April 25, 2016

Grace and More Grace

Monday has arrived! It is my first official day off for my summer break. I didn’t sleep well last night, mostly because I went to bed fairly early, and I seemed to toss and turn all night. I woke up around 5:00 a.m., and then after forcing myself to stay in bed longer, I finally dragged myself out at 6:30. My email box was overflowing with students who didn’t listen to my warning of the “end of the semester” deadline (no extension). Sigh! If they would only listen to me, I mean, I give them grace, grace and more grace, and still they do not listen. It is frustrating and so disappointing at times.

I hate to be a mean teacher, you know, but frankly, I worry about coming off as wishy-washy and not stern enough. My students know that I give them grace, that I help them as much as I can, but at some point they have to do the work themselves. Grace is a challenge for me, especially in higher education because it is one of those areas where students are expected to perform on their own. It is preparatory for life, for working in the real world outside of academia. Yet, in this age of entitlement, most of my students expect to pass with an A while only giving C or D work. It is all about expectations and the fact that young people today were raised to never endure, to never suffer, or to never fail. So much for liberal education and self-esteem programs that were designed to make everyone a winner! In real life, there are winners and there are losers. It is life.

Struggling with Doubt

I am struggling today. I am not happy. I am feeling discontented with my life. I am stressed over this whole job thing and where the Lord intends to send me. I have said to Him, “Yes, Lord! I will go,” and just yesterday, I blogged about being very happy in my decision to return to corporate work. Then today, it is like I have been blindsided by a train, and I am reeling from the thought that says, “What if you cannot find a job in corporate work either?” I know this is not the case, but still I cannot help but think about it. I am highly qualified, well-educated, but I cannot find work in my field. I cannot teach full-time because I lack experience and publications. I cannot work in communications because I have too much education and not enough recent experience. I am stuck, and right now, I am  feeling the burn of mismatched and unmet expectations.

Job Status

I spent time this morning working on my resume (again!) I am not sure what to do right now. I have a pre-recorded interview with Colorado Christian University to complete today, but other than this interview, I have no other interviews on the horizon. I just received a decline email from Old Dominion University, thanking me for my application for a part-time teaching position in Communications. All of the other positions I have applied for either have come back as formally “declined” or as “no interest” (which means you are basically declined without an email confirmation). My job prospects are sketchy at best. This is where I am at as of today, April 25, 2016:

Confirmed with contracts for Fall 2016

  • GCU - three sections of English Composition 2 (106)
  • ACU - one section of Introduction to Communications (203)
Approved to Teach as needed:
  • OCU - English Composition I and II
In Process, waiting for Confirmation
  • Regent University - English Composition and Literature
In Interview Process
  • CCU - preinterview
What this means is that I could potentially have anywhere between 4 and 10 classes (a combination of traditional and online) to teach in the fall and spring, 2016-2017. 

In addition to these classes, I have one application “in process” with United HealthGroup. My status is “under review” and I have been asked to “self identify” for the next step in the process. The job I applied for is no longer posted, so the likelihood that it is available is slim. Still, I am expecting to receive a “decline” email soon.

So where does that leave me?

As of right now, I have no work for summer. I have part-time work for fall, but it is not going to cover me well enough unless some of these online positions actually come to pass. It is good to be added to the adjunct pool, but there is no guarantee that I will receive contracts. It is just that I have been added as an additional instructor SHOULD they need more teachers.

I personally feel stuck right now. I don’t know what to do. I mean, should I keep looking? Keep applying for part-time jobs? Or should I go whole hog and apply for business opportunities? I also considered spending this summer working on my dissertation and relearning how to do database management, programming or some other really practical skill. I don’t mind doing this and I will have time to do it. I just wonder if it is a good way to go. I considered this approach a couple years ago. In fact, I have thought about it every summer since 2010. I could make oodles of money in IT, and my age would not be a factor. But, do I want to do this work? If I could work from home, yes. If not — well then — I am not so sure about it. 

UGH! 

Part of me wants to just take my summer off, chuck it all out the window, and say, “I GIVE UP!” I DON’T CARE IF I DON’T HAVE A PERMANENT JOB.  I AM TIRED OF IT ALL. I AM DONE WITH IT! Then there is part of me that knows that the Lord has me well-covered, that He has everything under control. Just a moment ago, I heard myself say, “In whom do you trust?” (Psalm 146:2-3). Yes, I am reminded that my trust is not in princes or rulers (or jobs), but my trust is in the Lord.

I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.

Oh, Lord! What am I to do this good, good day?

I know that answer. TRUST ME. REST IN ME. BELIEVE IN ME. ABIDE IN ME. OBEY MY WORD. RELAX, AND LET THIS BE.

Sigh! I know, I know, I know.


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