Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tipping Point

Submitted yesterday:


J.R. Shirley
Evans GA

Mr. George Thomas, Principal

Buttress High School

Dear Mr. Thomas:

I have appreciated the chance to work with the History Department here at Butress. I have learned many invaluable lessons, for which I am thankful. However, I have decided to continue my education by pursuing a Ph.D. in History. Conscious of the many demands upon a teacher’s time, I know I will be unable to dedicate myself to my Ph.D. program and also give enough to my students. I must therefore regretfully inform you that I am hereby tendering my resignation effective May 28, 2009.

Best Regards,

J.R. Shirley


On a Wing and a Whim said...

Good luck with the PhD!

Old NFO said...

Best Wishes John!

Tam said...

Good luck with the PhD!

(Sorry you had to experience the joys of William Golding Memorial H.S.)

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear it, but I sure as hell don't blame you. You lasted 1 year more than could have; I would already be in prison.

Best wishes man,

PS: Best of luck with the PhD. I'm gonna see you on the History Channel some day.

Home on the Range said...

They are losing one of the finest. But I know you will enuoy the studies (only one "non academic" person has read my dissertation and I had to make him Snicker Bar Brownies first.) You will enjoy the challenge though.

J.R.Shirley said...

Thanks, guys.

Andrew, as I said today, I rarely have any issues with you. If all my students were like you, I wouldn't be leaving.


Jenny said...

Very cool! Congratulations!

So.. does this mean you'll be teaching at the college level yourself one day? Is there a particular period/specialty you're going for?

J.R.Shirley said...

If I go to UGA (most probable), it'll be American History. I'm especially interested in the WWII-Vietnam era, but also interested in the social history of individual soldiers. This is a newer type of history, different from the great men/great events type of history typically seen in the past.

J.R.Shirley said...

-oh, and yes, I'd either be teaching at the college level, or working at a think tank one day.

Tam said...

Lemme know if you want to spend some time in the VFTP library...

Jenny said...

By "social history of individual soldiers" - do you mean like trends of service in certain families or communities, or life while deployed, or life back home after service... or a little bit of everything?

Kind of a sad anecdote... there's an older gentleman here, a real sweetheart. Love him to death. Once someone mentioned Americans not being received well overseas. He replied (paraphrased) "I've been all over the world. The only place I've *ever* been made to feel unwelcome was when I came home in uniform." :(

So anyhow... do we get to read your thesis project, I hope?

Also, Tam doesn't have a home. She has a library/ museum that happens to have a computer and a bed. :)

Assrot said...

Damn good decision John. You'll work your ass off and jump through hoops you never imagined to complete a Ph.D. but when it's done, you'll be damn glad you did it.

I wish you the best and I am sure with your intellect and personality that you will make a fine professor should you choose that path.

Teaching undisciplined brats in a public school has got to be one of the toughest and least rewarding jobs on the planet. I think you'll be relieved to be done with it.

That Ph.D. will open so many doors for you. You just don't know. Keep one thing in mind buddy. No matter how hard it gets and how hard they try to break you, never give up.

Good luck. If I can help in any way, just let me know.


P.S. - Any idea what university you are going to?

Assrot said...

I'm hoping that Brigid has subscribed to the comments on this and gets the following.

Out of respect for her house rules at her blog, I don't post there with my bloghandle or link.

Brigid what was your dissertation topic? I'd be interested in reading pretty much anything that came from a mind like yours.


J.R.Shirley said...


I'm thinking UGA. Besides being in Georgia (important if I'm in the Reserve here), and in a pretty decent little town, the head of the graduate department teaches an obscure martial art.

I can't really take most martial arts you find in the U.S., because the way you move is considerably different than kobudo traditional battlefield arts.


charlotte g said...

Best wishes. Dr. Rick McCaslin, chair at UNT, tells me his chief benefit as department head is that he no longer has to teach survey classes. He regularly has younger professors come in to moan about the ignorance of colege students who have never heard of Eisenhower and can't name three wars the U.S. has fought in. But this is Texas. Nonetheless, I'm aware that for academe, your Ph.D. needs to be at another university--preferably another state--than your master's.
Any chance any Texas universities are in the running?

J.R.Shirley said...

Huh. I really hadn't considered that, but there could be some advantages. I know TX schools gave preferential treatment to soldiers- I'll have to see to which ones, and at what educational level.


Assrot said...

For the field of study you plan on pursuing, I think UGA is an excellent choice.

If you were going into a science or technology based field, I'd recommend Georgia Tech.

I grew up in the general area where UGA is located. I had some relatives in Athens. My family is from Oxford. I lived in Oxford, Loganville and Monroe in my younger years.

I still love them Bulldogs.

Good luck. I don't think you'll need luck. Your intellect and determination will see you through.