Friday, 9 September 2011

When There's a Up, There's Bound to be a Down.

I guess I've been anticipating this blog post for quite some time.

Life has been good to me so far, sure there are minor hiccups now and then but I overcome most of them and survived so I guess I've been doing okay up to this point.

My first blog is now already totally obliterated from the World Wide Web thanks to the first popular social networking site that starts with the letter 'F', I just refuse to type its name so that google will not crawl it and I don't ever want to be associated with the now-turned-gaming social network site which everyone was on back in 2003-2006 (when I was there anyway).

I did NOT save much from my blog.. it chronicled my life from 2004-2007, up to the point where I got married, my joy and tribulation, disappointment and frustration as well as sharing updates with my friends who gets notifications whenever I update my blog. Their meaningful and funny comments, all deleted from the surface of the virtual world.

Anyway, this blog post isn't about that. It is about what I remember blogging about in my first blog (of the same name) - career woes.

I have always considered myself an open book, almost 'too' open, my mother would say, but I think age hasn't closed the book just yet, so here I am pouring my heart out.

Here goes:

I am now in my third year in my current job. I actually blogged about my job and the joys it brings me - interacting with my students, no matter how cheeky or playful/naughty they are, really made my day, tiring as it may be for some notorious classes, I still find teaching/lecturing/tutoring very fulfilling.

The first thing I dread about this job is the never ending marking. Okay, it seemed never ending because it is a continuous thing that comes again and again with each new semester. It's a vicious cycle. I was barely tagging along and barely keeping afloat with all that marking, sometimes with crazy deadlines like having to finish 3 essay questions, 190 scripts within 72 waking hours, not including your time on transportation to work, invigilation duties, eating, and definitely no family or leisure time, you are turned into this zombie/robot that marks, marks and marks. Oh, I said 72 waking hours, taking away the sleeping time and other not-to-be-mentioned waste disposal activities. It has happened to me, and to top it off, I had another batch of papers with the same deadline. I felt like I wanna die. The deadline is inhuman.

The second thing I dread now is the ceaseless paper work. The forms to fill and the stupid policies that keep changing again and again. I won't go into details but quality time has been sacrificed and it is at these moments that I felt like giving up and just leaving. But everyone is in this boat together, nice colleagues and nice immediate supervisors, who accompanied me on this journey of unreasonable demands from us. It got to a point where my normally calm and non-confrontational husband would utter the remark: What is this crazy job you are having? (and it's supposed to be a leisurely job, teaching).

Sure there are perks that people see like more or less the usual, and somewhat flexible hours but unseen are the slugging late at night in research/preparation and marking. All the hours taken away from you and your family/friends/personal life.

I don't know what will happen in the next five years. I only know I've made my mind to stay on in this job at least till I complete my 3rd year.. and maybe 4th year.. heck, I planned to retire in this nice job, before things got to be this crazy with amendments after amendments to the procedures. Now I'm not so sure anymore.

I only hope I will be strong enough to persevere on a day-by-day basis now. And please don't let me be disappointed by my new batch of students because they are the only strong reason that keeps me sane in this job. Looking back at my career, the job that I missed the most now is my first job - to be a reporter/journalist again. Sure the hours were erratic and I had to work on weekends and evenings.. and even graveyard shifts at one point - but I found pure joy and job satisfaction from writing the news/feature articles. It was my first passion and will always be my passion. I guess I should find comfort in the knowledge I knew what I enjoyed doing and I knowingly gave it up to prepare to start a family with my guy back then. I am a woman after all, hence the need for that choice for a career change.

So, I try to live in the now, and with no regrets. We'll take one step at a time and see where this path takes us. I'll try to smile in the meantime. :-)

I try to live by this maxim nowadays when things get too hard, oh yeah, it's difficult sometimes but we need to hang on cos you never know when the gold is just at the next bend:

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