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Definitely not about the money

So, I saw this list of awesome education statistics from the Census Bureau linked from Al’s Morning Meeting and bookmarked it to peruse later. As in tonight.

I was a little sad I hadn’t stumbled on it sooner, or thought to look. See, back to school for me was early to mid-August. Yes, most of the little buggers in this county started back Aug. 13 & 14. I KNOW?! Insanely early. But they also finished up by the end of May, which is a nice trade off if you ask me. But I digress.

As I was flipping through the stats, I made notes to myself, “Oh that’s interesting. I didn’t know 70 percent of students are enrolled in all-day kindergarten. I could have used that stat in all those stories I wrote.” Or that “Only 50 percent of full-time college students are employed. (NO wonder everyone else seemed less stressed than me!)”

Then I came across this tid-bit, and I won’t lie, it sort of depressed me: $14.18 Average hourly wage for the nation’s school bus drivers in 2004-05. Custodians earned $12.61, while cafeteria workers made $10.33. Bus drivers make more than me, and custodians earn almost as much on average. Not that I would want either job (though mom did try to lure me into being a campus bus driver, sorry ma, transportation was your thing not mine), or would be good at either. But still, it just puts into perspective how much I get paid after busting my butt to get my degree and the experience necessary to get a job in a competitive field.

But then again, I didn’t get into journalism for the money. (Thank, God.) I got into it for the thrill of seeing a problem, trend, issue or injustice and finding out everything I can about it, what can and is being done about it and passing the knowledge/torch on to readers. I got into it because I can’t not ask when I have a question. I can’t not know.

In terms of how much I think I get out of my job, I think that makes up for some of the difference in pay. A lot of the difference in pay or I wouldn’t do it. I guess I’ll just be extra nice to all the district transportation directors, and keep the bus idea on the back-burner in case this reporting thing doesn’t work out. Lord help you all (and your children) if that ever happens. lol.

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