Carmela has been coming in for a month or more now, working on her resume and trying to get a job teaching. She is a tall, fit, physically imposing black woman from Johannesburg who has lived in Paris and speaks French fluently.

“Can you give me a hand with this?” she asked, coming up to the desk from PC #1, her habitual location.

I scanned her resume and it all read fine to me, but Carmela wasn’t satisfied.

“Teaching isn’t like other jobs, you know,” she said, spreading out her hands, trying to grasp a big concept. “It isn’t about the money. There are other reasons why I want to be a teacher. But how can I say that in a single word?”

I stared off into space for a moment and a word came hurtling toward me like a corporate logo on a 60-foot wide movie screen. “Paramount,” I said, kind of stunned by its sudden impact on my brain.

“Yes!” said Carmela, holding up her hand for a high-five. “Money is not my paramount concern.”

Paramount_Pictures_logo_(2013)

 

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