Shaw’s Supermarkets catalyzed my status as a hard-working American. Five years. Five. Long. Years. I went from bright eyed and bushy tailed, telling the supervisor on the first day as a bagger: “No really! I don’t even need a break! Do you want me to corral those carriages? Lick the floor clean?” to having lost faith in humanity in its entirety. Beaten down by angry women with non-doubling coupons. Jaded by the ability of miserable housewives to absolutely berate a 15 year old kid. I thought it was always going to be like that. I got to the point where, in public, I would become overly apologetic if I bumped into someone, or would readily accept and feel deserving of people’s unnecessary bullshit. I had been turned into a customer-serving peon slave.
Due to ever-changing school schedules in high school, college, and grad school, I have held a few jobs in my day. I’ve probably been on more interviews than your average 50 year old. Nothing has ever felt quite right. Nothing has fulfilled me more than it drained me.
I, Brett Murphy, have found my lifelong calling. That “if you like what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life.” The kind of work where I feel energized after I leave.
I went to grad school to be a community college professor. “Don’t you know, Brett, that there are Ph.Ds who can’t get jobs at community colleges?” they told me. Thanks to my parents, I’ve never allowed myself to be classified into trends. I don’t let that shit apply to me, because if you do, you’re one of the ones sitting at home unemployed talking about how bad the job market is when really you never applied to enough jobs in the first place! Exhale. Phew. Anyways. I knew that I would be able to land a college level instructor position, even if it was adjunct at first. I’m a hustler when it comes to securing my interests. And, I did. Before even receiving my M.A.
However, I didn’t want it anymore. I taught ESL in Boston for a while, and realized that I don’t like classroom situations. I love the one on one. An old professor of mine, and a mentor of mine at that, said to me “But what about being in that community. With like-minded individuals who appreciate the same things you do?”
Eh, I don’t really care. All I want to do is tutor kids one on one. I love it. I absolutely love it. I love the proverbial lightbulb that goes off when you show the student what he/she is doing wrong. I love sitting there watching a student think, and helping them to make better sentences. I love the people I meet, the families I help. I love essays and books. I find patience within my type A nutcase self to explain something to a student 10 million times if I have to, without getting irritated in the least. I love how funny some of these kids are, and how it’s the most privileged part of my day to go help them write. I love meeting with my medical resident student, and seeing how his patient write-ups are greatly improving. How he’s using the semicolon in perfect places. And how my 6th grader got the best grade in his class on one of his essays that he did all by himself with just a few little pushes.
As people always hear me say when I talk about my students: it’s fucking heartwarming.
Found it, people. I found it.