Feb. 21st, 2009

violachic: (Default)
There are some of you who don't know this yet (admittedly, some of you may not care :-)), and some of you know, but don't know details, so I figured I should, at some point, say something more concrete about it.


After much mulling and thinking and searching, I made the decision to quit the nanny gig. At the beginning of this month, I gave Habibi's parents a two-month notice- for those of you who are bad at math, that would be until the end of March. Now, it is important to note that they were good friends of mine before I started nannying for them, and they will continue to be good friends. I also plan on staying as involved as possible in Habibi's life- I am, after all, also Auntie In Charge of Music, and Auntie In Charge Of Peace. I informed them at his birth that he would be getting his first violin on his third birthday, along with a lifetime of free lessons; I already gave him his first Suzuki CD for his second birthday!

So what will I do instead?

Well, for starters, I really want to be teaching again. I love it, and I'm good at it- despite no degree finished, my students were members of youth symphonies like Chicago Youth and Elgin Youth, made All-State orchestra, and consistently won top honors at contests. I have heard through the grapevine that some of my former students are now music majors in college, which makes me so very proud of them. I think I am at an advantage in the city, because the CPS schools don't have string programs, unless they are a special magnet school or something. I am sure there are parents in my neighborhood who are dying to get their kids into music lessons. I plan to canvas the local elementary and middle schools, and make contact with whoever there is in charge of music classes- if general music hasn't been cut, that is. But I do have a plan, and I will begin implementing it slowly over the next few weeks.

The great thing is- and this speaks more to how much I can charge for lessons rather than how little a nanny makes- I only need to teach six hours a week to make the same amount I make per month right now, assuming of course that I can charge full price for every student. I am prepared to offer a sliding-scale tuition, though, because this is not the most affluent area of the city. But even so, I don't think it will be difficult to come up with that amount of students in the next few months. I already have several acquaintances who are waiting for me to start, so I feel confident I can make it work.

One of the reasons why I feel a pretty urgent need to make this change is that there are many things I feel I want to explore, that I don't have time to do right now. A partial list:

- Becoming a doula
- Photography
- Jewelry making
- More Palestine activism, including a current project that we're hoping can get underway soon (yes, details to be forthcoming, as we're more certain we can pull it off)
- Contributing more, physically, to the household- I haven't been very good about my chores for a long time, mostly because I am too exhausted to do them

There are, of course, more things, but these are really the priorities, and once I am doing enough of them successfully or have decided to put something off for now, I will reevaluate what comes next. While I am playing more and more, I doubt I will be strong enough to gig again for awhile. Which is very sad, but at least now I can keep my chops up enough that when I am strong enough, hopefully I can do it again. I am also hoping that at least the first two will be potential sources of income, as well as teaching. I do want, this summer, to also take Kindermusik/Musikgarten training, as I love working with the preschool ages (it is my favorite stage of development), and I think I'd be good at it.

Really, I think, what it comes down to is exploration of my talents. Nannying was a really great thing for me to do the last couple years, and frankly, we're all a little surprised I lasted this long; we really thought I'd be done when he hit about 20 pounds, and now he's almost 30 and just now getting too heavy for me to lift. But it is time to do other things, even though there is much I love about taking care of Habibi.

But anyway, that is that. And come April, I will have a whole lot of free time, and hopefully will be making the most of it.

w00t!

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