Time for a Change?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I haven’t talked much about my full time job; I’ve been teaching math at a post-secondary two-year school in Minnesota since 2005 and for much of that time I have found my job to be highly rewarding. I felt like I was doing good work and making the world a better place by helping students open the doors that a solid math education offers. Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling that way the last few years. This last year in particular I feel like my desire to provide a solid math education is now directly at odds with what those in charge want and what many of my students want, which is to just get people to and through my classes, learning need not apply. I should add that by the end of the semester many of my students start to see the value in understanding mathematics, but they don’t often feel that way in the beginning and they can be very vocal about it. I have spent untold hours of my time and untold amounts of my mental and emotional energy fighting back against the forces that want to take the learning out of education and I’m tired. I’m not sure I want to spend what is rest of my working life fighting this fight.

I have a degree in mathematics so there are a lot of other job options out there, but throughout my searching I haven’t found anything that I actually want to do or that gives back to our world or our society in some way. Most of the positions I’ve seen feel like made-up busy work for companies that not only don’t make our world better, but are actively destroying our planet, exploiting their employees, communities, and customers, and in general are everything that is wrong with the world today. I don’t want to spend the rest of my working life caught in the crushing wheels of late stage capitalism.

So what DO I want to do… that is the question I have been pondering for months now. As I said in this post, dreaming about what I would all do if we won the Mega Millions really got me thinking. Up until maybe three years ago, if we were talking about winning a lottery or getting a giant inheritance or something, I said I would stop teaching full time, but I would still want to teach part time because I really do like teaching and I think I’m pretty good at it. This year, when thinking about the Mega Millions, my very first thought was to quit my current soul-destroying job and become a full-time rancher/farmer. Not the giant fifty-stall horse breeding barn of my teenage dreams, but something involving healthy food production that improves the land we are on instead of exploiting it and actively tries to heal our planet instead of destroying it. I want to be a regenerative farmer with a small side business breeding and raising quality horses. 

You may be thinking – wait a minute, in this last post you were saying that you weren’t sure you could ever afford to have even your realistic Plan A horse farm, how the h*** are you affording the start-up costs to begin regenerative farming? That of course is the question I have been obsessing over for a while now and I may have some ideas …

Now here is a video of Leeloo and Juniper being extra frisky before breakfast. 


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