13 September 2012

My yearly delusion

It happens every September.  I think I can make a nice neat job of assembling my teaching schedule from the wild jigsaw pieces all my students submit, and then I sit down with it and realize that 5 people want the same time and nobody wants the middle of Thursday and how am I going to work around the orchestra, anyway?

There are upsides and downsides to being self-employed.  I thought one of the major ups would be getting to set my own schedule, but when I'm working around everything that my students get up to besides playing the viola (and most of them get up to quite a lot - sports, art, dance, babysitting and driver's ed for the older ones, and then all that annoying school-and-homework stuff) it turns out that I don't actually get a lot of say in the matter.

And then the new kids sign up, and I have to joggle them into place (please let there be new kids! {Not only could I use the money, all my returning kids are up to at least ASTA Level 2 [that's "American String Teachers Association"] and I kinda miss the littl'uns.}) without actually getting to meet or talk to them first.  They changed the registration process on us a few years ago, which at first looked like it'd be wonderful but has turned out to suck.  When you've got someone right in front of you, you can work out a compromise, but when all you've got is a piece of paper that says "Monday at 5" and that's it because they didn't understand that you're supposed to give a window, not just a start time, it's a little harder.

I suppose my greatest delusion is that I can actually make a living in the field I hold my degrees in.  And yet, I've been doing it for a decade (whoof, that makes me feel old).  Granted, with some help on the side from other jobs, but whatever.  Maybe I should go collect a few more degrees now that the first two are paid off.  A handful of doctorates that I could deal out like a deck of very big cards.  Of course, it would be utterly delusional to think I could PAY for that...  I wonder what the scholarship market is like for 30-something polymaths?

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