18 July 2015

Dying dreams and to do lists

First my to do list. I am done with summer school, yesterday was the last day - yeah!!!! Now I have about 2 weeks until school starts up again. Not only that, I have gotten a position as an online college instructor - woo hoo!!!! Plus, I need to make some progress on my thesis, I have done nothing on it over the past 7 weeks. And, I need to be organized for school, I need lesson plans and calendars and rosters and all kinds of things. So, now that I'm home for awhile, I need a to do list every day. I find that if I have a plan I generally stick to it, not always, but mostly, but if I don't have a plan nothing gets done. Nothing. So I will have a plan every day. Normally, I will create the plan the night before, but yesterday I was too busy enjoying summer school being done. So, today's plan is as follows:

  • Wake up, weight myself, eat within 30 minutes of getting up
  • computer for no more than 1 hour (I'm a little over that limit right now but want to get this list done)
  • Workout - Daily Burn - Body Tabata with a score of 40
  • Relax, eat breakfast, pool, etc
  • Work on dissertation for 1 hour - writing
  • Vacuum house, pool, snack, relax, etc.
  • Work on dissertation for 1 hour - reading or writing on treadmill
  • Relax, pool, lunch, etc
  • Work on school stuff for an hour or so 
  • Walk dogs
This does not have to be done in exactly this order, though it's a good order, and in the afternoons I'm a little more flexible as Hubby will be home and might have something to do :) But in general, this will be my plan for most days. I like to get things done in the mornings, then the afternoons I can do what I want. 2 hours of dissertation work a day should have me making some progress in the next week or so, I sure hope so anyway. 

Okay, time to go exercise. I'll check back in later. 

I never got to the dreams dying part, it is not as bad as it sounds. When I first started teaching, I went to a conference at a private school here that is very famous. It is endowed by a trust from the last princess of the Hawaiian Islands. It has lots and lots of money. When I went to the conference I was completely in awe of their classrooms. They had everything; computers, smart boards, document cameras, just everything. I said that someday I wanted to teach at that school. I found out later that they also pay very, very well. It is a large school, 600 acres and over 6,000 students, but they have the money to support it. After applying for years for all kinds of positions there, I finally got hired as a summer school teacher. I was very excited about this and thought, this could be my foot in the door. I was finally teaching at my dream school, this was going to be an amazing summer. Hmmmm..... Flash back about 35 years ago. I got my first real job at Prudential Insurance, which was the largest insurance company in the world at that time. I enjoyed the office I worked in, but quickly discovered that working in a large company had its drawbacks, like not knowing everyone even though we worked on the same floor doing the same thing. I do not do well with people I don't know, so that is not a good environment for me. After that I worked at small companies and found that much more to my liking. I like being able to know everyone, even if I don't know them well, at least I know who they are and they know me. I ended up at a large company again, later, and found the same issues. The office I worked in was great, but I did not even know the people in the next office. Not fun. In the intervening years, I have mostly stuck to small companies, with a few years at big places to reinforce my hate of them. Fast forward to this summer. What made me think I would enjoy working at a large school is completely beyond me. The first couple of days they had my email wrong so I couldn't access any of the programs I needed to. In an ironic twist that still baffles me, the preeminent Hawaiian school spelled my Hawaiian last name wrong... {eye roll}..... That took 2 days to straighten out because there was not one person I could go to. I told the summer school person, who told the IT person, who had to contact some tech person, who had to call someone else, ugh!!!! Large companies!!!!!! Then no one explained how to work anything, I had to figure it all out for myself. Then I discover that the grades have to be entered into one program; a file saved and uploaded to another program. And the final grades have to be entered into a third program by hand. WTF??? This is one of the richest schools on the island and they have this archaic grading program. OMG!!!!

In the first classroom I was assigned to, I could not get the ac to work. I asked the lab assistant (they have a lab assistant - that is cool), she couldn't do it. I asked the head of the summer school, he couldn't do it. I asked the teacher whose classroom it was, she couldn't do it. They tried to get someone to fix it, only to discover they had no one who could work on it. After 3 days they had to move me to another classroom. Unreal. And there was just a whole bunch of little things like that over the course of the 6 weeks. Initially I wanted to make a good impression with the hopes of being offered a regular job. After about 2 weeks I realized that I did not want to work there and just needed to get through the summer. They asked me if I would be willing to teach again next year and I said yes, but I'm not sure that is true. We will see when next summer rolls around.

My point of this story is that for easily 6 years I have been hoping and praying to get a job at this school, only to discover that where I'm at is a much better fit for me. I like working in a smaller school. I like knowing everyone and running into the principal and president in the hallways. I like knowing many, not all, of the kids. I just like smaller places better. So, after 35 years, I think I finally get it. Smaller places are the place for me.

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