I know I moved going on 6 years ago. I know. (The job market for Latin teachers in New Orleans is not so surprisingly minimal - not to mention that teachers in New Orleans don't make nearly what they deserve, are worth, and need to survive. But I am reaching an age where I need a job or career that pays the bills when my wife and I decide to have a family. I want to move home. I can't imagine having children who do not know what a real parade is, what it means to shake your butt or tap your foot you feel when you hear good music, who cannot describe the taste and smells of a crawfish boil on Good Friday. I always thought, and I still do, that growing up in New Orleans makes a person sophisticated and worldly just because you grew up in New Orleans. You can get some of the experiences elsewhere, but not all in one place like you can in NOLA.
So, while I haven't been making a priority since I have already signed my contract for the upcoming school year (after a great deal of internal debate, mind you), I was thinking about the future. My contacts in New Orleans tell me that there is not much in the way of employment. Understandable. Every time I read something about Tulane or Loyola, they are downsizing their staff, faculty, and programs. Understandable. Economic depression after the massive tragedy of Katrina and Corps of Engineers is expected, but it is sad.
But I hope that in another year things will turn around because I want to move home. I want to go eat dinner at a friends house, go to Greek Fest, run in the Crescent City Classic, visit the Audubon Zoo, have lunch at Parran's, eat a dozen raw oysters, have a great cocktail, enjoy an ice cold Abita Amber, and play golf all year round. I want my kids to know what it's like to eat light-as-air French bread, have a shrimp and oyster po-boy, ride their brand new bikes on Christmas morning (in shorts!), watch a sunset on Lake Pontchartrain, and cheer for their hometown Saints. I don't think I could handle raising children any other way.
I know I have some work to do to convince my wife to move, and it may be even harder to find myself a job. I think I have to. I think its important for me and my family and my children to have the experiences you can only get in New Orleans. The harder we have to work for it, the more valuable and rewarding it will be. How can you raise a family any other way?
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