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Where am I?

September 29, 2007

I have been on a bit of a search for myself lately. That is, I don’t know, at times, where I am.

Currently, I am physically located in an airport bar waiting another two hours for a flight to MN and then to an airport an hour from my home. I should get in at 10:00 tomorrow morning, flying from the West Coast back to middle America. In the past two weeks I have gone coast to coast, From Atlanta to San Diego to this stop on the way home. San Francisco. A pretty city they say. I wouldn’t know. I am stuck at the airport for the past four hours, with another two to go. Then I get to fly through the night.

I am a bit bitchy about this because, as I said, I don’t know where I am.

I am no longer teaching online courses. I haven’t since March this year. And, truth be told, I don’t really miss it. I miss the teaching, but I don’t miss the hassle of logging in and providing a “presence” in the class. It becomes, when viewed this way, a big hoop to jump through each day. A real drag, which doesn’t help the teaching excitement one bit.

But, teaching doesn’t pay the bills. Not even close. Not even close to the student loans and credit dept incurred on the foolish notion that staying in school would pay off in the end.

Why cross-country commuting? The “career” that I have imposed upon me has been to create/deliver ERP training. I like to think of it as instructional design, but it too often ends up basic computer skills training. “Yes, you click the ‘save’ icon to move to the next screen.”

So, as a training consultant/instructional designer, I make a decent billing rate (around three figures/hour), but, I have to be on the road to make the rate.

I am here, wondering how I got here. I have to make the choice, and I know I am not alone in this, between nurturing and enjoying relationships with my family and bankruptcy. That is, if I don’t leave for work (no work at home), then therein lies quick and sure financial ruin. If I go, then my Pookie sees me only on the weekend. Then she says things like “I wish my Dad didn’t have to miss everything” or “why can’t Dad take me to school?”

Where am I?

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5 Comments
  1. Laura permalink
    October 1, 2007 11:44 am

    Have you thought about becoming an instructional technologist within an academic institution? There is sometimes “basic computer training” involved, but it’s more fun than that.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    October 1, 2007 8:09 pm

    Piss Poor,

    I’ve wondered where you’ve been. Your “presence” in your blog had dropped off as well. I’m sorry to learn about the tough choices you face ahead. Me, I’ve chosen to forgo additional work for family, but I’m able to do so with the financial threat of bankruptcy.

    I have to ask – why no more online teaching? Was this your decision or a school(s)? I can’t recall how many online schools at which your were teaching. I’ve been “dropped” from schools before, but not all of them. And, yes, while I wouldn’t miss the day to day hassles of logging in and keeping admin. happy, I would miss the paycheck. Are you up to another round of applications?

    I hope things come together for you soon.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    October 1, 2007 8:11 pm

    Sorry – that should read “withOUT the financial threat…”

  4. Piss Poor Prof permalink
    October 3, 2007 3:35 am

    Hi Laura,

    Yes, I have. In fact, I have applications to two institutions. But, educational institutions move at a snail’s pace. There is no incentive to move, so they don’t seem to. One of the positions has been posted, off and on, for two years.

    Once in, good gig, but terribly hard to come by.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    October 3, 2007 9:57 pm

    Piss Poor,

    I agree. The worst time to apply for an online teaching position is when you actually need one to help pay the bills. They can take 6-12 months from initial application to first paycheck. I’ve outlasted 4-5 changes in middle management (Deans) at one school I’ve been with for a couple of years. New admin., new paper shuffle of applicants.

    All that to say, my thoughts go out to you and Pookie. I’ve got two of ’em at home myself.

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