The New Year Begins in August

Cartoon showing baby representing New Year 190...

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I never really left school. I went from university to teaching, so the calendar year never altered for me. August kicks off the new year in a way that January just never did.

It’s funny really that the year officially rolls over in January yet many people mark the passage of time with the school calendar or the fiscal year, which is July or October usually, depending on your occupation. January 1st is just Christmas’s less interesting sibling.

Back in the day, I would have already been in my classroom and probably completely ready to go by now. I made it a habit to crack the seal on my “office” door the first week of August. I’d spend the mornings cleaning, organizing, decorating and finally planning. I typically outlined the entire year before breaking it down by semester and then grading periods and finally daily lesson plans. I rocked really.

August, therefore, feels like the time to plan. With Dee heading back to school, I have free hours during the day that need direction.

Direction that isn’t laundry or baking or cleaning.

Briefly I toyed with applying for a job at the museum in town. They are looking for a program assistant. It’ teacher work. Organizing and brainstorming. I would totally be in my element. Curriculum. History. Teaching. Some of my favorite things in life. The work is even part-time and mostly flexible, but the bulk is Tuesday and Thursday, and I am already committed to teaching yoga at the community hall in the evenings. The potential for the whole thing to turn into long days in the hellmouth is fair to good.

I’m gearing up to have myself added to the city’s yoga teacher sub list, and I’m going to take a couple of classes to get ready to e-publish a few short works that are a bit too niche for the bigger markets. That’s enough on top of home and family though I struggle still with the stay at home thing. Four years out of the workforce is a freakish feeling for someone who spent nearly 30 years of her life working. And with the economy in free-fall again, I get itchy.

But we don’t need me working part-time for peanuts, which screws us at tax time, and me going back to teaching adds unnecessary stress to our daily lives because the juggling of household chores and kid is no small thing. The pressure to work outside the home rears up though. Not as often as in the first years and usually driven by  something coming up that my working wouldn’t fix anyway.

It’s better that I stick to my original plan, which could pan out more profitably in the longer term with a bit of luck and nose to the keyboard.

Need to put my father’s daughter to bed once and for all and concentrate on the ball in play.

4 responses to “The New Year Begins in August

  1. I was just talking about the “new year” with my South African friend. She’s over here living now and couldn’t figure out why the kids started school in August, since in S.A. they go year round.
    “Why August?” she asked. I told her it had to do with the harvest back in the day and just kind of stuck.
    I’ve been out of the work force 2 years now that I married active duty military. Of course, we’ve also moved 4 times in the past 2 years but I feel pretty guilty about not working. But you are still working. You’re teaching yoga! That’s a job.
    And writing a book is very much a job too!! 🙂

  2. I hear you. A friend who still teaches has been encouraging me for months to get back in the game. Her district has 65 new teachers coming on board, so even though I am not highly qualified in a specific subject she is sure I could find a way back into the classroom. But do I want to? I, too, still feel the pull of August – in opposite directions. The getting ready and excitement of new students was great; the school politics and resistance to change was not so great. No one else is beating down my door, so we’ll see….

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