Four or so weeks ago I went to this mini conference thing for the local community college. It was a lunch with the business teachers and local schools and businesses. I was there as a representative for the prison I work at and spent most of the time shouting that people, not just the youth, need to be taught how to fill out an application properly (a waitress who writes "I waited on tables" does not actually tell me what she did) and have fuckin' manners on the phone (no, I am not here to take your abuse and I'm not going to fill out the application for you nor will I take the exam for you).
This year also included instructors from the computer science-ish type classes. This way we could also talk technology and the programs that student's will be using once they enter the industry of, hopefully, their choice. One of the instructors was a teacher I had nearly 15 years ago. I took three classes from her all based around graphic design. I did two classes on Adobe Illustrator and one for InDesign. (The second semester of InDesign was with a different teacher.)
I spoke with her before the lunch and the talk began. Mostly, we talked about her classes. She's still doing the Illustrator and InDesign, but she's also teaching Photoshop (which she taught way back when, but I wasn't interested in taking), an computer aided animation, not Flash, and 3D modeling in Maya. All of it excited me. We did get around to talking about me. She seemed... well... disappointed with where I was in my life.
I was, too.
Ever since that day, going to work and staying at work has been very hard for me to do.
I have spent much time looking at the classes she offers, but most are during the day now. Way back when she was only a part time teacher and her classes all took place in the evening. But how do I justify to my boss and then her boss, the Warden, missing six hours of work each week? Especially for classes that would do nothing for promotional purposes? How do I make those hours up without wanting to poke my eyes out? Should I use 90 hours (more than two work weeks worth of time) of vacation time over a semester to take a class? I don't know!
Not since I was little did I really know what I wanted to do as an adult. For a time, I thought I could be a professional story teller, or at least a semi-professional. That idea was squashed out of me in college. The closest I came to finding something that really interested me was the graphic design. I moved from Cowtown to Cowcity to continue design courses. It was just starting in Cowtown, but Cowcity had a real curriculum and was building a 3D modeling/animation curriculum at that time. Eventually, I didn't get enough hours working at a coffee shop and couldn't afford to live there anymore. (You can actually read about this time on this blog by clicking through 2004 and 2005 through September or October. Crazy.) I ended up back in Cowtown, where I didn't have to pay rent, and looked for a job that would actually pay me money and I wouldn't have to live with my parents or a roommate. That's how I ended up with the State in September 2005. In 3 1/2 months I will have finished my tenth year with the state. Fuck.
Most of the ten years have been okay. Just a job. Stuff I do for money. Unfortunately, I've never done a lot outside of the job stuff because of the depression thing. So, I just worked at work that was work that didn't make me more miserable. Work I didn't hate. Work I still don't hate. The problem is that I was reminded about something that I liked that could have lead somewhere, or not. Like I wrote, it's been hard to go to work and then stay there for the full day.
And along with all that it's been really easy to want to quit, give up, and go away.