This time of the summer, right before the start of school every year, I am called to remember how and what happened 22 years ago, close to this time of year.  It was a life-changing event, no doubt fashioned by God’s providence, so I journaled convocparentsthe recollection of how I went from being an oil field mud engineer to an English teacher.  I recall the details as I wrote the following at a Writing Project function in 2005:

I’ll always remember that August late morning in 1987 when Sarah drove up to The City Lake spot I had taken my four or five year old Zach to fish. I was caught up for the day on the yard mowing and house painting that a displaced oilfield service hand did to stretch out the unemployment checks until a more permanent and fulfilling occupation came along.  I had grown complacent about the future. Things were working out and we were making it o.k.

But she told me the principal at the junior high had called. He wanted me to call him right away, so we cut short the fishing and I went home to return the call (no cell phones in that day’).  Mr. Alfred [the principal] asked me right away to come to his office. He had a place, and it was mine for the taking.  I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but I recall his explaining that he had an eighth grade science opening and an eighth grade English opening, and he offered me the one of my choice. That’s how I became an English teacher without having a degree in English education, much less English. And all this happened two days before the start of school! The salary was about 50% of what I had made as a mud engineer, but it was a salary and it was a start.

So the rest is history. I ended up where God obviously had gifted me and wanted me.  Now if I can just hang on seven more years to retirement!

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