Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our (metaphorical) patch of land

I'm taking a math class.

It's turning out to be-- erm-- ah-- easy. Too easy.

Yes, I DO hear your screams of frustration even through my computer screen.

This is the thing. In this modern day and age, one still needs an inheritance-- but not a patch of land, like the Ancient Israelites got, or even like my more recent ancestors-in-Manti got. These days, rather than land to make a living, one needs a profession. (Not my ideas for this part; they are from/through my brother-in-law, the esteemed Mr. Weathercolour, and his (also) esteemed friend, *Mr. Werner Woodworth, who works at the BYU business school.) So. In a broader societal context, this means that we give young people good chances for vocational/technical and/or academic training, and in particular contexts that means that particular young people are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities.

And what is this patch of land of which I spoke in the title of this post? Well. Mom has a PhD in Math. She works as a professional mathematician by day, but has often supplemented it by tutoring nights and weekends; at the moment she is tutoring the next-door-neighbor for free, because that is just the way she is. Mr. Weathercolour has his PhD in Physics but is teaching math, at the moment, at the university level. Ivy has a bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and got through her degree by tutoring math; and Klari has her bachelor's in Math, has been tutoring for years, and is looking to be a math teacher in the public schools. And the truly silly thing is (I am telling you really, really I am not boasting) that this math class of mine is easy not even because I have so many tutors available to me, but because it makes sense to me shortly after the teacher explains it (or after I read it in the book).

I do REALIZE that this is a prime piece of real estate on which my family has its flag planted. (We would like it to be more crowded, actually. We are, to a woman-- er, so to speak-- all math teachers of one variety or another.) But what I am saying is, I had wanted to try something different: my bachelor's is in Philosophy. I have a degree in English as a Second Language Teaching. I TRIED to find a job as an English teacher. But I am finding myself drawn back to the homeland, almost against my will, because math is something I can move forward in easily and I have become so incredibly discouraged that I have to do something that doesn't take that much effort.

OK, go ahead and be sick about it. I didn't ask for this ability-- not in this life, at least. It isn't exactly that I would trade it to you-- but-- at the moment, I'm feeling a bit George-Bailey-esque. And guilty at the same time, because the little Savings and Loan that I've inherited (from my perspective) looks a lot more like Citibank, to a lot of other people. Meaning, as an institution it is nice to the people who already have lots of their currency, and kind of mean to the ones who don't. I am already committed to sharing the wealth; but won't you come, bring your children, and become rich for yourselves so that I can go travel the world for a while?

*His real name

1 comment:

Day said...

You know, I never thought about this, but you and I are both in ESL and philosophy.

Also, Simone de Beauvoir did mathematics and philosophy for her first degree.

Also, nice post. :)