Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dropping Albatross

Like Coleridge's proverbial Mariner in that well-known epic poem, I feel like a metaphorical albatross has been freed from around my neck in my decision to pack in teaching. Truth be told, my whole reasoning for not going the conventional teaching route at the start lay in my beliefs that the whole education racket wasn't real enough, constrained to the bindings of books and state programming agendas. I think back to G.B. Shaw and his statement "those who can do, those who can not teach". That isn't to slag off teachers, but rather to imply I'd rather deal with real world issues and get my hands dirty as opposed to plod away at the hypothetical. I also feel that I can contribute, perhaps provoking those done with formal education with new ideas, just as they reciprocate and open my eyes to new realities. I've never liked the snobbish attitude attached to education. I encounter that sometimes in my present vocation as a Correctional Officer in that some feel that I think I might be better because I have two degrees and have a smattering of five different languages. This is complete bollocks. How could one possibly compare a piece of paper gained from diligence through research up against someone who has done military service or been through a prison riot? Sadly, I believe that it is social materialism/classification that has lead us to hold such notions as truth. I mean really, who is a better authority on something like WWII: a PhD. or a guy with grade 8 who was there?

...but I am digressing here.

By deciding whether or not I wanted to teach, I can now focus on other things that need attention. There are some things at the prison where I work that I can now focus on to be a more effective Officer and to aid in the struggle Officers must face in regards to the system of which we are part. I also need to focus on my family, especially because of the strain shift work places upon us. I wrote in my New Year's resolution blog (just in time to ring in the year of the Dog I guess) that music would also be a focus for 2006, and I'd love to have sessions with folks interested in making music along the lines of The Pogues (Shane McGowan and the lads have lined up again recently and played a few shows FYI), The Mahones and The Tossers. Wouldn’t mind taking in more live shows, and have actually bought tix to see Bob Mould play here in town in March. Most of all, to continue to write discuss and read about all things. My torn hamstring is also about 75% healed, so trying to stay injury free and focus more on weight loss and Yoga are also priorities. Finally, I'd love to take a nice trip somewhere as both my wife and I have visited over 20 countries each and, sadly, have seemed to be remiss in our bohemian ways for many years now.

As for teaching, well, I’d be telling a fib if I were to deny my ambitions to become a neo-Indiana Jones of Corrections type, perhaps one day teaching a class on Corrections or a related subject… Just a wee thought in the back of my mind reserved or when I’m too old to play the young man’s game and will be more apt to prefer sitting back in my rocker with my pipe a 12 year old single malt and a good read… not that I don’t enjoy that now on occasion!

To conclude, I will quote the Butthole Surfers:

"Some will die in hot pursuit in fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit while sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life and drink it like a fountain
That's been pouring like an avalanche, coming down the mountain

Art: from "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" illustrated by Gustav Dore


  • At 8:15 p.m. , Blogger firedawg said...

    Tough choice, but there will be satisfaction in either one. Go for it. Hopefully you will get the opportunity to travel. Where do you like to go? Have a cousin who was in the Alta parole system I believe at your institution. His stories of the Ontario system used to drive me nuts. Too political and it sounded like a zoo. Can't understand why you can't be given Personal Protection Equipment like regular folk on the job. Society obviously has more rights or else they wouldn't be in prison, especially max. Every time I say "the justice system" I try and catch myself and say the legal system as any similarity to justice is absurd. Do you have the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic collection? You seem to be a Hobbesian fan? Take care and heal Achilles.

  • At 8:34 a.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    Where would I like to go? That's a tough one to narrow down...Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Ghana - but all those would be more than a one week jaunt. More locally, there are lots of places in the US I'd like to visit. Then there's all the places that I've been to which I'd love to return....

    I don't agree that society has more rights than inmates. For example, if you can't feed your family there is no concrete obligation for the state to feed them. Just as your house burns down and you don't have insurance, the government is not obliged to provide you with shelter, fresh clothing, etc. In prison, if an inmate sets his cell on fire, the crown pays for any damages to his stero and TV resulting from the fire being extinguished, mops out the cell and then gives the inmate a fresh dry mattress, clothing and bedding. All inmates suffer is the removal of their mobility rights.

    I've read a little Calvin and Hobbes, but am more o a Far Side fan...

  • At 2:51 p.m. , Blogger Jetting Through Life said...

    Ha, love that song!!!


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