Saturday, December 4, 2010

Selling Yellow Snow

      My father and I used to have a phrase that let each other know that our bullshit detectors were working quite well, thank you very much. Actually, it was his phrase and, like all challenging children, I used his words against him at every opportunity.  For a few short years choruses of “Steinman, you’re selling yellow snow” signaled to both of us that one of us had started to believe our own press releases. I’m not sure who was more dogmatic, but there was certainly a lot of yellow snow selling cheap on both sides of the hydrant.

         It turns out that we were not the only ones in the business.

         Today I tried to find out if there were others like me blogging their way through a manufactured crisis. I thought a quick internet search would lead me to my tribe. How hard could it be to find a bunch of disillusioned 40 somethings self-indulgent enough to bare their souls in public?

         I typed “Life after teaching Blogs” into my search engine and came up with 20 odd come-ons for at home businesses. The gist of this seemed to be that one could get rich by convincing others that they could get rich by convincing others……. Yellow snow, with a side of desperation.  At least I wasn’t redirected to a porn site.

         After slogging through the swamp of get rich schemes, I arrived at the ghetto of irritatingly peppy life-coaches. I’m sure these well-intentioned folks have helped some people, but I couldn’t stomach the fluff and what felt like frivolous and artificial encouragements.  I came across marketing schemes that struck me as over zealous such as “Wish Craft” and the more seductive “Passion Catalyst”[1].  I’m not making this up- this is a real training package to get your career going, although I don’t recommend typing this into your search engine while your wife and three daughters are in the room.

         Can anyone out there point to a good resource, with practical information on what options teachers have beyond the classroom?

[1] With apologies to Barbara Sher and Curt Rosengren, whom I’m sure are wonderful and creative people- who have undoubtedly helped their clientele.

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