yours, tiramisu

the last paycheck

(happier music rec for today, thankfully)

My bonus from last year hit my bank account today. It's not a whole lot — about two months salary — but at the rate I currently spend it should be enough to cover my living expenses for two years. It's also the last payment I'll get from my old company, and good riddance. I'll certainly miss the money, but the faster I put that nightmare behind me, the better.

Tomorrow is payday for my new job. I get paid every other Sunday, and this past pay cycle is the first I actually worked significant hours, which means bringing home a couple hundred dollars. It feels like a lot and nothing at the same time, substantial when compared to my expenditures yet paltry in the shadow of my former (full-time) paycheck.

I wouldn't say I'm doing well right now by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm still better off than I was then. I like my peers at work, and while the work isn't easy, I can find enjoyment and reward in it. For every hour in class I get paid I have to spend many more unpaid hours preparing, researching, and lesson planning, but even taking that into account it's no contest.

Working hourly makes me feel more connected to the number on my paycheck, since tutoring is very much an eat-what-you-kill business. I want to take on more students & papers to increase how much I take home, but I'm concerned about overextending myself, especially because I can't drop students once I accept them. I don't like to feel pressed, so I've tried very hard not to spread myself too thin ever since my college days. It's a habit that's as good for my mental health as it is detrimental for my career.

I had my third class with my (first and only) student today, and while I severely underestimated how long my in-class activities would take, I'm happy because I'm getting better at this teaching thing. I'm not a natural at working with kids, but I can physically feel myself loosen up the more I teach (and see my student do the same!). I'm learning so much about what works and what doesn't, how long things take, and how to craft interesting in-class activities and homework assignments. And teaching writing only reinforces to me how much I love the art of writing. I relish the challenge of envisioning what an essay could be and guiding my student there. I love the intellectual challenge of building an argument and telling a story as much as I love tweaking syntax and fussing over nouns and verbs.

(As far as I can see, the only part I'm not cool with is the whole Share Your Writing With Others part. But I joined the writers circle anyway, so maybe I can work on that too.)

yours, tiramisu

It has been my intention for the longest time to write gratitude posts here because I'm constantly reminded how gratitude is an antidote for depression. Yet I feel sheepish setting out to write a gratitude post; I don't know why, maybe it reeks dangerously of Eat Pray Love or some other rah-rah nonsense. But this is the gratitude post I've been waiting for! Life can be terrible, but it can also be good too at times, and it's certainly good when I'm writing and teaching and teaching writing.

I stayed up late to get this post in on the 27th! It's almost midnight now and in another time that would be a sacrifice but sleep has been hard to come by recently. When I get done with this writing every day in January schtick I'm going to be like

yours, tiramisu

#english #life #teaching #wordvomit #work #writing