So, what do I want life after the army to look like?
I want to leave the army soon, for many reasons. Mainly, I’ve had enough. I want to live in the same house as my partner 24/7. I don’t want to leave and come back each weekend. I want to work normal hours again, in a normal job. I want to have a conversation with someone without being looked down upon. I miss the days of working in retail, or a call centre and talking to a supervisor or having a normal conversation with them for example.
I know what I want to do, or what I would like to do. But getting there is the hard part.
In life, I have one major regret. I hugely regret not going onto higher education, hitting university like a baby polar bear meeting snow for the first time and conquering everything put in front of me.
I love learning now. But, like most people at 15 or 16 years old, I hated it. I hated school, sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher waffle on. But now, thats what I can’t get enough of.
So, when I leave the army, I want to actually BE a teacher who waffles on. To my knowledge there are a number of ways to go about it.
- The Government lead Troops to Teachers scheme.
- Open University.
- Have the army pay for my degree.
- Have a school pay for my degree.
- Anything else I don’t yet know about.
Each option, at the moment, has huge hurdles I need to get over.
Just leaving the army is a huge hurdle. It come with great fear. I’m actually in a better place than most who leave, I’ve already worked civilian jobs. I know what to expect, how to go about things. Taking that leap of faith and leaving is terrifying, everyone says this.
I had a friend of mine, James. He handed his notice in to leave the army this week. He had had enough too. Enough of basically being treated like a moron. Its 2017 after all. James said, literally minutes after handing his notice in, he felt free. Freedom. Like a huge weight off his shoulders. But before handing his notice in, fear. Everyone who does it says the same. Fear. After fear, comes relief. Happiness. Excitement. Euphoria.
So, for the past fortnight, I’ve gone back to school myself. Ive gone back to English class. I got an E in English GCSE, mainly down to what I touched on earlier, just not being interested in 2007. Regarding my GCSE grade of E, as you may be able to realise through this blog, my English is far from at a level warranting an E.
I went into this English course, and my teacher very quickly realised this. Pulled me aside and told me what I longed to hear. Something to reaffirm my confidence, my motivation. The knowledge, my longterm goal to be a teacher could be achieved. She told me I work at a level far beyond anything required in that classroom.
Throughout the two weeks, the work I produced would be marked, critiqued and handed back to me, with some, to one side private conversations regarding myself and my work.
“You write beautifully” or “Thank you, excellent, truly wonderful piece of work” would send me away smiling, proud of myself. Excited to get back into the classroom the next day to continue to learn something new. To take something away with me again.
It’s important to know, I do class myself as educated. I class myself as intelligent. But, intelligent at certain things. I know what Pi is for example. But I don’t know how to measure range. I know what a subordinate clause is, but my knowledge of literature is low.
JK Rowling was who got me to read. I could pick up a Harry Potter book and lose myself for hours.
I’m clever with certain topics. Something I’m passionate about, I know more than I should about. Where I really, I genuinely kick myself for not trying harder at school. I know things about Adolf Hitler, or WW2. Pearl Harbor. Titanic. Moments in time that fascinate me.
Football. I’m the most intelligent person when it comes to football. Much of my adult life I’ve spent relatively single and relatively friendless. I’m not trying to pull at anyones heart strings, its just the truth. So, i would just sit and watch football. On a weekend. 5 maybe 7 live matches. Instead of going out, I’d be then watching Match of the Day.
Other things I know more about that I wish I could substitute for a knowledge more suitable for a classroom.
- Harry Potter. As mentioned, if someone comes at me and tries to do me at a HP quiz, you best know who you’re up against. I even have the Deathly Hallow’s tattoo’d on my person for Christ sake.
- FRIENDS. Again, bring your A game if you’re going to battle me there.
I love to learn. I just wish I did when I was younger. I kick myself not carrying on education.
I’m devastated my English course has come to an end. It’s made me so determined to get back into a classroom again. Next time I want to be in a classroom because I’m learning to teach. And then after that, I want my own classroom.