Wow. It is gorgeous outside this morning! Not too hot yet. Very nice out on my back porch. I missed this all semester, without really noticing that I missed it. Once I finished writing my article, I haven't done any more writing, and for some reason I wasn't grading out here. (Also, I haven't done a workout since, like February, and it is showing, and I need to get back to that.)
All around the blogosphere, people are posting about writing and learning to teach writing. I totally will get to doing a roundup on that, but I just finished my grades (still have to enter them in) and want to spend my time thinking about other stuff instead for a bit.
Of course, I need to make plans for the summer. But I don't actually know what I am doing. I guess I am staying here for yet another round of the crappy underpaid postdoc? I haven't gotten rejected everywhere yet, so I don't actually know. I should probably plan as if I am staying here, and just go ahead and make some plans. Ok, well then.
I guess, since I have sent off Floyd the article and don't have anything else out for revise and resubmit or anything, that I can turn to The Book. Maybe this is The Summer of The Book. Holy crap that sounds scary. No wonder I've been finding out ways to put that off for years (even if I didn't really know I was procrastinating it until just now.) I guess I can do that. So: next step is to make a book-revising plan!
And I need to think about possible conference stuff for the fall ... wherever I might be living and working. Maybe I don't and can just continue to ignore conferences? I don't know.
Also, I am hurting for money, once again. Last year I did a spring conference but never got the shit together in the right form to get the dept. to help pay for it, and it was very expensive. All my Christmas money from the family went to that and car repairs. This year (partly because I was being worked like a dog) I didn't buy anything outside of food and cat stuff, so I was doing pretty well ... until I got campus visits. Which are nice, but which are not reimbursed at the community-college level. So now I have all of that shit sitting on the credit cards and I am wondering if I can manage to visit the family for July again.
Complicating all this is that I wasn't offered any summer teaching, since it is a perk they will only give to returning employees. (Pthththt!) As soon as I get all my rejections in a row and go in and force them to hand me a contract to sign, I will ask (plead?) about summer teaching, but I bet the online classes have been handed out already. Glug. This might mean that I would be stuck here teaching amongst the heat and bugs and humidity all summer. Bleah. I also looked up tutoring centers, and noticed that there is a Proprietary Learning Center (where I worked my summers during my first Master's) and I could always try contacting them. It may be too late. And I'm sure they are not paying the regular rate they should be paying. This would also put a crimp in my family-visiting plans. I am willing to listen to suggestions for additional summer money. I'd feel really embarrassed to meet up with my former students while working retail or steaming coffee at $B, though.
And in other news, I would like to have more Fun in my life than this previous list implies. So I will be compiling up a summer fun reading list and could even post it here if you'd like. I also think I need to watch more weird old movies like The Unknown, and post crazy-ass movie reviews for you all. I would of course take suggestions on those. Or even form some sort of fun movie-watching discussion group, since the peeps I like the most here don't really like fiction films and I'm not so big on documentaries, which means we never have anything to say about what we're watching.
So watch this space for more exciting lists! Summertime here we come!
On summer money, what about doing some freelance writing? ACT (the test) used to be in constant need of content writers. I would guess they still are. Several years ago I was doing that "on the side." They paid $300 per 300-word essay. Check their website maybe? Also, I've learned since leaving academe that PR firms pay people to ghost-write op-eds and whatnot. I haven't actually done this, but I know someone who does it regularly. The writing doesn't have to be good, just reasonably coherent. They give you "assignments," and the more quickly you can turn them around the better the pay. The person I know turns around 500-600 word assignments within 24 hours and gets $750 apiece. And, of course, this type of work can be done remotely, so you could stay where you are or go to Cali but still do work for a PR firm in NYC or DC.
I, too, have done the test-writing thing (reading comprehension questions, with passage condensed from something published, ten multiple choice questions, and ten rationales for why the right answer was the only right one, $500 a pop when I was doing it. With some practice, you can get it down to 10 hrs/set. Of course with self-employment you pay c. 45% in taxes (I always put away 50%, and got a bit back), but it's still a pretty good deal, and flexible (and new/different experience/a different income stream). And it can take a while to get paid, which means more credit-card interest in the interim.
Pearson uses test-writers, and ETS used to contract out a bit, too. Also check who is doing the MCAT these days. The higher the level of the test, the more helpful it is to have a Ph.D. if you're applying to write.
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