What’s my line?

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I have a new job, translating for an upmarket agency two days a week. I wanted to do something for my brain that involves longish trains of thought and very concise formulation, and I think this will be good for me. So Tuesday and Thursday I’m over there. Then, on Mondays I’m writing an online course in Moodle – grammar for university students of English. That will take me through into winter. On Fridays I write for Spotlight. The weekends are unfortunately generally reserved for all the other things I promised people I’d do for them, including preparing compact courses, or extra writing and translations, or getting ready for a conference presentation. Somehow that doesn’t leave much time. But I still have my Wednesdays to be a teacher, currently with four very different courses spread out over the day. So, yes, I still call myself a teacher.


3 Responses

  1. Hello, Anne!!

    Wow, you sound busy. In a way, I guess I kind of envy you the variety in your week. (Though I have one important question: do you have to drive a car to do all these things?) But, on the other hand, I’d have a hard time limiting myself to only 20% teaching.

    I always wind up liking my students, I think, more than they like me. I’d have a hard time leaving them.

    But, on the other hand, I guess you’re really well-established in case one of your projects falls through.

  2. Hi Toby,

    I don’t drive. I’m blind on my right eye. I drove for half a year when I was 18, and decided I was a threat to humanity at the wheel. You see, I had three accidents, one scratching a brand-new babyblue Cadillac from stern to bow. Another hitting a column in an underground garage. Finally, I brushed a motorcyclist – no damage done, but that did it for me. A lot of men in my life have been motorcyclists. I wasn’t going to be one of the idiots who hurt people.

    So living in well-connected European cities is part of a life plan that allows me to do without what would otherwise be a central life skill. I go everywhere by bike, subway and local train. The downside: Living in the middle of town, we don’t have a garden. And, man, do I love gardens.

    Sounds like you’re contemplating getting a driver’s license yourself. Not too easy in Germany, hm? I understand it’s expensive because you have those mandatory lessons to take. But with a tiny baby I can imagine you need to drive, especially when the weather gets colder.

    I hear you about teaching. It’s my favorite job, too. But I found a few years ago that I needed more flexibility in where I carry out my work, so I could travel to the US and do at least some of my work while visiting my family there. That’s how I got into writing and translating. And, yes, in this economic crisis it helps to have a bit more variety. The downside is that I can’t recycle as much of the prep work as I used to. So while I earn more for individual jobs, overall I’m earning less than I did as a fulltime teacher.

  3. Anne:

    I have a driver’s license in Germany. Pennsylvania–the most beautiful state in the union–is one of the states whose licenses transfer over to Germany. . . I only had to pay processing fees.

    Having a license is an advantage to me: not many teachers can drive, and I get a lot of hours that way. But, it’s the one thing I’d love most to remove from my working life. . . And one of the biggest reasons I’m thinking of how to diversify myself.

    And, yeah, I’m (was, in the U.S.) a motorcyclist, so it’s probably best you don’t drive. But then, while I don’t think I’m a danger to anyone else on the road, I think I shorten my own life with each hour I spend in the car. German drivers are crazy!

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