I used to think they were laughing with me, but in reality, they were laughing at me. I always knew this, but I guess it’s what I wanted. I was choosing to act this way, after all. I had craved attention, in ways that didn’t matter to me in how it was given. Deep down, however, I wanted to be serious. I wanted to try. To care. To be something that mattered. Being the class clown has its disadvantages though.
Imagine the response when I let it be known I had interest in becoming a funeral director. The year was 2002 and I was a junior in high school. The thought first occurred to me during a field trip through our social sciences class. In it, we discussed the social problems of the world and what was going on outside of the classroom. The real world and its issues. We were fresh on the heels of 9/11, so global protection, terrorism and different lifestyles in general were on our minds. We were all but 17 years old then. Kids, still, but at the same time, nearing adulthood.
The various field trips we took were to see what the real world was actually about, other than a class room full of laughter (provided by me, usually). I remember visiting nursing homes, a jail and a funeral home. For some reason I just can’t explain, the funeral home was the one that stuck with me. While we were being led around the funeral home, we had the opportunity to ask questions and let our minds wander. We weren’t shown the deceased or anything like that, as respect factors and needing to be professionally licensed prevented that.
Still, I just had to raise my hand, metaphorically speaking, and ask away. Of course, I probably threw a few remarks in between, but this was one field trip I legitimately had in interest in doing after high school. I was told by the attending director that one must first be interested in helping people. And along the way, there are numerous steps to becoming licensed. Besides knowing your sciences and art subjects, one must be in tune with the current mortuary laws and business ethics, among many other curriculum.
I really started to imagine this. I could check off the sciences and arts part, since those were the classes I aced, provided I wasn’t busy playing my GameBoy during class with the old “Lean-Back-And-Hold-Up-The-Book-Trick.” Heck, I was even paid numerous times to do my friends projects for them. It was really just down to me applying myself and knowing…