May 21, 2018
For the past three years, Oldham has made sure to have a second job for summer lined up before the school year ended. In the past he has worked as a chemistry researcher at Iowa State University and for the Governing STEM council. This summer, Oldham plans to work as a baseball umpire and hopefully a firefighter. “God willing I get the firefighter gig, I’ll basically be working every Saturday night which is fine because otherwise I’m just going to bed at nine o’clock,” Oldham said.
Firefighters are paid relatively well, and Oldham has the extra motivation because his dad was a firefighter for 25 years. Second jobs give him an opportunity to do something with his summer that he actually enjoys and to explore different interests that he otherwise be able to try.
Before getting married, Oldham would travel during the summers he wasn’t working. “When I was in Germany I would travel all over Europe,” he said.
Summers in Colombia mainly consisted of flying back to the States or doing something within Colombia. Now he mainly hangs out with his kids and wife.
Oldham sees multiple benefits to having a second job.“[They make] you appreciate the fact that you’re a teacher and allows you to do things besides teach every day,” Oldham said. “I just feel like it gives me a lot of opportunities to interact with other humans besides 17 year olds.”
Money is also a motivator. He and his wife, Meghan Oldham, have two kids and are hoping for a third. “About 30% of my salary I never see,” Oldham said. “But that’s okay because I’m a teacher and that’s what I chose to do and I am fortunate enough to have summers off.”
Meghan is also a teacher and has summers off, so she stays with their youngest while their oldest goes to preschool.
His jobs at Germany and Colombia paid around the same amount as he currently makes at Johnston. “I’ve always been really fortunate to make a lot of money as a teacher, because I came from inner city Texas where I made more than I do now,” Oldham said.