For this latest installment of our series My Economy, we hear from Martha Rast, a therapeutic art teacher living in Tuscon, Arizona.
“My name is Martha Rast, and I teach therapeutic art lessons.
It’s way better than cool. It’s the best job in the world — I love it. Any kind of therapeutic experience, really, has to be human-to-human. Because the one thing machines cannot do yet, and I don’t think they ever really will, even if there’s AI, is really truly understand emotional intelligence.
I basically made up the job, because I’ve been teaching for 27 years. And I started out in public school. I looked at my take-home pay and thought, "Even if I do this for 32 years, I’m not gonna do this job for money. I’m gonna do this job for spiritual appreciation."
In fact, many of the caregivers in the nursing homes that are working around me do not have health care. The irony kills me: That they are taking care of our elderly, and they themselves do not have health care. It’s absolutely unaffordable, there’s no way to slice it. I just want to do my job, but I don’t know how much longer I can do that and remain stable.”