Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Breathe

disclaimer: this is me unloading about my job... sorry. it is also slightly incoherent.

right now at work i've been trying to get set up at my high schools. finding space, requesting transcripts, hiring interns, training interns, getting materials, planning, etc. i haven't even started working with my students yet and i'm pooped!

this will be my first year simply working. my first two years as a "professional" were shared with being a graduate student. although i was crazy and busy all the time, i cut myself some slack at my job and at school. i did the best that i could understand the circumstances i was presented. even though i think i did a pretty good job at both, i definitely have small regrets. being the perfectionist i am, i end up being really hard on myself. i think. (sometimes i think i'm hard on myself and other times people tell me, "um yeah, you think?") anyways, now that i'm "just" working, i have no excuses to not kickass at my job. that is very very scary.

most people know, i'm not too happy with my job. this year i'm trying to make my job more rewarding by creating opportunities for work that goes beyond the traditional scope of college access. one idea i have is this super-ambitious (but def kick ass) leadership retreat. will it be funded? maybe. right now i'm trying to make it fit into meeting our "goals" and our "outcomes." blech. even if it is funded a part of me thinks i shouldn't do it. i'm projecting a weekend in early January for the retreat. this means that college apps are dues Nov 30th so i would be doing college apps while i plan for this retreat, i would begin admissions "reading" first week of december (work 50 hour weeks through february), train my seniors in facilitation skills in december, take a small vacation in december, have the retreat january, start planning for southern california trip in mid-january. and all this time, still go to schools 4 days a week... i really want to do this retreat but know i will be super duper tired and worn out. why is it that when you come up w/ a good idea it just means more work? mediocrity is totally rewarded...

another thing i'm trying to do to make my job more rewarding is by recontextualizing my work into the larger history of public education. we had a training today w/ our interns and i did a facilitation on this topic. i def made some mistakes in my facilitation and need to improve on those skills but i feel like the interns were engaged, participated, learned some new information, and maybe felt a little bit more grounded in their work in education. they thought about how all of these court cases and propositions inform our work with students and schools. overall, it felt incredibly awkward doing this facilitation because it is atypical of our intern trainings-- our org definitely utilizes banking pedagogy and we RARELY talk about anything related to education that lives outside the realm of college access (even though its' def interconnected right?).

i felt nervous and scared because i took up all of this time doing something that is important to me, but i feel like is not valued in our program. i wasn't sure how the other staff would receive it. i felt like the interns were engaged but i couldn't read the professional staff. at some points i rushed and cut people off because it almost felt inappropriate to do this facilitation (even though it is DEF appropriate). its so interesting how your audience and place changes your facilitation. i feel comfortable as a facilitator in my undergrad/ grad classes, with my students at the schools but not with my coworkers. what sucks is that our director comes from a background of popular education. in her job now, she doesn't utilize that approach (i have no idea why). so today i had this paranoia that she was critiquing my approach, even though she never practices a similar method. in a nutshell? sometimes i feel suffocated at work. i feel myself becoming a drone and am trying to fight against it but am not sure the program and my coworkers have the capicity to support me in this. and i'm not sure i have the confidence, experience, or ability to change things.

which brings me onto my fledgling youth program... as of now, unnamed. this is my attempt to do something that i cannot do w/in the constraints of my job. so far? the only update i have is that we (me, plus 3 youth) have our first planning meeting on sunday!!!! yay!!! excited as i am, i'm superscared about this venture. i have no experience doing stuff like this... in fact, i'm so scared that i will probably never talk about this program again on my blog, for fear of public failure... i'm serioius.


so what is my point? why did i write this long, incoherent blog entry?
1. nothing in my life makes sense right now. thus i am incoherent.
2. i dont give myself time to reflect so i have to write it all out
3. it's my blog i can talk about whatever i want

CRAP! i'm a lefty so when i write w/ marker (like i did today) i get marker on my left hand. i just left a pink spot on my white laptop. ARGH !!!!!


oh yes. i'm also dealing with (ongoing ... for a very long time) trying to find a strong faith in God. i'm not going to blog about this. again, for fear of public failure. *sigh*

1 comment:

Power and Politics said...

I have definitely been in the same situation, and I'm not sure how it gets easier, except that it will take some time for the "output" for your project to become apparent to the staff.

but I think it's important to stick with it if it's a project you believe in (and it sounds like it will have a significant impact.)

And if they choose not to fund it or to ignore it, you can always cut loose and start your own project by applying for your own funding and eventually incorporating as a 501c3. Hard to do, but definitely doable and worthwhile.

Good luck, and don't let the stress immobilize you.