I was minding my own business, as I am wont to do, watching a high school basketball game when I got the call the other night.
The voicemail was from a person in the administration at a local college. They wanted to talk to me about going to work for them as an Instructor in the Political Science department. That was Tuesday. As of Friday I was all papered up.
And Tuesday I will meet my first class. I will be teaching 3 classes of American National Government for freshmen. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Done by 1:30 in the afternoon. This is a good gig for somebody like me that is semi-retired and likes hanging around at Catholic High.
It's also a good gig because it's a good gig period.
And unlike my last foray into the grove of academe this time I have materials, a syllabus already made and somebody else's game plan. And it's a good one. I'm not figuring it out as I go unlike last time. All I have to do is prepare. Which I can do.
Why me? Not to discount the element of Random Laughing Chance entirely. But I happened to hit a lot of their marks. I'm a lawyer which fits their requirements for accreditation for this course. I was in the government for virtually my entire career. I have classroom experience which in my case means I am VIRTUS certified by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock and I have already passed a police background check.
Right place. Right time. That and the guy they approached in the first place didn't want to do it and recommended me.
I confess that while I am slightly nervous, I am mostly excited. I am slightly nervous because I have taught before. And I know that it is a lot harder to be a good teacher than anybody who has never done it knows. While I won't have the discipline issues in a college classroom (at least I hope I won't) that you have in a high school full of boys, you have to bring your A game everyday. Because the students deserve it. That and if you don't they will smell blood.
Also, I am cognizant of the responsibility that I have to pay close attention to the administrative aspects of my duties as well. A college transcript is a precious thing. Grades must be scrupulously rendered and recorded. For better or for worse. That was the part that I hated about my last gig. I loved teaching. I hated giving people bad grades even when they had them coming. But that's part of the job. It's just that the stakes are even higher now. I know that.
But let's get back to the fun part.
The ancient Chinese curse is that we might live during interesting times. And boy, are these interesting times. I can't think of a better time to teach Government 101. I am confronted with a veritable child's garden of interesting issues. The current shutdown, impeachment, whether a sitting President can be indicted, Federalism, the limit and extent of the power of the respective branches of the the Government. Not to mention the call by some fools for another Constitutional Convention. And that's just off the top of my head.
It has always been both a wonder for me and a concern to me just how little some people know about their own government. It seems for all the world that the average guy gets his knowledge about these matters from the sewer pipes of social media and cable TV to borrow from Bret Stephens of the New York Times.
Well now's my chance to put up or shut up. And I will start Tuesday morning by passing out copies of the Constitution of the United States of America and the Amendments thereto.
And away we will go.
Wish me luck.