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AmeriSaur: My first day

March 19, 2010

First– not second, third, or fourth; the start of something epic

I don’t remember crying my first day of kindergarten. I was mentally strong, and physically capable. I was ready to recite my A,B,C’s, share my crayons, stay within the lines and with my clip-on bowtie I was more than ready for the challenge ahead. Was I ready for my first day with AmeriCorps? Not so much.

On my first day with the Washington Reading Corps a wall partition fell on top of me trapping me on the ground for what seemed like hours. During my involuntary imprisonment I remember thinking, “this is how I’m going to die: trapped under an office divider having never tutored a single child. I’m never going to get things done”. Thirty-seconds later I was rescued when one of the women I was going to be working (and living) with lifted the divider off of me. At the time of my release I want to say that George Michael’s Freedom was playing in the background but I might be mistaken on that detail. My career with AmeriCorps and National service got off to shaky start but seven years later I’m still here although I still have a slight fear of office dividers.

Throughout my career with national service many of my friends and colleagues have joined, served, and then moved on to bigger and better things. For many years I have sat quietly on the sidelines managing my team watching directors come and go, PSO curriculums adapt and change, happily going about my life because in some ways I don’t think I was ready for a life outside of national service. National service is comfortable for me, I’m good at my job, I adore my AmeriCorps team and I feel like we are doing important work and that’s why I’ve stayed for so long. But I’m starting to wonder… maybe I’ll never really be ready to leave? After all I wasn’t ready to join in the first place but I did it anyway. I’m resolved that at some point I’m going to have to leave AmeriCorps but whatever I leave AmeriCorps for has big shoes to fill. I think that I need to set my fear aside and take a leap into some new career and officially become an alum outright and official like. While I ponder possible careers I leave you with this question: how do you know when it is time to leave a job? What is Life After AmeriCorps?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 5:41 pm

    Kurt, love your post! Very very true. You are the definition of AmeriSaur in my AmeriPedia. 😉

  2. Tom Heavey permalink
    April 17, 2010 6:16 pm

    Kurt: As long as you think you can run the program better that those above you, it is good to stay. When you start to think that those above run the program better than you could, its time to go. After 23 years with the WSC and 13 with AmeriCorps, itwas a good ride, but it was time for me to go. (I can now type America, without capitalizing the “C”.) Good luck in your decision making. You have always done well.
    Tom

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