Got Motivation?

May 21, 2011 Comments Off on Got Motivation?

For the first time in my life, I’m finding myself volunteering. Before, volunteering was something required by my school that I would have moved heaven and earth to weasel out of. I’m not sure what repelled me so much, but man I hated it. And now, here I am, playing with three separate volunteering opportunities.

Okay, so one of them isn’t really very altruistic from my point of view. I contacted the artistic director of the Madison Youth Choirs to see about helping with rehearsals or something, and I’m meeting with him in a week and a half to talk about it. I do love kids and I do love kids’ choirs, but really I want to become a conductor’s apprentice so that I can start looking at becoming a real live choir director. The alternative is to find a teeny-tiny little choir of adults who will take whatever they can get as they get started, and I can kind of feel my way along until I get comfortable. Wendy knew a guy who wanted to start a choir, but that fell through, to my immense disappointment. So we’ll see where the MYC thing goes.

The other thing I’m really excited about is ESL tutoring. I just finished my training this afternoon, and I cannot wait. I have a learner and everything—her information is confidential, but she’s a Spanish speaker in her 60s—and I’m meeting with her on Wednesday! Maybe it’s the first flush of idealism, but I can’t wait to start on my lesson plan, and it’s led me to think hard (but unproductively) about teaching. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently because Rachael has definitely sampled the Teach for America kool-aid, so we’ve been talking a lot about the stuff she’s been reading in preparation. Plus, I’ve wanted to be some kind of teacher since maybe third or fourth grade. Plus, now I’m an ESL tutor. And it makes me wonder…do I want to be a teacher? If so, what do I want to teach, and to whom? I’m pretty sure the answer to the first question is yes, but every day I have a different answer for the others. Fifth grade. French. High school choir. Middle school geology. English. College choir. Adult ESL. I may even go so far as to get a teaching certificate soon, so I can have a first date with teaching. But Wisconsin’s rules look tough, so I might wait and see if wherever Simon goes to med school has looser requirements, because I definitely don’t want to go back to school for its own sake. MYC might help with this.

And finally, I’m looking into leading elementary school science clubs. It’s something I’d really like to do, but it’s at an inconvenient time and I definitely need a job…and I don’t want to leave the kids in the lurch if I get a full-time job after a couple weeks. Plus, the other stuff I am or might be doing is a lot more interesting to me—I mean, I can probably find a way to get involved with kids’ science clubs anytime, but doing choir is a lot more important to me. I can’t quite decide whether to drop out of it ahead of time…if I do, I’m sure I won’t get a job for at least eight weeks (which is how long science clubs last) because that’s the way of things. On the other hand, maybe it would be worth it to bow out now because I think the sting of my conscience if I had to stop mid-summer would be a lot worse than my regret if I didn’t do it at all. Hm. On the third hand, it would give me experience with elementary school kids, which might help with my new thing for teaching.

It’s tempting to fill up all my free time with volunteering—and I never thought I’d say that—but I have to remember that I might find a job soon. (But I also might not, says the other part of my mind.) It’s so frustrating! NEED JOB NOW.

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