Sevenish years ago, I moved to Richmond to join the love of my life and his doggies. Since that time, I have worked at least two jobs. Sometimes I worked three. (None of the jobs I'm counting would be writing. That's been a hobby.)
As of 8:30 p.m., I work only one.
(This is a lie, actually. That will occur after I grade these last two essays and submit my final, final grades. But I feel done, and that's what matters.)
It's true that I probably can't afford to quit this job. I don't care. I will eat macaroni and cheese for the rest of my life.
I'll miss being a "professor." I'll miss the sometimes crazy essays, like the infamous "Men and Woman" (featuring a whopping three periods on a page of text) or "Does Age Really Matters," which introduced me to the concept of "criminal crimes."
It sounds like fun, you might be thinking. Why would you quit?
Tonight, I sat with 2/5 of my class, who were still working on the final drafts of their essays (due last week, technically). I showed a woman how to make a table for her essay, explained to another student how to open a recently closed document in Microsoft Word.
A student I taught some time last year stopped by the classroom. She said I had once told her she was smart, and I knew she could be successful. I guess no one had told her this before, because, whenever something in college has been difficult for her, she stops and tells herself, "Professor G said I'm smart. I can do this."
Often as teachers, we don't know the impact we make on others. I'm glad to leave this job knowing that I made a difference to someone.
Most importantly, though: I'm really glad to leave this job.