Friday, January 22, 2010

Go West, young man...

Throughout the college years there were the requisite study abroad and the summer long road trip to explore the west coast. Both experiences solidified my resolution to leave Buffalo at the first opportunity.
After graduation, I remember sitting in my friend Sally’s basement typing (yes, typing on a typewriter) copious amounts of inquiry letters to various western cities. Where I got this initiative, I don’t recall but weeks later I received a response from Mesa Public Schools, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.
They wanted to schedule a meeting.
Na├»ve as I was, I didn’t realize this was just a formality but I packed my bags and moved to the sunshine state without a job or friends or any real affinity for the Southwest.
I wound up making ends meet doing all the typical post graduation gigs including substitute teaching in the Phoenix Union High School district. One especially vivid memory is calling some unfortunate young man Jesus (pronounced Geezuss) instead of the proper Spanish pronunciation which really seemed to amuse the mostly Latino constituency.
When I finally landed my first teaching job at, you guessed it, Mesa Public Schools I was all of 22 years old. I would start the fall of 1978 at Mountain View High School to develop and implement the photography program.

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