Friday, November 04, 2011

Helping my fellow man

Hey, even though I'm a conservative, I have compassion for my fellow man.

Because of that, I'm looking to help Joe Therrien get a job by throwing out his story on my blog.

Who is Joe? Well let's read this.........

A few years ago, Joe Therrien, a graduate of the NYC Teaching Fellows program, was working as a full-time drama teacher at a public elementary school in New York City. Frustrated by huge class sizes, sparse resources and a disorganized bureaucracy, he set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion—puppetry. Three years and $35,000 in student loans later, he emerged with degree in hand, and because puppeteers aren’t exactly in high demand, he went looking for work at his old school. The intervening years had been brutal to the city’s school budgets—down about 14 percent on average since 2007. A virtual hiring freeze has been in place since 2009 in most subject areas, arts included, and spending on art supplies in elementary schools crashed by 73 percent between 2006 and 2009. So even though Joe’s old principal was excited to have him back, she just couldn’t afford to hire a new full-time teacher. Instead, he’s working at his old school as a full-time “substitute”; he writes his own curriculum, holds regular classes and does everything a normal teacher does. “But sub pay is about 50 percent of a full-time salaried position,” he says, “so I’m working for half as much as I did four years ago, before grad school, and I don’t have health insurance…. It’s the best-paying job I could find.”

Like a lot of the young protesters who have flocked to Occupy Wall Street, Joe had thought that hard work and education would bring, if not class mobility, at least a measure of security (indeed, a master’s degree can boost a New York City teacher’s salary by $10,000 or more).

Now, I know what you are thinking. How does a master's degree in puppetry increase his class mobility?

You may even be wondering if the guy did a cost/benefit analysis to see if a $35,000 investment in puppetry would yield a return greater than that?

But hey, the guy pursued his passion in life.... puppetry. Certainly, everyone has done that and it's always yielded results.

I only wish I could have pursued my dream. It really bummed me out to apply to school after school only to find out none of them had a program in Elvis Pressley. (For the record, Mama Gekko can attest that I told a first grade teacher that's who I wanted to be when I grew up).

I'm sure that if there were such a degree, I would have received a master's in the course of study and it would have paid off big bucks if it weren't for those greedy ass corporate Wall Street Bankers like Jon Corzine to hold me down.

Instead, I was forced to pursue my second greatest passion in life...... "accounting".

None the less, I want to help this guy out. Surely there is a coffee shop out there looking for a puppetry guy who can do a puppet skit while simultaneously squirting foam on a double crappccino.


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