I have an amazing job. I work in a community college writing center as a full-time instructional specialist, a fancy job title that means I supervise a writing lab, tutor students, develop materials, contribute to our online writing lab, conduct workshops, and support faculty with materials and diagnostic testing for their classes. I also usually teach one to two writing/composition classes in addition to my regular work day, although I am cutting out the adjuncting to devote more time to my family this semester. I love the people I work with and the fact that I am focused enough on writing to work on my own writing at the end of the day and over lunch.
But my students are the ones who make it really rock. They are incredibly hard-working and committed, and their writing blows me away. Some of them open up to me about challenges they face while they put themselves through school. One was an A student at a prominent high school until his mother suddenly and tragically died from depression, leading him into a foray into the drug and party scene, which culminated in his getting caught with marijuana on school grounds, a felony offense he will carry around forever, not to mention killing his GPA. This kid is super talented and talking to him, it's clear that he would have had a full ride to a good university in another life. Another lost a child during the semester. Others are raising children or grandchildren alone or carrying for adult relatives or working two jobs. They get up and come to class and give it their all despite all of this. For others, the worst demons they face are their own insecurities.
Some are very young--16--while others are degree-seeking and fast-approaching 70. It inspires me infinitely to see them working so hard every day, facing down terrible odds, pursuing them like knights after dragons. When I develop a new workshop or implement a new strategy, I think of how committed my students are.