I am going to apply for a job that, on paper, I am not at all qualified for.
In experience, I am totally qualified – I could do a rockin’ job, but a piece of paper that I don’t have might actually get in my way.
High School English teacher.
No teaching certificate.
Too bad I didn’t realize that it was my dream before I was staring at 51 and 30 years out of college.
Something else that might cause a road block:
Everything about my college experience.
I went to a fantastic and highly competitive liberal arts college that I could never get into now if I tried – I just barely got in by the skin of my teeth back then when I was fresh out of prep school.
But, this school had a slightly different approach to…everything.
We had no course requirements. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, we were required to take a General Education class our freshman year and then of course whatever courses to complete a major. Other than that – it was pretty much a free-for-all.
I spent a lot of time in Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, Art, and whatever else sounded intriguing. I took classes based on who was teaching them rather than the subject area because my school had phenomenal professors.
I took one English class and that was because the professor was legendary. Sixteenth Century Religious Poetry. Probably won’t be touching on any of this in a high school class.
Actually, I wouldn’t really want to anyway. The only redeeming bit about that class was Professor Harvey.
I enrolled in a philosophy class because the professor was best friends with Mr. Rogers. We sat under a tree each day and read Charlotte’s Web.
No math, no science, no business.
Then there is the issue of grades. When I first started the we had a “slash” system. What this meant was that the only grades a student could receive were A, B, or C (no + or -). If you didn’t do so well in a certain class, you could slash it which meant that it just didn’t show up on your transcript. You didn’t get credit for taking it, but you also didn’t get a failing grade.
Which leads to the next hurdle which is that we didn’t do credit hours. I’m still a bit baffled when people talk about needing this many or that many credits.
Honestly I have no fucking clue what a credit hour is and how many a person receives for one class.
So this application asks for Semester Hours. Is that the same as credit hours? The rub here is that we weren’t on a semester schedule.
I just called my college about obtaining a copy of my transcript. The last time I tried I received a one-pager that declared that I had graduated in 1987 with a BA in Art History.
That was it.
So I asked today about actually getting my grades included (which may or may not help my case since I wasn’t a stellar, studious, attendee.)
The woman in the Registrar’s office said, “Well, we didn’t calculate GPA’s back then.”
My mother said that when my father wrote the checks for my tuition he would ponder aloud, “What exactly am I paying for?”
Maybe this will all work in my favor; I don’t have some haunting record that proves that I spent more time touring with the Dead than going to class and studying for exams.
And I don’t have any shitty grades in English classes since I didn’t take any.
So the fact that I am a literary nerd and successful writer stems directly from my passions and god-given talents, instead of education, so isn’t that a plus?
PS: There was a ban on Commencement speakers with any political bent due to the uncomfortable situation one year when the majority of students showed up sporting coat hangers on their heads to listen to a Conservative, anti-abortion orator. So, no shit, in 1986, we got Mr Rogers – piano and all. He began his speech with, “Thank you for welcoming me to your neighborhood.” How great is that?