When One Door Closes…

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Alexander Graham Bell has been famously quoted as saying, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Several people have related this quote to me over the past few months since losing my teaching job as words of encouragement. I’ve taken it to heart and I can see the door that is open for me, but I need your help to enter that door, and this is not an easy thing for me to do. I never thought I would be jobless at this stage in my life. I’ve had a distinguished teaching career, and I have worked incredibly hard for everything that I’ve achieved. Yet, back in May, I saw the rug pulled out from under me. I’m now facing a hallway with many doors, and while those doors may scare me, I will persevere.

I’ve tried to open several of the doors and some remain shut, as I send out application after application, so far I have only received rejections. I am either over qualified or under qualified, but there is nothing in the middle. I have a possible job for the fall. It’s substitute teaching, and though I’ve done it before, I’d rather not do it again, but if no other opportunities present themselves, I will become a substitute teacher again. It might be bearable, if I knew I was doing something that would help my career.

When I began college, I was a history major, and I loved educating people and spreading my love for history. I received my BA and MA in history as well as pursued further graduate studies in history (for a variety of reason, some beyond my control, I was unable to finish my doctorate in history). For the past five years I taught world and American history, government, economics, civics, geography, and English to high school and middle school students. Recently, I lost my job to unforeseen circumstances, which has made me reevaluate my life goals. I want to educate people in innovative ways, and with your help, I can achieve this goal in two ways.

First, I love to teach, but I want to take that avenue and change its direction to make it more accessible. Therefore, I would like to focus on museums and the educational opportunities they can provide, but to do that I need to gain some educational credits in museum studies. I am currently volunteering at a museum and archive to gain experience, but the key word there is volunteering. I am doing this at my own expense while currently unemployed, but I hope it shows that I am willing to do what needs to be done to better my situation. If I am unable to secure a community college job or a paying job at a museum, then I would like to pursue a Certificate in Museum Studies. This would add the educational background I need to my studies in history, which have included courses in public history. Because certificate programs are not degree programs, they are ineligible for federal financial aid and the expenses would come out of my pocket. With your help (and if you can’t help but know someone who can), I will not have to cash in my life insurance policy to pay the expense of the program.

Second, many people have encouraged me to become a writer, not just of history but of fiction. I think fiction is a great way to get history to the mass public, as long as a book is well researched. Fiction writing can help change the world, but I need financial support to make that happen. I have already written a good portion of a first draft to a novel, and I have received positive feedback, but it still needs more polishing. I want to get my writing career off the ground, but I need financial support to make that happen, which means I need help covering the expenses associated with printing copies, mailing manuscripts to publishers, and editing. I have a few book ideas, and I want this to become an extra career, or if by some miracle, I’m better at it than I think, a primary career.

I am asking that you help me make this world a better educated world. Allow me to pursue a museum studies program and to explore the world of fiction writing. Your help would be tremendously appreciated. I do not ask this lightly. Some of you have donated through this blog in the past, and I can’t thank you enough. It has always come when it was most needed. I don’t know how you knew that, but each of you is truly amazing.

Also, as you may know, GoFundMe is not anonymous for the person asking for funding. GoFundMe has you use your real name and a real picture of you. This scares me the most, because I’ve always been anonymous with this blog. By giving a link to my GoFundMe site, I am no longer anonymous; however, with no job and it’s doubtful my family would find this blog, I have nothing much to lose at this point. So I’m asking for your help. Please don’t make me lose my anonymity in vain. I know not everyone can contribute, and any amount of your generosity would be greatly appreciated.

http://www.gofundme.com/z837bk

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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