February 15th, 2016 – 7 Months Before
What craziness it’s been the past month.
If you were wondering, Teaching + 8 hours of grad school is a little nutty. Kevin would tell you that finishing a PhD while also tying up business ventures before going abroad is a little nutty, too.
I’ll update you on what’s been going on towards preparing for “The Move.”
Since my last post, I took the opportunity of the three-day weekend before grad school started to apply to a teaching assistant position through the Spanish government. The position is officially called a “North American Language and Culture Assistant,” and my impression of the purpose is to bring in native-English speakers to K-12 schools in Spain in order to expose more kids to learning English and about outside cultures.
Coming from a full-time teaching position while going to grad school, the step-down from responsibility is MORE than welcome: most assistants work about 15-20 hours a week, and you are NOT responsible for your own class. You’re more like a traveling mascot for speaking English, leading kids through English-practicing activities. Again, this is all my impression based on what I’ve read online, and in talking to two friends that have done it for the past couple years. If I do it, I’ll have more updates on what it’s actually like.
At this point, I am not sure if I would take the job if they offered. Kevin was offered a job in southern France, which we’re hoping would allow him to commute from Spain, and he is still waiting to find out if he received a Fulbright. The Fulbright is to live and research in Santiago de Compostela for about 4 months, then in Barcelona for the rest of the school year. This would obviously make it difficult for me to commit an assistantship position for an entire year in one city, unless Kevin and I decided to have some months apart.
The automatic exposure to meet people and interact with locals is appealing, as is the security of the position. But I am also exhausted from teaching, and I wanted to go abroad to expand my perspective. Part of me knows I would probably be thrilled at the opportunity and change of pace of another school, but a large part of me is whispering,
“Why keep doing what you’ve always been doing??”
Part of the reason I want a break from teaching is that its sheer, crushing weight has been trampling the creative energy out of me. I have so many ideas for businesses and services I could start if I gave myself the chance. When I lie in bed trying to convince myself to start my homework or grading, I daydream about them (and then I push them into sad, dark corners of my brain and cover them with tape that says NOT NOW). I would LOVE the opportunity (and pressure) to pull them out, rip the tape off, and look at them in real light. With Kevin being offered a full-time job, and the money that we’ve saved up, AND the promise of a brand-new setting, the creative opportunity seems perfect.
So, I don’t know what I’ll be doing. I applied for the assistantship. Kevin’s waiting on the Fulbright. We’re trying to finagle a way for Kevin to have a location-free job. I’m jotting down the business ideas….we will see!