Shannon Moon's Blog

Life As I Know It

Shannon Moon

Shannon Moon
Ruraltopia, Pennsylvania, USA
December 31
I am a librarian, teacher, writer, philosopher, mother, daughter, granddaughter, perpetual student, recluse and lover of literature and music. What else is there? Really. I can be found here:


AUGUST 15, 2009 10:25PM

Day 407

Rate: 2 Flag

Day 407

I have a problem.  Don't we all.  I can't seem to escape my family.  Don't get me wrong, I love them.  They can be incredibly giving.  And demanding.  It all started four hundred and seven days ago.  Back then Bush was President and I was on summer break from my job.  I was a substitute teacher.  Not my ideal job.  Why?  At the age of twenty-two I happily graduated with a degree in English Literature.  Wonderful.  Great.  Now what? Apparently, this isn't the best educational background with which to find work.  So, I stayed home with my kids.  I read.  I wrote.  But I never found the job.  It was so elusive.  I kept getting older.  I am now thirty-two.  No ideal job. 

Then the economy started to tank.  It hit here first.  I live in a rural enclave of right-winged Republican, redneck, Christian-fundamentalist, anti-intellectualists.  Kids at school always tell me how it's stupid to read or learn.  "I'm going to work for my uncle and make $150,000 a year, I don't need to learn how to connect a subject and a verb."  Sure.  "Why do we need to learn this?" they whine.  One kid told me, just after the inauguration, that Obama was going to enslave us.  What?

I read somewhere about a "brain drain", boy does that apply where I live. 

Anyone of reasonable intelligence runs screaming from here. 

But my family.  I consider myself reasonably intelligent.  Or at least I usually do. . . .  I stayed because of my family.

I even went back and got my teaching certificate.  I am completing my masters in education.  Still, three years later, no job.  I must be such a loser.  Why can't I get a REAL JOB?  Sure the schools always hire people that are just somehow related to the principal or some teacher.  I'm sure that's just a coincidence. 

So four hundred and seven days ago I became a manual laborer.  Yep.  I am female, five foot one (if I stand up really, really straight), weigh somewhere around 115-120 pounds, and dislike getting dirty.  So what great career did I find?  Dairy farmer.  What?!??!?  Who's idea was this?  My father's.  Insane.  It involves heavy lifting (sure, that sounds ideal for my size), animals weighing around 1500 pounds that occasionally kick or step on you (that's a lot of fun, 1500lbs deciding that it wants to run through right where you are standing), driving heavy equipment (I hate driving through the drive-thru at MacDonalds because it's such a tight squeeze), being around hay (did I mention that I am literally allergic to grass??), and using a chain saw (I refuse this--we use it to cut giant round bales of hay--like the size of a volkswagen beetle).  It would be comical if it wasn't true and my daily life.

It's a trend here.  Females running the family farm.  Farming just isn't profitable (think about that next time you complain about the price of a gallon of milk).  The price of milk is down about 39% from this time last year.  But my dad. . .he wants me to run the farm.  And I can't find a job.  I feel completely alone in this, even though I know that millions of people are struggling to find work, or at least decent work. 

And now, we have Sarah Palin and a bunch of ignorant Republicans running their mouths trying to destroy our chances of some form of universal health care.  Guess what?  Dairy farmers, and substitute teachers, do not have medical coverage.  I do not always make enough money to buy grain (forty cows can eat like two thousand dollars of grain every month), how can I willing spend five hundred dollars a month on health insurance?  I might not get sick. . .or hurt.  Right?  Let's pay the electric bill instead.  Never mind that the bull knocked me down last week and I still sit funny.   Or that every other industrialized nation has some form of universal health care.  Or that we have better purchasing power as a group.  Or that these large corporations and insurance companies are literally killing people.  Let's keep it the way it is.  It's fantastic.  Never mind that I can't feel my toes or fingers.  I am sure it is nothing.  Great. 

So Obama, please don't give up.  We need someone fighting for us.  We love you!

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Have you thought about maybe making your own yogurt or ice cream or cheese or some other sort of dairy based food?

Commodities are almost never profitable to anyone but futures traders.

If it's that bad, perhaps you should just leave. It might hurt your parents, but seeing you miserable probably would hurt them too. In a few years, if they see how happy you are living the life you chose for yourself, rather than the one they chose for you, I'm sure they'll see it was for the best.
I agree. Thanks. I have considered other avenues--some farmers are moving into making their own specialty cheeses. I made butter a while back, for fun, but I doubt it would sell.
I plan to leave. I am just trying to do it delicately. I am thinking grad school.
They see me miserable, but they don't seem to get it or care.
Welcome to OS! Thanks for making me a favorite. I like your writing style and I always feel connected to English majors that can't get jobs in their field. ;) Although my ideal job would be to work in a horse stable. I love manual labor. The feeling of aching muscles at the end of the day and an empty head. My husband will never live out in the country though. He's a city boy.

I'm with ya on the health insurance issue. People who have their own business or work for small businesses can't afford to purchase their own healthcare. Why doesn't this country understand that?