current political issues. He is getting married to another friend of mine 10 months from now in his native Cyprus so I’m looking forward to going there for the first time & seeing that.
I’m looking forward to this semester & finishing my Associates degree though. At least I’ll have something to fall back on in case things get rough. Even though an Associates degree doesn’t guarantee anything… I’ve worked with plenty of people who were my equals that had Bachelor degrees…
This is why I’m considering the option of finding a teaching job elsewhere. I have to keep a global perspective about my future. I definitely want to teach community college students one day, that is my primary goal. I can’t see myself teaching at a University with, overwhelmingly, bourgeious students. I like the idea of teaching, overwhelmingly, working class students at community colleges.
I’m not against teaching K-12 students either, I would just prefer to teach at a higher level. If I teach K-12 students them I would like to teach Language arts or Social studies. I would do whatever my union needed of me and fight against high stakes testing & high stakes employment. I would also rally as many students as I could to build student unions. However, I would make sure that no teacher, including myself, played any role in the student union and I would make sure that we would give them our complete support. Whatever the students want, they shall have.
That is also my perspective on the role of Students United for Public Education (SUPE) in relation towards K-12 student unions. We are college students and while we face a few similar issues, we don’t face the exact same issues. Since we can only see things from our perspective, we should also make it a point to support any actions taken by K-12 student unions. I hope that the idea of National Student Union will take off soon and we can come together with respect to our local issues.
I learned about building a SUPE chapter the hard way last semester and learned a lot about organizing last semester. This semester’s focus will be more direct and won’t involve trying to build a chapter. I’ll be talking with students going into teaching at all 8 universities in the Houston area about high stakes testing, TFA, what students are facing, local issues in Houston & in Texas as well.
Idk what this semester holds for me but I hope that I can help shape things in some positive way. If you read this far then I appreciate it.