October 28, 2011 by Ray Yanek
I lost my agent yesterday.
Actually, over the last eleven months, I’ve lost two agents. The agent that originally signed me and loved my novel quit the business. The agent who took her place, didn’t love it quite so much.
I suppose I knew it was coming, but it still sucks.
There’s a liquor store down the street. I’m considering putting on the witch’s hat my wife got for Halloween, stripping down to the Speedo’s, and riding my daughter’s Razor scooter in big, winding arcs through every ditch I can find on my way to uncovering the Holy Grail of 12-packs.
But I’m not going to. An adult would look to his friends for support and guidance, and as I’m a high school teacher during the day, most of my friends are teachers.
(Booze is your friend, too. Your loyal, loyal friend…)
I’m going to the teachers.
Teachers though, are a little tweaky. Jittery in that “I’m fixin’ to cut ya” kind of way. They have those eyes, feral and beady, as if always searching for new and improved ways to suck the marrow from the taxpayer’s bones. Worse, they’re always correcting your damn grammar.
Maybe I’ll just think about them instead.
I’ve known many good teachers. I’ve watched them sweat and bleed over lesson plans. I’ve seen teachers sacrifice time with their own families in order to care for children that weren’t biologically their own. I’ve seen them endure attacks from all sides, called every name in the book. I’ve seen their plans crash and burn and I’ve seen them fail. Broken and stressed, I’ve found them in my driveway, contemplating ways to break into my garage to steal my daughter’s Razor scooter.
I’ve also seen them get up and endure it all again. Day after day. Semester after semester. Year after year. They persevere not because they get the summers “off”, or because their bankrupted pension is so wonderful, but because they believe the student’s future is precious. They know that if they can reach just one in the multitude all the shit will be worth it—until they catch their breath and decide that if they can reach one, they can reach another. And the cycle repeats, because they are teachers.
There’s a good lesson there.
A real teacher knows he can never quit, because the student’s future is precious—just as precious as a dream is to any man or woman who harbors it.
So instead of whining about experiencing the rejection many writers have, I’m going to get back to work and back to doing what I enjoy.
I’m going to write—just as soon as I free the history teacher who got his ass wedged in my garage window.