Why I Should Work With Children

Going on two years of unemployment had me looking for an alternate job opportunity while I waited out this rut in education. I’d been scraping by with a little freelance proofreading and private tutoring, but I needed something a bit more stable so that I could reclaim my self-worth, as well as bring home some decent money to contribute to the life I’m building with Greg. I was beginning to seek out hourly filing jobs in our nearby hospital, when I was called to substitute for a week as a teacher in a child development center (CDC) summer program. One week turned into five weeks, and those weeks turned into landing me an interview for a permanent teaching position within the CDC during the school year. I aced the interview and was offered the position. While it’s only part-time, I figure, it’s better than no-time, and it has a high possibility of becoming a stepping stone to landing a full-time teaching position next Fall. Plus, I’m meant to work with kids; not standing in a back room filing charts.\r\n\r\nThe moment I knew I had to give up looking into menial part-time jobs and continue to pursue my quest to work in the education field, happened a week ago while subbing at the CDC. Working at a school located a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, we would frequently walk the kids to the beach for a free field trip.  I was doing caboose duty on one of the walks back from the beach. This happens to be one of the most tiring positions, as you have to continually encourage the tired, slower children to “use their quick feet” and “take big, dinosaur steps” in order to keep up with the rest of the group.\r\n\r\nWhen we were within sight of the school, I heard a soft shuffling behind me. I didn’t think much of it until I heard it again.  The thought of a person walking right behind us sent chills up and down my back, so I quickly turned around to face the perpetrator and dare him/her to try and steal one of our children. ‘Cause that’s totally what any person walking in a public neighborhood is planning to do.  In any case, when I turned around, no one was there. Instead, I noticed the sound came from dry leaves sliding across the sidewalk due to the gentle ocean breeze.\r\n\r\nThis caused my mind to rationally think, “What would I do if zombies were behind us?” The thought made me physically scared, and as I glanced behind me one more time to make sure there really weren’t zombies, I initially decided that I’d push past the kids and get to the safety of the school. I was at the end of the line with the most fatigued kids, so the zombies would be content with them, giving the larger group, and myself, a chance  to get inside the school and set up a barricade.\r\n\r\nHowever, as I calmed down, I realized I couldn’t do that. I took a good look at the tired kiddos around me, and just knew that I couldn’t let them die. I imagined myself grabbing the tiny 2nd grader, who was dragging his feet next to me, like a sack of potatoes and running him to safety, all the while shuffling the other kids along.  I recognized that I would rather sacrifice myself than let them get eaten.\r\n\r\nI’m not saying all this for praises, or to brag that I’m a saint.  I’m not.  It’s just that this was a moment of clarity for me.  I realized how sincerely I actually care for kids that are of no relation to myself. I love those innocent, albeit sometimes tiresome, little humans. Zombies scare the living crap out of me, and if I would allow myself to get caught by a zombie hoard just to save their little lives, then I need to be working with kids. If I were to be answering phones in an air-conditioned cubicle, who would save the children?

Zombie on My Mind…Still

With the return of The Walking Dead, I can’t help but constantly have zombie on my mind. I’ve already mused on my blog about what sort of zombie I’d become, yet still, the other day, I was thinking about possible scenarios that might play out in the case that I actually live through most of the zombie apocalypse.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nMe: If we live through the zombie apocalypse, and it reaches a point where we are completely surrounded with no way out, I think we should just turn ourselves into zombies.\r\n\r\nGreg: I like how this conversation started with, “If we live through the zombie apocalypse…”\r\n\r\nMe: I know I’ve told you before to just shoot me, but now I have a better plan.\r\n\r\nGreg: (smiles amusingly while getting up and walking into the kitchen)\r\n\r\nMe: (follows him into the kitchen) Let’s say our apartment is boarded up, with zombies trying to break in. We could just stick our arms out, get bitten, and wait to be zombified. That way, by the time they get in, they won’t be able to eat us because we’ll already have turned.\r\n\r\nGreg: Being you, if you stuck your arm out, it would just get torn off.\r\n\r\nMe: True. So maybe I can just stick a finger out…\r\n\r\nGreg: …to get bit off.\r\n\r\nMe: Or better yet! When their arms squeeze through one of the cracks in the boards, we can stick our arms just within their reach so that they can only scratch us! Then we just sit back, and wait to turn into zombies.\r\n\r\nGreg: Yeah, and be stuck in our apartment not eating brains.\r\n\r\nMe: Exactly! So when they come out with the cure, we’ll never have ingested humans.\r\n\r\nGreg: When the CDC finally busts into our apartment, they’ll find two zombies sitting down playing video games.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThat’s why I love him. He gets me.

Future Zombie

~Trigger warning for talking about mild self-harm. The meat of this entry is meant to be entertaining; I just want to be sensitive to others.~\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nConfession: When I get nervous or anxious, I eat myself. Literally. I pick at the skin around my nails and tear it away with my teeth. And when I’m trying to give the open wounds on my hands a chance to heal, I start gnawing on my bottom lip. For the most part, I don’t even realize that I’m doing it until I’ve drawn blood. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, and because of it, I have callused thumbs and a permanent crater on my bottom lip. I can’t seem to shake this anxiety trigger no matter how mindful I try to be. I’m starting to think that this gross habit of mine predisposes me to becoming a great zombie.\r\n\r\nGreg and I have had countless discussions about what would happen to us during the zombie apocalypse. Though I’ve instructed him to shoot me in the case of our apartment getting overrun, there’s a big small chance I’ll be bitten too quickly for him to help. The reality of it is that I would be eaten immediately (my hopes being that enough of me survived to become a walking dead). Greg would likely survive, and he may or may not come back to collect me and lock me up in a cage waiting for a cure.\r\n\r\nWe’ve thought about the different options for me as a zombie. Because of my passive personality and love for everything, it wouldn’t be so far fetched to see me sitting in someone’s front lawn eating daisies as opposed to the helpless child wandering the streets. Greg and I have laughed over the humorous prospect of me trying to convert my zombie friends to vegetarianism.\r\n\r\nHowever, with relation to my skin biting, it’s likely that I may find brains delicious. My worry is over the execution of retrieving said brains. I’m a pacifist by nature, and I just can’t see myself hunting down an innocent human, no matter how black my brain becomes. It’d probably be more likely that I would just be softly growling from a distance and gnashing my teeth together ever so lightly in the hopes that the living would approach me.\r\n\r\nOr, maybe I’ll just end up resorting to this:\r\n\r\n

Zombie Erica eating a chicken nugget.

Zombie Erica eating a chicken nugget.