Sunday, June 29, 2008
My life is one big giant whirl of lesson plans, classes, papers and homework to check, and huge cups of coffee to keep me awake during the day.
I'm hoping things will get better as my efficiency increases. Right now even my weekends are devoted to work.
I'm lucky to be able to take breaks from teaching, albeit the breaks themselves are education or work related, hehe.
Like last Friday, I met with my book club. 'Twas an all girls night out, and I loved every minute of it! Too bad I could not physically bring my book, so I did a "Christian," a la The Emperor's New Sonnet.
(Picture courtesy of Nicole)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Yesterday I attended an in-depth session on "Higher Education and the Real World of Practice," two topics near and dear to me. The session, which included both small-group discussions and germane spiels from recognized experts, focused on training university and (especially) conservatory graduates with business acumen, administrative skills, and other "peripheral" skills besides playing technique, theory, and music history. Apparently 85 percent of music majors end up working "in the field," although fewer than five percent are full-time professional performers. These are some pretty telling figures: Most music students will be doing something in music—teaching, administration, and so forth—but not what they went to college to do.
What I don't know is how these numbers vary by institution. My time has been spent mostly in large-ish public universities, including two Big Ten schools. I wonder if the percentages I've seen are representative of such factories—or, by the same token, of conservatories, liberal arts schools, or Ivy League joints. Anecdotally, at least, they seem reflective of my own experience and my friends'.
I'm speaking conjecturally here, but if the session's statistics are valid across the board, I have to wonder how the conservatories, which equip their graduates with (maybe) the best specialized training and (maybe) the poorest generalized training, can justify their programs. Practicing eight hours a day is a great way to become a virtuoso, but it's also a great way to develop an eating disorder, and apparently it makes you only incrementally more likely to sustain a career as a full-time soloist or orchestral player than someone who only put in four hours per day. Conservatory training continues to carry a great deal of prestige among musicians; however, if most conservatory graduates (like most other music graduates) aren't putting food on the table by playing three hundred nights a year, maybe their curricula should be reevaluated accordingly. In any case, more preparation to handle logistical and managerial duties can only help music students no matter where they're enrolled.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
This. is. it.
Tomorrow is the official start of my teaching career. I am lucky to be teaching in two schools, in the first (Regina Maria Montessori) I will be handling the following classes:
English (Grade 3)
English (HS II)
English (HS III)
Music (Grade 1)
Music (Grade 2)
Music (Grade 3)
I also have teaching load in one CASA (Kindergarten) class and will be handling the choir in RMM as well. And come the second quarter, Asian Civilization (HS II) will be added to my already-daunting load.
But that's not all!
I will also be teaching part time in CMu (tuloy na tuloy na, they've even given me a pigeonhole of my very own! *childish squeal of delight*), I'm handling the Diction 1 class (MuPC 101) and will have some voice students as well.
Also, I'm taking six M.A. units in the Ateneo and will be attending classes in the evening as well as on Saturdays.
I'm so nervous about tomorrow, I'm practically hyperventilating as I type. I want to fulfill my duties well, but I can't help but wonder... did I take on more than I can handle?
Oh well, there's only one way to find out.
~ ~ ~
We RMM teachers attended a seminar a few weeks ago, and it involved us taking personality tests designed to let us know if we are compatible with our chosen profession.
And no, I'm not a loner. I'm a melancholic. It's not that I'm anti-social, but I'm a very private person by nature and really prefer to be alone.
It's a challenge for a melancholic like myself to open up to people, which comes with teaching. This may be youthful idealism speaking, but I think that my desire to teach is greater than my fear of communicating. I hope I can be a successful teacher, without compromising my identity.
~ ~ ~
There are great tests of character that come every once in a while... they require every ounce of courage and integrity one possesses, and truly necessitates praying for Guidance.
I had one such test a few days ago. I was given a golden opportunity, as many would describe it... involving getting awarded and recognized in front of a veritable who's who of finance, government and education.
But at what cost? I would have to sacrifice my responsibilities, for with my teaching schedule that starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 or 8 p.m., it would be impossible for me to do as they asked and yet attend to my official commitments.
With a heavy heart, I had to decline.
~ ~ ~
|"I shall be telling this with a sigh|
|Somewhere ages and ages hence:|
|Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—|
|I took the one less traveled by,|
|And that has made all the difference..."|