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Teaching, gambling and criticism27 May 2010
You've heard this criticism before in newspapers, magazines, books, on television and radio. It goes like this:
"You teachers have it easy. You work ten months out of the year. Your work day ends around 3 o'clock. You have summers off; Christmas, winter vacation, Easter vacation, all the national holidays. And you want to make more money? And you have tenure and can't get fired? So how come the students aren't doing better? Huh? Huh?"
When I was a teacher, my teacher friends would get all red-faced and would try to explain all the work that goes into teaching, how students were more a result of their parents and on it would go. The teachers were defensive. That would bring on even more criticism.
Not me. Here was my response: "You're right. We do have it easy; really easy. I can't believe they pay me for working less than half a year. That's right I actually work less than half a year because of all the vacations and I still get a full year's pay. I get paid whether my students do well or poorly. You can't beat that. With all the time off I can read, travel, just lounge around. The other teachers are all relaxed and friendly. They all know they live the great life.
"Now, look at you, my friend. You have to go into the City [i.e., New York City] dealing with all the other commuters on the trains. The weather is too cold or too hot or too muggy; people are nasty to you; shoving, complaining. Some of them smell awful.
"You work long hours and are so tired on weekends that you have to push yourself to wake up. You are not guaranteed raises; you can be fired just like that. I can be incompetent and still retain my job. There is no such thing as tenure for you. Your life is just passing away at a million miles an hour and for what? To help some big company get more money? And you retire at 65 while I can retire at full pension when I am 55. A full pension at 55, can you believe that?
"I really feel bad for you. You'll get a gold watch and they will just replace you and forget all about you. But I'll have thousands of students remember me. You'll be too old to enjoy the things I've been enjoying during my whole teaching career since I was 22. I have it easy. You are so right. I really do feel bad for you."
If the person I talked to had his own business, I changed things around just a little, but the end result was the same. He won his argument about teaching at the expense of realizing I knew I had it easy and loved it and too bad he didn't have it easy. The truth of whether teaching was easy or not wasn't the issue — the issue was shutting up a loud-mouth ploppy critic.
The bottom line of teaching is simple: it's none of the above things. It's going into a classroom, bare, no gun, no power but the power of your personality, and then facing them — the human sharks known as students; who are now swimming, hungry, eyeing you, waiting to see any blood dripping from you so they can go for the kill. If you can be good at that — here are the keys to the vault, my friends.
Many of us get the same annoyance from loud-mouth non-gambling ploppies. For some reason recreational gamblers are looked upon with scorn and derision by many non-gamblers. People who will spend money going to movies, theater, baseball games, football games, bowling, shopping, collecting stamps, raising fish or any of a host of other activities will find your enjoyment of wagering money in a casino to be somehow wrong, somehow not worthy of the high standards they themselves are exhibiting by their own activities. And they will take you to task for it.
"Don't you know that you are throwing away your money going to casinos? My wife and I go to wonderful shows on Broadway, great dinners in Manhattan, while you hang out in a sleazy casino. What is the value of that? Why do you let the casinos take your money? Why are you so stupid as to give the casinos a chance to make you look like an idiot? What a waste of time. You should find something constructive to do. You are wasting your life!"
Using my principle of accepting defeat as victory, there must be a way to throw your love of casino gambling right into their faces. How can you do that? How can you make them feel bad that they aren't having as much fun as you?
OK, I am going to leave that up to you. How might you handle this criticism?
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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