Laura is casting about for her future, as she should. Actually, she has her future in mind. Like many fifteen year olds, getting to the future is more mysterious than not, until one actually arrives. She says her future will be social work, preferably psychological or psychiatric, using– wait for it – American Sign Language.
Instead of saying “That’s really cool, Laura, but…”, I thought I’d see if there was any future to be had here. I already have a post graduate degree in the ability of social workers to rescue little girls, from futures I cannot imagine. That is only what I’ve seen; the work of the Kendras, the Jans, all the people in outpatient care. I have no idea of the hours and hours I did not see at work, because I was not invited behind closed doors.
Enough there. We all know how Laura, and Emily to a lesser extent, benefited from people helping them sort through the mess. But, what’s this ASL business? Sign language. I sent Google to investigate. Do you ever mentally put Holmes’ deerstalker on Google when you send him out, down dark alleys, around corners?
I quickly settled on a job site called ‘Indeed’, because they had what seem to be exit interviews from previous tenants of the jobs offered. Social work is not of the rough and tumble entrepreneurial world, but definitely “institutional”. Hospitals, government, social service organizations. People are happy or unhappy about the same issues. I did find myself looking over reviews of prison guards and wondering how anyone could be happy working in a prison.
An hour or so and I had a general sense of how employees felt about jobs (satisfying, challenging) and the pay ranges (too little to a lot). So, I signed on for Indeed’s weekly listing of twenty five new social work jobs requiring ASL. I wanted to see where in this country they are. Disclosure of ulterior motive: Laura says she will cross no more than one state line to go to college. I hoped I’d activated an exploratory gene, but it seems not so, yet.
I sorted this week’s list of twenty five jobs as east and west of the Mississippi. I found seven east and the balance west. Not one in Ohio. West of the Mississippi I found places I never visited: Pueblo, Colorado. Roseburg, Oregon. Sheradin, Wyoming. Eugene, Oregon. Hastings, New Mexico. All over Arizona. Anybody can go to Haverhill, Massachusetts. How about Edgewood, New Mexico. That part is a long way off. We are starting out no more than one state line from Ohio.
Back at home, I settled for opening the valve of the water barrel to get it emptied. We still need to get a hose attached and directed into the garden. One good thaw and freeze this winter and I’ll be dealing with an ice rink.