L's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
hutchol
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:03 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by hutchol » Thu May 16, 2019 7:46 am

Hello,

Sorry I admit I've only just stumbled on your journal and I haven't read all of it so I apologise if I go over ground already covered. I'm in a similar sort of situation to you- mid-twenties and living with parents in the UK to save money, only doing a full time boring office job instead of part time.

Some combination of unjobbing seems to make the most sense to me- being mortgage free with some savings and limited expenditure working part time or freelance. I don't want to put too much faith in savings as I'm not really sure how long the system on which they depend is going to last. But then I suppose most jobs are equally dependent on it.

Could you get work marking exam papers? It's not very interesting but it would provide work when tuition is slow and would probably make you a more valuable tutor. I originally planned to do that when I tried to become a teacher, but I hated the teaching part so much I quit. I think you need class teaching experience, unfortunately
, but you might find a board that needs examiners enough to waive the requirement. They're definitely desperate for class teachers (and with good reason) so that might cause a shortage of examiners.

Earlybath
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:43 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by Earlybath » Thu May 16, 2019 9:00 am

Yep podcasts are a bit of a low information density nightmare, but needs must...
I've tended to view a lot of ER type writing as people rattling the bars of their gilded cages, un-jobbing seemed to be a much more reasonable "why build a cage?" approach.
I think you are in a pretty unique situation where you have the time and mental space to put a life together that works for you, without risk. The small shed load of savings that's needed for ER isn't really relevant at the moment.

BookLoverL
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Thu May 16, 2019 11:05 am

I agree, Earlybath. I admit I sometimes look at the high-paid One More Year golden-handcuffs types and wonder whether they'll have any life left by the time they get round to living it... My main savings goal at the moment is to get to the point where I can move out from my parents without a crippling mortgage, to be honest. Other than that I don't mind if I need to do 1-2 days a week ongoing to cover my costs if it's something I find satisfying for now. I'd still like to retire early and be in a situation where I don't need the money at all, but there's no burning need with my lifestyle at the moment to retire tomorrow! ASAP! immediately! or whatever.

Hi hutchol! With the full time office job, if you have other skills, you're unsatisfied, and you've got the energy, it might be worth trying to start some kind of side-hustle/future alternate career, even if it doesn't seem likely now. When I first started working at the office I'm working at, I was doing 4 days a week there, but I managed to lower it over time, and it really left me with a lot more ability to work on my goals. It depends if the full time aspect is giving you enough of a pay boost compared to part time, I guess - for me, that office is still the lowest per hour rate of my income sources.

I've thought about marking exam papers, but it did seem that they were mostly looking for people with PGCEs last I checked. Might be worth me checking again. I actually dropped out of a PGCE myself a few months in to the programme - that's the thing that was giving me too much stress a few years ago that I mentioned - due to a combo of personality clash with the head of department at my placement, my instinctive dislike of bureaucracy (e.g. writing a detailed lesson plan for each lesson, which I felt set things in stone too much, instead of a general plan I could be flexible with, having to write down the specific ways in which pupils were making progress, needing to display my learning objectives on the board at the start of each lesson instead of just knowing what they were in my head...), and my poor skills at behaviour management (with little guidance from the school or my mentors as to how to get better at it) when I had more than about 15 pupils. None of these things are things that stop me from being a good tutor, but they are things that made me hate the current education system... So yeah, not surprised you quit, and not surprised there's a shortage. xD

hutchol
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:03 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by hutchol » Thu May 16, 2019 2:41 pm

BookloverL:

I have read the rest of the journal now and my Holmesian powers of detection did suggest that you might be a another one that the teaching profession has chewed up and spat out! I managed the PGCE, mainly because I was fortunate to have a sympathetic mentor/ head of department. I found the progress obsession particularly bizarre (as if you learn anything in by progressing in equal amounts at set intervals?!). It was particularly jarring because I'd just starting reading John Michael Greer's blog and realized that progress is basically the new established religion (only the architecture is far worse...). It was behaviour that got me in my first year as a proper teacher. It got to the point where my lessons were basically an extension of break time. It's interesting that you mention the group of 15 thing because I found exactly the same. In my PGCE year, I had two parallel Y7 groups, one of which by a quirk of the timetable had 15 kids and the other 30 and the difference was incredible. Did you find the dislike of bureaucracy/ silly rules created behaviour issues too? My natural instinct was always to be reasonable and if a kid wanted to go the toilet to let them and let them decide how and where to write something and to get up and fetch a dictionary if they wanted one, but any room for maneuver seemed to lead to chaos. It's quite depressing really.


I have thought about a side hustle. My issue is that my main hobby is singing (choral and church), which absorbs quite a bit of my time but is quite difficult to make any money out of. Most of the money is in London and is therefore bound up with the costs of living/ getting there and it's a fairly winner-takes-all market- there's a lot of wannabes a lot better than me who make essentially nothing or have given up trying. I could perhaps make a bit on the side if I got my sight reading up to scratch. I'm also sitting some accounting exams (that's my boring office job) and I'm trying to read as much as I can, so time is fairly short. I'm hoping to develop some practical skills that will at least save me money and be useful if we're facing a future where self-reliance is important, whether they generate cash or not.

On the subject of housing, what's a realistic budget for a house you would want to live in round your area? I'm trying to get a feel for regional variation because I'm thinking about relocating (I live near London and house prices are ridiculous, as much as I don't want to move away from friends/ family). I know you can google averages but I don't think they necessarily tell you all that much. I've gone on Zoopla and looked at a few places but I think you really need to know an area.

BookLoverL
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Thu May 16, 2019 3:29 pm

Yeah, I found JMG's blog when I was a second year uni student, so by the time I graduated I'd already long left the progress->technoutopia mindset of my sixth form days. All I really wanted from teaching was to make a difference to students, whether that was by teaching them maths (which is obviously a heavily emphasised subject at the moment, way more than I think it should be, it's just that my degree was maths so that was what made sense to teach, we should be teaching them actually practical skills like gardening and home ec) or by improving their general self-belief or something. But I found that there was so much bureaucracy that it prevented me from coming up with interesting lessons, because no, I had to teach the topic the department wanted me to teach that day, I had to include all those elements from Ofsted/the school's internal bureaucracy, I had to plan it out and use a powerpoint instead of making up examples to suit the class as I went along, I had to make sure my powerpoint was simultaneously exciting and fun and also not overstimulating the autistic kid or unreadable by dyslexics, also not be boring but not come across too weird - I overcompensated for general weirdness on that one and came out somewhere near boring robot, I think... etc, etc, etc...

Definitely the bureaucracy created behaviour issues, mainly because I had to keep trying to enforce all the silly rules that I didn't actually believe in. I never wanted to enforce the rules or shout, because I hate shouting, but the class I had most trouble with (their main teacher was the head of department) was mainly disciplined by shouting, and therefore didn't respond to my attempts at anything else. If I ever have a kid, I'd definitely consider homeschooling them, to be honest.

You don't necessarily need to go straight in with a side hustle that earns lots of money - learning something that saves you money at home, or that just brings in £50 or something is a good start. Before I tried the maths tuition, I tried a couple of other things that didn't get off the ground, but since I wasn't doing them as my only income and/or I had savings, it was fine, and it was a valuable learning experience. Singing - like my dream of writing, definitely tough to break into, but if you investigate other genres there might be hope. Not looked into it super-detailed-ly, but off the top of my head, maybe busking? Putting something particularly striking on YouTube? Combining with another talent? Accounting - this is definitely something you can take part-time/self-employed later if you want to, once you're qualified, provided you know how to get customers. Practical skills - if you get good enough at these they could also earn you money long term. Also, once you've had a couple of years to detox from the bad school experience, you may be able to try tutoring or something, for kids or for adult learners. Oh, and for German, you could consider translating, too. Just some ideas for you here, don't feel obliged to do any of them if you don't want to.

Housing near me, in Lancashire, for the cheapest smallest houses that come up in the very middle-class, "nice" village I've lived in all my life except for uni and when I was doing the teacher training, houses start from around £180,000 right now. For a house in the nearby not-that-good town in an area of it you'd actually want to live in, probably starting from £100,000. I prefer the village still because I'm emotionally attached to it.

hutchol
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:03 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by hutchol » Thu May 16, 2019 4:26 pm

I didn't stumble across that whole vein of thinking until post-university. I think part of the reason why I've just bumbled on from one thing to another is that most of my energies have been absorbed in revising my world view and working out what I actually want out of life. Have you kept up with JMG? I'm finding his new blog less interesting than the Archdruid Report, though I can see why he wanted to change focus. I loved his post-industrial novels.


The bureaucracy/ behaviour thing is interesting. What I found was that the kids are so used to the petty rules that if you don't enforce them rigidly and sure that they have only one or a very rigidly prescribed selection of options each second of each lesson, they (not all obviously) will start to push the boundaries of the acceptable to see how far they'll go (very far in my case). Whether a saner system would be any better I think depends on how sane is the wider society in which it's based. I definitely need a rest from it before I go back to any kind of education! I wouldn't put my own children through it either, if I had them.


They are interesting ideas. Translating is good if you have a specialism. I do the (very basic) accounts for a German company, so I'm developing some of the technical vocabulary, so that could be an option. Part time and/ or self-employment is the goal, preferably with a diversified income stream. I'm eager to try beekeeping, partly because I love honey and partly because of their ecological importance. I think it would be tricky to do much more than cover costs, if that, but as long it doesn't cost too much, I'm happy. I think having any kind of hobby that absorbs your attention without costing money is good. I'm reading Schopenhauer's series of essays on life/ practical advice at the moment and he said that he never made any money from philosophy but it did save him a lot of money by giving him a non-financial focus. He put it more elegantly than me.

Thank you for the information on houses. That is quite a lot cheaper than round me. I am quite emotionally attached to where I live as well, but I might have to bite the bullet if it means ten years of mortgage interest.

BookLoverL
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Fri May 17, 2019 3:10 am

I do keep up with JMG, but I definitely think his older stuff was better. It seems a lot of his recent articles are devoted to endlessly rewording his thoughts about Trump and the Democrats, which, a) I don't care about so much since I don't live in America, and, b) means that there are fewer articles that are giving me that "a-ha!" moment. I want to know more about ecologically sound living! I wonder if there's some local in his new neighbourhood in Rhode Island that keeps trying to argue about Trump with him or something and keeps bringing it up fresh in his mind.

Definitely any money-neutral hobby is much better than a money-costing one, especially if it's something that will have non-monetary benefits like beekeeping. Gotta try to save those pollinators... Haven't read Schopenhauer, but I have read some other philosophy stuff, and in general I'd agree. Not much money in it, but a lot of benefits for the mindset, provided you don't mind being forever slightly unable to empathise with people with completely unexamined lives.

There's definitely a lot of scope for moving to a lower cost-of-living area within the UK. The North West isn't the only one, so it's probably best to consider what features are important to you in an area and do more research before taking the plunge. For example, personally, I love the view you get from and of hills, so I'd never move to a flat part of the country if I could help it even if I did have to move away from here. Transport is also a consideration, if you want to be able to go places quickly - a different nearby town that's over twice as far away as the nearest town has much better rail links, for instance, and is probably somewhere between the two places I mentioned before in terms of price.

hutchol
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:03 am

Re: L's Journal

Post by hutchol » Fri May 17, 2019 4:30 am

Yes, I do wonder why JMG is so Trump fixated. I've found with a lot of blogs that I get obsessed for a while and read the whole back catalogue but then you start to feel as if you were covering the same ground with slightly different topics. I went through the same cycle with the ERE blog.

You do start to feel a bit cut off once you've shed the prevailing myths. It becomes difficult to relate to people other than on a superficial level. Thankfully, I'm fairly introverted and things like this forum help you realise you're not the only one.

Rail links would be handy. Ideally, I wouldn't have a car and I find practical cycling distance to be about 10-15 miles, so that's an issue too, as is a reasonable musical/ cultural life. I'll have to have a look.

bigato
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: L's Journal

Post by bigato » Fri May 17, 2019 4:45 pm


BookLoverL
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:17 pm
Location: England

Re: L's Journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sat May 18, 2019 4:48 am

Good article, thanks, bigato. Once Brexit is sorted, a four-day work week would be a real vote-winner for me. I'd love it if the four-day week became widespread, and was considered full-time. It'd open up a much wider range of jobs to those of us who can't handle a 40-hour workweek, and it'd give people enough time off to look after their families, to pursue hobbies and projects, to maintain friendships, and generally to lead more interesting lives. That could only be a good thing for the country.

Post Reply