So, I keep getting the questions: "Where are you going?" and "Have you got a new gig?" I wanted to share a little here, as it seems that even though my email that went out to faculty indicated I am going to focus on my writing, I still get the odd instant message asking me what my plans are.
Randall's speech really hit home with me last season. And, it still does. When dad died, five years ago, I was full-time. I had access to FMLA. No one asked me if I wanted to take any, and as someone who was fairly new to being full-time and remote there, it didn't occur to me to ask. Granted, I was a bit distracted by my situation. When it was all over, I thought back to that time and how while I was living in my old room at home part time and at the rehab center part time that an angry student kept calling me to discuss her work. I asked her to please use email and briefly explained the situation.
It didn't matter to her. She kept demanding I call her; even leaving me voice mails on the morning my father died. No one intervened on my behalf. No one indicated to me that I had options and could stop teaching long enough to get my head together. Instead, I had to battle with this student while at the same time trying to hold myself together and help my family organize for the funeral. Because Dr. D was in clinical rotations, I wasn't able to lean on her, either.
I did get a plant. No pears, though.
This month--the first of October--marks the five year anniversary of dad's passing. This year also marks the first year that Dr. D is out of training. So, I really am just slowing things down.
I don't have another gig working for someone else. Instead, I really am focusing on my own writing and that is my gig. That and taking care of the house and letting Sophie take me on walks.
I am, like Randall, grateful for the time I had and the things I accomplished at work. But, after 22 years of working with beginning writers, and with seeing the ways in which education is not valued as it was back when I was an undergrad, I need to go do something else.
And, there's been some things that have happened in the last few months that I'm not going to talk about here that led me to this decision--things that actually have nothing to do with the students. But they are things that my dad would have responded to by telling me to tell the other people to "stick it in your frigging giggy."