1. We are still waiting for spring to arrive here. Though Madison has been spared the big snowstorms communities a little farther north have seen, it's still plenty cold (the temp was 15 when we got up this morning), actual spring-like weather still feels like it's a long way off.
2. There are little signs that winter is ending, though. Longer hours of daylight certainly make for more cheerful afternoons, and the daffodils and tulips are poking their leaves through the cold, muddy ground.
3. Also, I got a nice little surprise in my inbox this morning. We've been wait-listed for a plot in a nearby community garden. Since we were pretty far down the list, I wasn't expecting to get a plot until next year, but a few hours ago I received an email that a spot opened up for us! I've tried gardening in a variety of community plots over the last several years, and I'm the first to admit that I haven't been very successful. Oh, hell, let's tell it like it is: I'm a pretty lousy gardener. But the stubborn part of my nature refuses to give up. A big perk of this community garden is that it's very close to our house, not quite close enough for the kids to walk, but certainly close enough to bike, so we should be able to get out there often enough for adequate watering and weeding.
4. Among the many objectionable policies of Gov. Walker's administration is his expansion of the school voucher program. Educational public policy is a HUGE subject, and other than being a product of Kentucky public schools, as well as a daughter, niece, granddaughter, great-niece and cousin to people who have taught in public schools (and higher education) I'm no expert. So I'm not going to go on and on about education "reform" here, at least not today. But I have recently run across two excellent articles on the subject, so I'm linking them here because I think they are definitely worth the time it takes to read:
Kristine Mattis: The Media on Education
Stan Karp: Who's Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do About It?
5. Along those lines, as I ponder my career direction or the lack thereof, I'm starting to seriously consider becoming a teacher. I hesitate for a lot of reasons that are probably obvious: the work involved to get certified, the work involved in the actual job, the fact that doing so would be calling it quits for real in my life as a musician, and last but certainly not least the current vilification of teachers and attack on public education from so many people and entities like state and federal governing bodies. (I'm not excusing Democrats on this, mind. I do not like President Obama's education policies one bit.) But I think I would probably be a pretty good teacher and I've always been passionate about education, so I'm thinking about it.
6. I would definitely teach high school. I would much rather wrangle a room full of adolescents than a room full of young children.
7. I would definitely NOT teach music in a public school setting.
8. In fact, my dream job today would be to join the faculty of a liberal arts college and split my time between collaborating with students, faculty and guest artists in recitals, and coaching undergraduates in chamber music and vocal accompanying. That would be so awesome. Unfortunately, I've never heard of a position like that anywhere. There are staff accompanists, certainly, but they are almost always adjunct positions and the people who are hired are badly overworked, underpaid, and not treated with a whole lot of respect. And are also without the teaching component, which is a big part of what I love to do.
9. Said dream job does not exist and probably never will, even in a culturally-informed place like Madison. So maybe it's time I face reality and stop whining about feeling worthless and irrelevant and try going in a new direction.
10. Anyway, if I were to go into the field of public education, I'd have to pick a subject and more or less start over. I could probably skim off a semester or two of General Education requirements since I already have a college degree (and several graduate degrees), but I have no formal teacher training (piano pedagogy does not count, alas) and no formal education in any subject area relevant to high school education. This is daunting.
11. Maybe I should just keep limping along with the freelancing and the "full-time and unpaid" Mom Thing and wait another two years for Anya to be in public school full-time before I make any big decisions.
12. By then I'll be in my (gulp!) MID-THIRTIES, i.e. too old.
13. This is hard. Can you tell?