I gotta say, it's incredibly hot. If living the good life includes discussing how to pickle a truly tremendous number of lemons (hundreds), then yes, I am living an excellent life. We have a goal of growing or catching at least 50% of our food supply and while we are, to some extent, successful at it, anybody who has ever lived on a farm knows the dread of eating things "in season".
I'm glad you like it! I'll make a point of stopping by and speaking up then.
Yes, everything looks better when your nose isn't against the grindstone.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmYou are right, of course. I think improvement, especially in how best to help children, is always going to be time well spent. I suppose that burnout from this past work year had really tinged everything a bit sardonic--now that I've had a couple months to unwind, I'm able to appreciate how that time was spent. Perspective!
Yeah. High school was not perfect, but there were some really good parts.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmCritical thinking and universal compassion . . . mmm. The humanities. There's a lot to be said for the under-noticed costs of industrializing our society. We have lots of nice things compared to past generations, to be sure, but the cost to humanity's . . . humanity is noticeable. I'm really happy to hear you received those things, as I'm sure you can attest the profound change for the better acquiring those gifts had on your life.
Yup, absolutely. Teachers who really believe in you matter. My eighth grade English teacher told me and one other kid in the class that we'd grow up to be writers; after talking to other people who had her as a teacher, I know that she tells that to a few kids in all of her classes. And in some cases, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you can hone your skills to become good enough at something to make a living at it, you can.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmGreat book, wonderful introduction to the fundamentals of purposeful practice. Great teachers are remembered for a reason. Interestingly, private instruction has been shown in replicated research to improve test scores by two standard deviations, a boost I would consider profoundly OP (=over-powered, for those who aren't gamers, lol). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_2_Sigma_Problem I'm a firm believer that anyone can become extremely proficient at any skill if they want it enough, and I think that mentality is partly why I've seen such success in my teaching biz. There's nothing more enjoyable than taking a kid sitting last chair in the 5th band, that has been told by their other teachers that they will never amount to anything, they're all washed up before they ever began, and tell them, "Nope, you're amazing, and you're going to be great, now let's get to work," and see them transform into a great musician. It's the long game that counts.
Yeah, I've read On Writing. The reason why Asian parents relentlessly push their kids in pursuit of musical excellence isn't so that they make a living playing cello, piano, violin, or whatever. It's about teaching them to pursue a long-term goal with daily practice. Peak by Anders Ericsson discusses Malcolm Gladwell's popularization of the 10k hours rule and points out that it's kind of arbitrary despite being based on Ericsson's work. It's not necessarily about 10k hours of practice by a certain time; it's about slogging through for a really long time. Even when you hate it. Even when your fingers hurt and you want to go to sleep. Pursuit of mastery means that you still push through. https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New ... 011H56MKS/LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmTo that end, if you've ever read Stephen King's On Writing, well, I personally believe that he messed up when he pulled his son out of saxophone lessons very early on (and that while all his writing advice is superb, my own experience has demonstrated that his exposition on talent dichotomies is bunk). Not everyone starts with the itch to create, or resonates with their ideal craft immediately--sometimes, the passion takes years to take root . . . and when it does, boy, hold on to your britches, it's gonna be one wild ride.
Is there any way that you can rent music studio space? When I was growing up, I remember the local music store having a section where music teachers could regularly rent an empty small studio so they could teach there. They didn't have a boss, they were just responsible for paying the rent on time. I don't know if that is more common with piano since it's a little less mobile of an instrument than a euphonium, but I've seen it.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmI contract with three public school districts in Houston when I go to teach. They let me into the schools, and in exchange I agree to not exceed the market rate, which they fix. The schools are government entities, and they take this very seriously; private teachers who have attempted overreach in the past have been met with termination, barred from all state schools, and litigation.
If I taught out of my own home, I could charge whatever I want . . . but that business model would be rather tricky, given A.) my present home is tiny and B.) I would have to have students come on the weekend, since they are attend school during the day and after-school hours would be quite limited (and I'd be running into noise complaint problems; euphoniums are loud). That being said, if there's a will there's a way . . . I'll have to look at this further. I suppose my desire for home privacy is a factor in this as well.
Commuting 30-70 miles a day is a lot. It probably is a matter of cutting down the furthest flung schools and clustering the schools so that when you teach, you minimize your overall travel time. You've also reminded me of a classic Mr. Money Mustache rant. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10 ... commuting/LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmNature is the best, no doubt about it. The main challenge with reducing student count is logistical; my students are spread across so many schools that it is more a matter of culling some schools entirely while keeping others. I presently commute 30-70 miles a day, depending on distance and number of schools to go to (Houston is a vast sprawl). The only way I can retain veteran students at cut schools is by having them come to me after school
If you had your own music studio space, you wouldn't have to worry about encroaching on anybody's turf.
Sending your kids to other people will be really great, as long as you are vetting their teaching techniques and how they handle students. I know that you want to leave them in good hands even as you wind down.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmI think you're spot-on about finding them a replacement--I've already been in talks with the other local teachers, and may be visiting my alma mater soon to talk with the professor and see if there are any graduate or doctoral students interested in taking on some of my kids.
Take a few more years to reach FI and be happy. Happiness cannot be bought (beyond buying the essentials for daily life), but a few experiences that facilitate happiness can. I don't know how to achieve work-life balance because it's something I'm not great at. I'm kind of legendary for being insanely productive and there are trade-offs and costs associated with that.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmYou are correct. I think I lost sight of enjoying the journey this past year; I maxed out my work hours to the point of breaking in the name of savings . . . but it's called Early Retirement Extreme, not Go Home Every Night and Wish You Were Dead, Might As Well Emigrate To Asia And Intern At a Sweatshop. This summer has given me a lot of perspective--if it takes a few extra years to FI, so be it. I'd rather feel human--shit, feel, period--than get to the end with those years spent working being a bundle of regret and angst and one-foot-in-front-of-the-other. Your analysis is spot-on. How did you find your own balance between work and life, especially given that you are also the sole arbiter of how much you do every day?
I'm glad that writing doesn't hurt you. Improving your quality of life sounds goodLuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:28 pmWriting doesn't hurt me, thank God. It's a pain-free playground for expression. Playing my horn still hurts like hell, and likely always will--neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome isn't curable, given it is a structural defect; deep breathing will always hurt--so not having to teach music as much will likely improve my quality of life in the long run.
It sounds like you're in a much happier place than you were before. I know your long working hours impacted your relationship, and I'm hoping that everything continues to go well even when the next school year starts. You deserve to be happy, and sometimes that means you need to carve out some space for yourself.LuxVenture wrote: ↑Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:44 pmSummer has been good for me, this past month in particular. Exercise, loved ones, traveling, writing . . . these things make me happy and give me a sense of purpose.
Thanks to summer free time, I've been able to spend more time with those I love. What a reminder that humans are a social species, and I'm no exception--relationships really create a special sort of joy that can't be had on one's own. I've caught up with my mom, dad, sis, lots of old friends, my roommate . . . and even reconciled with the gal I love. We spent months figuring out ourselves and what matters to us, and after all that work, we're giving it another go. We've been quite happy. I'm not going to write at length or detail here, for the sake of our mutual privacy, but let's just say that I am hopeful about our future. It isn't every day you encounter someone who just . . . gets you, and you her. Shares the same interests, sense of humor, ideals. We're committed to doing our best to work through all the challenges that life can throw at us, and of our own idiosyncratic making.