And it’s November. It’s finally chilly out. And since August, I’ve managed to read not 8 books a week (as I should) but roughly 8 books a month, which is not exactly helping me get to the magical unicorn of 300 books by April. One of the (many) things I am learning the hard way about grad school is that unlike the working-class world, where you say yes when people ask you if you want to work harder and make more money, here you need to safeguard your time for unpaid labor. Truthfully, if you’re not on some sort of fellowship, the idea is to work as little as possible and make the least amount of money you can survive on so as to have the most time possible for pursuing your degree.
I am terrible at saying no to more money. Employment opportunities abound during the school year but are scarce over the summer, and I like to pay my rent year-round.
So this semester, when I should be spending 6-8 hours a day reading, instead I am working five jobs. Yep, five. There’s the 20-hour appointment in my department with an awesome prof that pays my rent and bills in return for 30 hours of grading every couple of weeks; the 10-hour appointment in another department that pays more per hour and provides close contact with another awesome prof in return for 12 hours of grading every month or so; the teacher training program I lucked into that only pays an additional grand a semester but that provides awesome pedagogical support; the 8 hours a week I work at my retail gig; and the 5 hours or so I spend making posters and teaching two-step lessons every Saturday. They’re all awesome jobs, I’m learning a lot, and four of them pay well, which is why I had a hard time saying no. And more importantly, summer isn’t going to hurt. But good lord that’s a lot of time spent working for other people!
I guess the good part is that instead of a chore, reading has become a rare and delicious treat?