Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No One Comes Close

Last summer before I got a job offer down here in Houston I had a back up plan.  I couldn't afford to not work a full time job.  Subbing wasn't a very consistent enough option either.  So what was the back up plan?  Join the Air Force.  A girl I had worked with at a gas station went of to Basic for the Air Guard the same time I went off to do my student teaching in Texas.  At the time it was pretty much just a back up plan, a well I can't sit around & do nothing...why not join the military.  I wasn't 100% sold on it at the time, I was nervous about a few things: the commitment, could I actually do it physically & mentally, could I handle the time away from my family?  I got a job offer & those thoughts went away.

Back track a little ways.  I had considered changing my major a few times in my college career.  I clearly never did.  At first I didn't because I didn't know what else I would do.  I had wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st grade.  While dozens of other ideas had be entertained it always came back to teacher.  Later on I didn't change it because the 2 things I considered, photography & travel and tourism, couldn't guarantee a steady enough income & I have A LOT of loans.  My point?  I guess I wasn't completely sold on the idea of being a teacher throughout the 5 years I was there.  But then I graduated...thought I've come too far not to give it a shot.  I would have always wondered what if had I not had my own classroom.

So I've been teaching, since August, & I guess I'm still not sold.  Maybe it's the crappy district that had me burnt out & broken before the half way point.  Maybe it's because I'm a first year teacher & that's always the hardest year I hear.  The thing is I don't HATE my job.  I really don't.  But I don't LOVE it either.  There has not been a single day this year when I've been excited to go to work.  I countdown to the weekend, breaks, & summer just like the kids.  I love the kids...most of them...but I love them as people.  I hate lecturing.  I hate trying to convince them that projects are fun.  I hate that I feel like a glorified babysitter when I have them do student centered activities.  I love going to work because my friends are there.  So it's back, my desire to join the Air Force.

My reasons:
  • I'm not happy with my job.  What better way to get to try something new without having to pay for more schooling or going broke in the process of trying new things.
  • I still have a lot of travelling I want to do.  With the military I can do that.  Even if it just wound up being around the US I'd still get to see more places.  
  • I love meeting new people.  I would meet TONS of new people.
  • I want to be a part of something that's bigger than myself.
  • I'm still fairly young so why not?! 
  • I don't want to wonder what if.
  • Money.  This really isn't a reason at all but more of a perk.  By joining, at least at first, the ONLY bills I would have would be student loans.  Housing? Covered.  I'd be living in those sweet barracks & utilities/cable/internet also wouldn't be an issued.  Car? Will be paid off this summer & I wouldn't need to insure it while at Basic & MOS school because I can't have it anyway. Which also means no gas.  Food? I'd get to eat in that *awesome* mess hall.  So while I'd be taking a significant pay cut, at least at first, I wouldn't really because all of my bills except maybe student loans would disappear.
Some initial concerns:
  • Being away from family.  I already live 1300 miles away from my family.  I wouldn't be away any more...possibly less...than I already am.
  • The commitment.  Although only 4 have to be active, 8 years is a long time to sign my name over to something.  But isn't teaching the same thing?  Granted I didn't sign my life over to Uncle Sam but I basically committed myself to teaching for 40+ years.  I could always get out & even if I went career I'd still only be in my mid 40s...that's a good 20 years less than teaching or any other job.
  • Deploying.  Should I ever get deployed, Air Force deployments are relatively short 4-6 mo to the Army's 12-15 mo.  The MOS (military occupational specialty) that I am looking at aren't exactly dangerous.  Plus life isn't certain anyway & something could just as easily happen if I didn't join.
This is getting terribly long I'm sorry.  I've been looking at 3 MOS...most specifically 1 however.

1. Still Photography Specialist: As a Still Photography Specialist, you'll play an integral part in the Air Force communications strategy. After attending an intense 12-week training course on the intricacies of photography, you'll begin your role in documenting Air Force activities. You'll shoot everything from portraits to mission aerial shots. Your assignments will change often and can take you around the world, so you'll face new challenges every day. (This is my #1.  I almost stopped majoring in education to be a photographer...I also once wanted to be a crime scene photographer.)

2. Special Investigations Officer: Internal security is crucial to the Air Force's ability to advance our objectives. The need for all Airmen to be able to trust and rely on each other is incalculable. That's why Special Investigations Officers focus on conducting investigations into criminal, fraud, counterintelligence and other security concerns. They manage investigations both within the Air Force and outside it, teaming up with other military branches and agencies such as the U.S. State Department and the Secret Service. Special Investigations Officers also conduct counterespionage operations targeting foreign intelligence services, perform interrogations, provide testimony in legal proceedings, and prepare awareness briefings on the threat posed by terrorists, subversive groups and other hostile entities. (This is both my #2 & #3.  This one honestly sounds potentially the coolest...I also wanted to major in Criminology at one point.  However, it's #2 because it's more interesting than what I'll list next but it's #3 because while I could enter as an officer thanks to my college degree, I don't want to.  I want to work my way up.)

3. Diet Therapy: There are many things that can help speed the recovery of an Airmen from illnesses, medical procedures and wounds — physical therapy, medication and even Diet Therapy. In this field, you'll learn how to plan and prepare meals designed to help the body recover faster and stay healthier. You'll also lead classes that teach Airmen how to maintain their health with a proper diet so they can avoid issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The healthier our Airmen are the better, and your efforts will help ensure our force is operating to its maximum potential. (This is #2 because of why SIO is #3...but #3 because of why SIO is #2 & SPS is #1 ha.)

So now I just have to tell my parents.  I'd also like to thank Tiffany.  I was about to start this post when I read her most recent post & it helped confirm my choice.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Brianne! That's amazing! I am so happy for you! And I am so humbled and honored that my blog was helpful for you. I cannot wait to see where this journey leads you!