Unemployed adventurers

by Terry Hargrove

As I write this I am six days removed from the worst day of my professional life. On March 25, after a classroom/lesson evaluation, I was informed by my supervisor, who I always held in high regard until she told me how useless I was, that I would not be rehired to my position as language arts teacher at a charter school in Norwich, Connecticut.


I’ve gone through all the possibilities. Maybe it is time for me to step aside. Maybe I’m too old for this teaching nonsense. Maybe I need to start thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe my supervisor’s husband should check his basement for a pod.


It’s liberating to know I can curse again, even though, as you can see, I am not. I’m not big on bad words the way some of my students are. Oh, I can use them, and I know their functions. I can even conjugate the F-word through all six tenses, active, passive, and progressive voice, even the indicative mood that nobody teaches anymore. The only time I refer to bad words in class is to remind my students that they shouldn’t be so free with them, since there are times when no other word will do. Times like, well like these times..

Dang it all.

OK, I’m better now. My point is that my family has been in Connecticut for five years, five, bitter, frozen years, and we are tired. My wife is tired, my son is tired, and I am very tired. You see, I loved the charter school, I really did, and I loved my job. My wife loves her job as well. She has tenure and was rehired, and is all the wonderful things I am not, I guess. But the hours up here have been hell. I work all the time, and so does she. Tonight, after dinner, I’m going to make a suggestion:

“Honey? You look tired. Beautiful but tired. You know what I think? I think we should leave this place. Let’s go on an adventure. I already have the domain name Let’s do it! We’ll chronicle our travels every day and post where were are and where we’re going. Let’s sell all our stuff, pile into the car and just go! Out west, then north, then west again, then to Alaska, then to Spain. OK, maybe not Spain, but certainly to Wisconsin. And when we get tired, we’ll stop and meet new people, and they’ll feed us and give us gas money so we can keep the adventure going!”

That’s what I’ll say. It’s 2:44 on the afternoon of March 31. Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day and the next day is Good Friday. No school on Good Friday. So the way I figure it, I can go in tomorrow morning, turn in a letter of immediate resignation, then if it doesn’t work out this weekend, I can go back to school on Monday morning and say “April Fools!” and work until the end of the year. My plan is foolproof. I has to be, for I am a fool.

We’ll eat dinner at 5:30. That gives me almost three hours to get my arguments together. I can do it. Hell, how much time did the Vikings take to plan a raid? None.

“Hey, Knut, let’s go kill some people and take their stuff.”

”OK, Sven, but I have to clear it with my wife, first.”

Categories: Economy, Education

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6 replies »

  1. Sorry to hear the news Terry. Speaking as someone who was laid off earlier in the year, I know first hand exactly how not fun that is. Regardless of whether you travel or not, I would look forward to reading your adventures.

  2. Thanks Tom. I am beginning to create a plan. If I can get another 100,000 unemployed people to help, I plan to storm Goldman Sachs, throw them all down on their plush, expensive carpets, and give them all a good red belly! That always worked on me when I was 10, and I think it would get their attention. Even if it didn’t cause them to pause and reflect on how they destroyed America, it would make me feel better.

  3. Terry, sorry about your situation. Do you have a realistic Plan B? Did you see this coming or were you blindsided?

    Take care,


  4. This came out of the blue. I don’t have a plan B, so the Viking idea is appealing. Schools everywhere are cutting back, so the competition is fierce. I just don’t know.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your unpleasant surprise. The one thing this country desperately needs, good teachers and challenging schools, are seeing massive cutbacks.

    I do applaud your sense of adventure though. Even if it is only over the summer.

    Take care and I look forward to updates.


  6. You know Terry, my temp job as a reporter is in the same city as Goldman Sachs’ headquarters. It’s a big tall building right on the water. Hard to miss really. I look forward to reporting on your red belly maneuver.