More like ‘old’ and ‘back in school’, which is my life right now. After all these years in the beauty industry, I am once again a college student. And it’s been amazing since this time around, as a seasoned student, I’m able to participate in civic engagement and serve my community on a larger scale than with my solo projects.
Changing careers, in theory, because I can never escape clients who have my cell phone number AND know where I live, is both exciting and horrifying. But after spending the last twenty-five years on my feet, burning and churning, I decided that ‘what I will absolutely not do’, is spend the remainder of my days glueing down lace fronts and inhaling press-n-curl smoke. Especially since an ole’school ‘G’, like me, was trained to keep hair healthy, and women looking and feeling better about themselves; I recognized that it was time to go… yes, that way! Particularly since my heart was no longer in the daily hustle of it all…. soooo, like Lebron, I took my talents to South Beach!
Only partially kidding about South Beach; Georgia State University’s office of student engagement, sponsored a winter break service trip that allowed students the opportunity to explore homelessness and food insecurity. A very powerful experience that shed light on just how vulnerable we all are to the consequences of the ever-increasing wealth gap, mental health issues and high costs of living …. but I digress!
School, so far has been interesting from an ‘experienced ‘ adult perspective, I actually want what I pay for, the younger students, not so much! It’s funny, I WAS this student fourteen years ago, wanting only to get it over with and bounce. Only showing up for test and assignments with little to no class participation, and that’s because we didn’t do the reading! Even volunteerism is used as a tool to earn credits to embellish resumes, and thank goodness schools recognize this or the fate of nonprofits would be fatal!
All that being said….
The ultimate objective for returning to the expensive-as-hell life of Academia, is to teach young, African-American males using innovative and culturally responsive techniques……. while also appreciating the struggles they face internally as well as externally, namely depression!
That last couple of years I’ve worked as a substitute teacher, mostly in predominantly black schools, while simultaneously taking classes in diversity, socio-cultural perspectives, and educational psychology. To say the least, this experience has definitely been enlightening and devastating at the same time in terms of statistics and minority students’ gaps in achievement.
But surprisingly, not really all the surprising because I love children, the kids and I have an amazing rapport, they even request me as their sub when their teachers tell them they’re going to be out a day or two. That really tickles me!
I have a soft spot for young people because adulting is hard enough so childhood SHOULD be fun! Some schools are damn near run like prisons and then they wonder why the children behave like inmates. Mind you, I don’t have ANY of the answers but the status quo has failed children-of-color in a plethora of ways. Shockingly, the gaps and challenges persist even when leadership is comprised of people of color…. and that’s an entirely different post!
Suffice to say, most people cannot fathom the idea of me leaving the fabulous life of the beauty industry to teach loud and obnoxious middle-schoolers. Even some middle-school teachers look at me like I’m signing up for the clap when they hear my story…. but it’s increasingly become my passion much like hair used to be.
But, in the end, I feel that I am not truly living if I am not challenging myself to take the risk that scare me or at least that give me gaseous anxiety. The same was true many years ago when I gave up my chair at an upscale, black hair-salon, where I was booked and making loads of money, to work in an all-white, all-male, hair-salon in the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta ( ironically gay, white-males cancels-out black-females like ash cancels brass, sooo..no change there and fun times lol) ; the same was also true when a headhunter recruited me to manage the Salon at Ulta thirty minutes from home; and true, yet again when I opened my first hair-salon, and then my second!
Can’t wait to see what I get into next!
Please follow my journey @Salonography and @kidAnarchist which is coming soon!
Ex-hairstylist future licensed-Educator!