I think it’s safe to say that 2013 was seriously derailed. In many ways. And I am so glad that year is over. One more hour, and there’s a whole new year to play with/muck up.
My last post here was sometime in June – at which point I got a permanent position in a library, had to drive 140k a day to-and-from work, and started to totally ignore the Museum Studies papers I was doing. I ended up being a zombie when I arrived home from work, and despite only working 3 1/2 days a week, I was exhausted.
Since the end of December, I’ve been on secondment to a much much closer library. I arrive at work 10 mins after dropping of my other half, rather than 50 mins. My other half can come and meet me at the library when their work is over. I get home, and still feel like I have some life in me. (On the financial side, we’re also saving at least one tank of petrol a week, $70 or so, and working 2 extra hours makes it another $30 a week – so that a whole $100 better for two months! Such small sums, but they make a difference!)
Things I have learnt this year include:
a) Museum Studies are not really my thing. Museums still are, and I have some ideas of how to make them useful in the future, but I really only passed those papers by the skin of my teeth;
b) Librarianing is not really my thing. I enjoy the contact with people, the regular hours, and having books in their right places. I do not foresee a future for me in libraries, however, as anything I’d like to do further, which would actually use any brain-power, requires Library and Information Studies, and what I’ve seen of them bore me silly. Given how hard I found completing papers in Museum Studies, there’s no way I’m putting myself through that. I’ve done enough study, surely!?!?
c) Teaching is my thing. I took (as in, convened) a Continuing Education (read – Adult Education, for fun and curiosity, with no essays or grades) paper at the local university in the second half of the year – just a quick 6 week intro to Old English. Walking into that classroom on the first day, after 6 months away from teaching, just set me buzzing. Somehow, I have to make teaching a part of my future. Already, I have another “Intro to Old English” lined up, followed by a “Reading Beowulf”.
Where is this going, then? And what does it mean for this blog? Who knows? Beyond the 28th of January, when my secondment ends, I have no clue what I am doing. I will go back to working in TinyTown for a week or so, because I want to say goodbye.
Given my interest in teaching, I have applied for Teachers’ College next year. However, I have strong reservations about that – I like teaching adults, people who want to learn. I have a romantic dream that I could be a teacher who makes a difference, who takes kids with no desire to read, and makes them all poets and play-wrights, but I’m not sure I have the stamina for it. Also, another year of study, of student debts, and not enough income…
I am also applying for various adult teaching roles around the place. I think Foundation Studies, and helping people who want to do further education, but are struggling with traditional forms of learning, would be very rewarding, and occasionally exciting. I had very good feedback from one place where I was rejected, so I’m reasonably confident I can get something in this area. I’m afraid some places will want me to do a course in Adult Education (you need the _right_ bit of paper for everything, here in NZ – they don’t seem to believe in transferable skills!), but if they’re willing to hire me, I’m willing to do a month-long Certificate.
As for writing… A couple of interesting academic type things came up last year, and I’m afraid I let them pass me by. I’m planning on spending my January as a Novel-Writing Month – it’s summer, and apart from job applications, there’s nothing much important which I need to do. So I will be up-dating (daily?) at least through January! Beyond that, we’ll see. I’m supposed to be doing some research in early printed books for a retired professor, but have not been able to do much these last months. Over January, I will spend one day a week in a private library, and another day volunteering with a DefenceForce Museum. So I should have interesting things to write about.
Looking forward, 2014 has got to be better than 2013!
Happy New Year!