Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Home Today

I've got an appointment to see the ENT doctor today, so I've taken a sick day. I've hoarded my sick days pretty carefully, since I never knew when I would need to stay home and take care of my daughter, but she's been a surprisingly resilient little girl. And when she has gotten sick, she's been kind enough to wait until the weekend so that I didn't have to miss work. One of the many advantages to being self-employed is that I can now attend to family emergencies any time they arise. That's a huge boon, and one that I haven't seen mentioned many places. A caveat, of course, is that you've got to make sure a family emergency is really an emergency. Yes, I now get unlimited sick days, which is a relief, but every day I'm not working is a day I'm not earning money, so that's a major concern. It all goes back to the discipline and maturity -- professionalism, really -- that I mentioned in a previous entry. If you want to succeed as a writer, you've got to write. But you also have to maintain a balance in your life, or your writing success will be totally irrelevant.

Today I'm also going to start planning out the two astronomy classes I'll be teaching this semester, so I'm pretty excited about that. I haven't had time to teach (odd thing for an educator to say, I know) in a long time, and I've really missed it. You develop a relationship with your students over a semester that you just can't get when you only see them in brief one or two (or three) day workshops. One nice thing about teaching college is that all my students are adults, and none of them are being forced to come to school. I tell them on the front end, "Hey, it's your dime. If you don't come to class, I assure you my feelings won't be hurt -- but you won't pass the class, either." Good teaching is about 60% theater, and as my wife aptly puts it, I'm a goofball. My students usually have a pretty good time in my class and tend to learn in spite of themselves, so it's a lot of fun for me to watch the light come on in their eyes when the begin to understand the material.

Class starts next week, so I'd best be about it!

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