Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not enough hours in a day

So many things to catch up on. So many things to say. So many pictures to post.

So many things to DO!

There are honestly not enough hours in the day.

I have some major deadlines coming up, and have bitten off more than I can chew. Partly this is because for a while I felt as if I had dropped off the map. I was no longer being sought out as a trainer, no one knew who I was anymore, I didn't have much contact with students. I was saying no to too many things, and when you say no, there is always someone else who says yes. Not a problem, but then you get a bit forgotten about, especially when freelancing. (I should mention right now that I am not technically 100% freelancing, I do have a full time job most of the year, but I have been relying a bit on these extra jobs that come in to help finance the summer months we are in MN visiting my family).

So when the first freelance job came in after a dry spell, I said yes. Figured I'd work my way back in slowly.

Um, well, yeah. When it rains, it pours, they say, and I'm in the midst of a flood. Which is good (more money (not tons, but more), more prestige) but bad (looming deadlines and responsibilities, and literally not enough hours in the day to finish everything I've got to do, stress).

Andres has offered to help, and I will be taking him up on that offer, but at this point it is almost even more overwhelming to know that I need to sit down and re-explain these projects to him so that he can help me!

I figure it like this: at the moment I have 1 full-time job, and 5 part-time jobs.

Let me explain:

1. My full-time job: teacher training at the university, 8 hours a day, working on workshops and test writing and observing classes / helping with academic issues as needed.

2. Part-time job #1: This big military project I wrote about a month ago: writing study guides (in English and Spanish) for the students, preparing and giving webinars to the online tutors and (eventually) students. This has also meant learning about giving online classes and being an online tutor myself, and neverending meetings to run practice classes, troubleshoot technical difficulties, get to know new books inside and out, translate materials, format guides (a nightmare! and going from a PC - when I'm at work - to Mac - when I'm at home - is no help, either), etc. I'm expected to put in about 4 hours a day / 20 hours a week.

3. Part-time job #2: I help Cambridge University Press update their web site each month with little facts and tidbits. Sometimes they have extra stuff for me to put up (always URGENT of course), so that has meant more work this last month or so. Normally this is only about 8-10 hours a month, but the Joomla interface isn't as friendly as I'd like it to be, and as I don't work on it every day I am not that proficient and spend each month trying to re-figure out things I already figured out the month before (even if I write them down!).

4. Part-time job #3: Universidad CasaGrande Master's class (taught in Spanish - yikes! and yuck!). It's an interesting topic (Collaborative learning) which has almost nothing written/published in Spanish (and not all the students know English), which makes it VERY difficult to plan a bibliography, for example. This will be every other weekend in May and June, about 12-17 hours over the weekend (Fri - Sun - 40 teaching hours total). Not only are the class hours long, there is a ton of paperwork to go with all the new university requirements (mostly busywork like writing objectives - man how I hate writing objectives - but it needs to get done), and I just don't have time to sit down and figure out all these goals/objectives,/bibliographies/activites/etc right now. I will need to set aside a huge chunk of time to do all this
5. Part-time job #4: Oh joy. Just as I am thinking, CasaGrande is only every other weekend, I can do it, I find out that there has been such an outpour of students wanting to join the Master's program, they have decided to open up another, parallel class, to be given every other weekend, on the weekends that the other class is not going on. OK, so I will include this as a separate job, since it will mean teaching every weekend in Guayaquil during May and June, and grading more papers, etc. Luckily, the planning won't change too much, but I will have more papers and presentations to grade.  But I need to remember this is a good thing. I like being part of their staff, and I got the job because of a teacher who couldn't commit one semester, and they liked me and now I am the teacher they go to, so I am afraid that if I say no, they would forget about me. Kind of a catch-22.

6. Part-time job #5: Just when I settled down and thought, ok, in July I am somewhat on vacation (I will still have that military project going on, though), I get contacted by Cambridge again. They need unit plans for all their primary series, and they need them yesterday (as the saying goes in Spanish). Each unit plan is about 3 pages and is purely objectives (did I mention I hate writing objectives?). It's about 150 hours in total, due at the end of May (because I reminded them there are only 24 hours in a day, and some are for eating and sleeping.) Oh well, bring it on. If I am going to have a nervous breakdown, let me go out with a bang!

So, I have a lot of work to do. But I have decided that in order to keep my sanity, I need to give some love to my blog, to my social networking sites, to my scrapbooking (mostly Project Life at this point), and maybe do a little reading. Because if all I do is work, this is how I will feel:

Actually I'd look more like this, I mean I am turning 40 in a month or so ;)

Sorry about the pics, but if I wait until I get home to upload a picture or my own, this won't get posted.


Jennie said...

.... :-(

I'm exhausted just THINKING about all of that stuff. Plus being a wife. Plus being a mom...geeze woman, hope you give yourself enough time to relax and unwind!

Amy P said...

This gives me heartburn and for the first time I feel that way about 'life' but not about work.

One little trick that I used to enjoy doing when I had too many things to do and had trouble determining where to start....I would write everything down on pieces of paper and then draw out one item. No matter what that item was I had to do it before I could do any other task.
That way I didn't spend time looking at the list and whining or complaining, it forced me to just jump in and make progress.

Good luck!

It will all be over soon!

Amy P said...

Oh and could you ever be forgotten?!