I’m a teacher again. Me. Not Him, but Alison. Authentically!
I have my friend Steve to thank. He’s the one who mentioned me to the associate dean at a local community college and explained my issue with the name and the transcripts and such. He’s the one that she told the name incongruency wouldn’t be an issue. So I applied for an open class at the college, got an interview … and got the job.
It’s not full time. It’s barely part time in fact — one class that meets four hours a week. But it’s still a foot in the door. One class this semester can lead to more classes next semester, which could lead to more down the line. It’s my first post-layoff teaching position and I’m actually looking forward to being in the classroom once again.
More importantly, this will be my first time teaching as myself. The college is even working with me to accommodate the name change. Until it becomes legal I need to be Him in their files, but they’re making an effort to assure that my email address and anything else the students see carries the right name. My students won’t know who I was, but who I am.
My original plan with my old college had been to start teaching as myself in late September, as their calendar was not quite on the normal schedule. Well, this course happens to be a “late start” course at the new college, which means it doesn’t start until the third week of the semester. Which places it, coincidentally, about when I would have begun teaching anyway! It’s so weird. I thought my plan was derailed when I was let go in June, but somehow I’ve managed to get myself back on track.
“Life finds a way.” So sayeth Jeff Goldblum. Well, life — or rather transition — has found a way.
I have a big bag in the back of my truck right now. It contains the last of His clothes, the ones I held onto in case I needed to go back to work. I won’t be needing them anymore, . While my life transition is far from over, my social transition has reached a zenith. I will not be going back, not now, not ever. When I get in front of that class and I succeed — and I will succeed — I will have proven that this transition hasn’t changed who I am fundamentally.