Geography graduate students intent on achieving tenure-track positions in academia might also consider diverse teaching opportunities, both full-time and part-time, beyond their expectations and even those outside their comfort zones. Biographies in geographic teaching reveal that not a few geography teachers willingly or reluctantly have joined the contingent workforce at one time or another, and yet have succeeded to achieve satisfying and ever-prosperous lifetime careers. Geographers do what they have to do in order to survive: they learn from their experiences, and their lessons learned help them to become better teachers. This paper is a memorate of my own unexpected part-time geography teaching experience during 1986 in a California Youth Authority (CYA) facility. My students were all wards of the State of California, incarcerated at the secured rural educational facility I introduce here as “Verdanta School.” I adopt a “memorate” style of self-narrative as appropriate to capturing the unusual essence of a semester-long paranormal experience. I have reduced that experience to “Ten Lessons Learned,” all of which later contributed to my career success in academia, and to my satisfaction with life.


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