Monday, April 5, 2010

Free At Last . . .

It's over!!!

The month from H. e. doubletoothpicks is over, and I have had a weekend of sleeping late and drinking in the glorious spring weather. (Although today it hit almost 90 degrees. Sheesh.)

I had hoped to add that there were several days of drinking celebratory margaritas, but that didn't happen. Although I did have a Caribbean Breeze last night with Sista G, Brotha P & BS at a local watering hole. It was cool & frooty & good.

First - the course I taught:

I purely LOVED being in the classroom again!!!

BUT, the reality of rearranging my schedule at work to accommodate the class was more of a nightmare that I anticipated. Not only was there an additional 3+ hours of travel time each week (depending on traffic), the 10 hours of class time, and the ~1/2 hour before & after each class to take care of the details of academia, but there were also the hours of preparatory work & grading at home. I figure that I added an additional almost 20 hours per week to my regular full-time workload. Ewwwwww!

It's every teacher's dread to teach someone else's class with all their course materials and tests. Especially when some of the stuff is unfamiliar. But I mudded through, and the students gave me glowing evals at the end. They were a good group, and I actually learned all their names by the end of the class.

Evidently, the students gave such good feedback that the program offered me a full-time job teaching and coordinating the internships. Just what I love doing. Wait, whaaaa? Really? Wow!

Yeah, and I turned that one down.

Why, you ask?
  1. The commute. 45 minutes each way on a day with zero traffic. No thanks.
  2. The philosophy of the college (not the program; the college). I don't buy into the whole 'herd them through as quickly as you can' mentality. That may work fine for a profession that is not a hands-on field, like computers (which is what they started with), but I don't think the formula works as well for professions that require a lot of hands-on practice, like many of the medical programs. I didn't like that a whole semester's worth of material is condensed into a 5 week class, which translates into 5-hour class sessions. Okay for memorizing, I guess, but not really conducive to being able to solidify & apply knowledge. But that's just my opinion. Plus, it's no fun to have to teach for 5 straight hours. Yuk.
  3. The cost. The amount that students have to shell out for this privilege makes me gulp. I can't help but think it's something of a rip-off, especially since you can do the same thing at the local community college for 1/4 - 1/3 of the price. Granted, it will take longer, but still, in the grand scheme of things, not that much longer.
  4. The atmosphere. All of the "rules" almost made it feel like high school. Technically, I was supposed to clock in & out every day, even though I was on a flat-rate contract (WTF?!), but they never got around to showing me where the timeclock was, so that was okay after all. Every student has to wear a uniform to class - each discipline with its own uniform. They are not supposed to call their instructors by their first names. What did I do about that, coming from the community college program where we always called our instructors by their first names? I said that when the door is closed, please call me 'Kathy', since I didn't like any of my other options. I'm not really a 'Miss', I haven't been a 'Mrs.' for a lot of years, and I purely loathe "Ms." The response I got was "You mean we're actually going to be treated like adults? Wow! It's the dawn of a new era?" Funny kids ;-)
So, I turned it down without stewing and pacing and fretting about it. They still want me to teach this class again in November when it is offered again. We'll see. Maybe by then, I will have forgotten how miserable this past 5 weeks was, but I don't think so.

Second - the family issues:

Some of you reading this already know what this is referring to, and I am happy to report, with relief and joy, that things are going very well. I know we had a lot of prayers going up, and for that I thank you.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to provide details. Suffice it to say that some very black clouds are lifting and light is coming back into someone's life again.

So, my relief has more than one face, and I feel strangely free.


Sista G said...

I empathize with your factors for not considering the new job - you'd end up resenting it more than you love it.

I already guessed that the situation with the family issue was better, after seeing things first hand this weekend. I'm glad I was right!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back - I sure missed reading your silly stuff! Hope to read some soon. Best wishes for the personal stuff. Give me a call whenever I can assist. Everyone needs a change of scenery now and then, and we have plenty of different stuff up here. Chin up; face forward; march!