This year has been a valuable learning experience. I have learned that I can actually live well on very little, mostly because I have time to plan meals and I have a lot of spare don’t-give-a-crap. I am also letting other people help me and I am not refusing to accept the generosity of my family and friends. My roommate situation is working out well, thanks to my Amanda Friend and her son, Big Kid. My surly cat even has grudgingly approved of the situation.
One of the other lessons I have learned is that I really need to get back to working full-time at something.
I get a great deal of joy out of teaching, mostly because I still have the joy of learning. Last week I had the pleasure of actually teaching an English class. There was discomfort involved in reading aloud (that’s a long story and best suited for a blog of its own.) I get a genuine joy and delight from teaching my tiny little group of fifth and sixth graders. (The kids are average size, the class itself is tiny.) I love coaching them through the rough spots and am amazed at how easy it is to teach something I truly love.
Both of the teaching jobs are at two of the three schools where I sub. I will be teaching sixth grade at yet another school for a three day run at the first of next month. To patch over the thin spots, I am doing some freelance editing and writing some specialty articles. This is by no means difficult work and it is not in anyway lucrative, but it is good for a few extras, like the occasional pricey cookie (MMM LA Madeliene Linzer Cookies) or my weekly coffee-pancake-Amanda Friend treat.
There are days when I am doing all three jobs (teaching two classes of different types and editing or compiling research.) Those days I feel like I’m running in circles waiting for my face to fall off. And your face falling of for no real good reason is stupid.
So I need to work full time so I can use my writing time for, well, writing. I have had the creative energy and freedom to participate in two writing contests. My best efforts actually came out really well, if I do say so myself. If the judges agree, I will make enough in prize money to get me through the summer. I am not going to count on this, so I’m going to be on the scrounge very soon for a source of consistent cash for that three months. I hope to return to a classroom in the fall.
There are a few things I want to address in future blogs. These are ideas that occurred to me as I observe students and life in general.
- Our children are under a lot of pressures, both academic and social
- There are worse things than no WiFi
- Comfortable shoes are worth their weight in gold.
- Everyday someone is redefining normal
- Everyone’s acknowledgement of the freakshow doesn’t get you out of the circus.
And many, many other things.
Dean Koontz’s Ashley Bell was great and may have dented my brain a little.