Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How Precious Life Is

As I'm finishing up my last week at work, I'm grateful for the fellow employees that I interact with on a daily basis. I'm grateful for the hard work that they do in producing screen printed/embroidery garments and making my separations look good. For the most part I work with about 10 people in the "office," but I interact with around 40 people a day. They range from embroiderers, film cutters, screen retensioners, screen burners, printers, shippers, catchers, off loaders, and many more. One of the neatest things about screen printing is that every step along the process is dependent on the others to do their job.  The accountability factor is definitely there. If you don't do your job, the rest of the process goes down the drain. My job as a separator is key to getting things right the first time, so we don't have to go back and redo some things after it's already been set up on press. It feels like a team. Even though this is my last week there I have learned not only about work, but more than anything I learned about life.
One thing I learned is that there is more important things than work. I like to work. I like my job. I like the people I work with. I like my wife better though and spending time with her is more important than work. With my job, I can pretty much leave work at work. When I come home, I don't have to think about it. I typically leave home at around 7:45 and I get home around 6:30. They can be long days. Some days are longer than that, others are tad bit shorter, but I like being at home with my wife more.
I learned about trust. Gary, the production manager, put a lot of trust in me to carry the work load. I always felt like he had my back, even if something wasn't perfect. We would work towards solutions instead of complaining about it. I learned a lot from him as I would always be asking him a lot of questions.
I learned how to talk with people. I know this sounds weird, but I had to meet a lot of people and interact with a lot of people. I learned how to have meaningful conversations with them.
I learned that everyone has dreams. Some people never get an opportunity to reach them. Some people get lucky and get an opportunity to follow and reach them. I can't believe the support I received in return from my coworkers when I told them I was going to be teaching. Most of them were so incredibly happy for me. Some shared with me the their dream and what they wanted to do with their life. I'm not sure how everyone working there ended up there, but I don't think most of them started on their journey when they were in high school and said "I want to burn screens when I grow up." We all ended up their through one way or another. Some of them will probably be there for a long time. Is this bad? Of course not. Like I said earlier, work is work. I like my family more.  When one of my coworkers said that an English teacher he had in high school told him he should become a teacher and that was something he always wanted to do, but he never pursued it, I felt horrible for him. Here I am, getting an opportunity to teach and do something that I want to do, while he is working in an 120 degree heat index room mixing up some ink. He says he wants to pursue education. I told him he should at least try. Get your prereqs done. Do it. Today is always the right time to follow a dream.
All this kind of needs to be summed up as Make An Impact, Make a Difference, or Add Value to Others.
The title of this post is "How Precious Life Is." I haven't talked much about it, but I'm circling back. Another coworker told me this week his best friend had passed away the night before. His exact words was "He's been my best friend since we were in diapers." Man, I felt horrible for him. He was really down, just as anyone would be who lost his best friend. So, this is how I got on this preciousness of life topic. The guy wasn't very old. He was in his low 20s. How precious is life and time?! What type of things should we pass on to others? How quickly can someone's life pass by! We're not on this earth a very long time, but we're here long enough to make a difference in the lives of others. I hope I can do that.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Job

I recently have been offered and accepted a position teaching 6th grade! I'm totally pumped and excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to working with some great teachers and individuals. I feel blessed beyond measure for the work that God is doing in my wife and I's lives right now. During the time between finishing up my maternity leave and accepting this new offer I was blessed with a job that could pay our bills. I worked as a screen print production artist at a large contract printer. I have background in design and screen printing that I gained from working at a screen print and awards business while I was going to school to become a teacher.  I need to start planning for the upcoming year. I need to see my room and start getting some stuff for it. I need to start thinking about materials I will need. Some of these questions will be answered in the coming week because we are getting together as a team with the principal and going over teaching responsibilities for the upcoming year. I'm intrigued about my teaching partner and getting to meet him.  I'm looking forward to this year and finally settling down into my own classroom.

Among other news. My wife and I are also photographers who focus mostly on weddings and senior portraits and last night we had the opportunity to shoot one of my college classmate's wedding and got to see a lot of my old classmates and friends. I can't believe it has been 4 years since we all met and 2 years since we graduated together. Some of us have not went into education full-time and some of us have not, blazing their own trails. The job market for teachers in Indiana is not too hot currently and I feel incredibly lucky to have received an offer.

I'm looking forward to this year.