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Archive for the ‘Tutoring’ Category

My boyfriend shared this lovely article in his Google Reader the other day.  “Avoid the Grade School Trap,” shouts its headline, and it goes on to explain that many people respond to a recession by returning to school rather than taking a job they feel is “beneath them.”  This is a horrible idea, warns our author (who is basically paraphrasing this argument).

I suppose I’m in a different boat since I got my grad school out of the way before the economy decided to tank.  I’ll say, though, that I would be having a lot easier time in grad school right now than I am having paying off my loans.  At least while you’re still in school, your loans are on hold, and you can skip merrily along from fellowship to fellowship and odd job to odd job, happy to have your nose in a book instead of in your pocketbook, scrounging for that extra dollar you’re sure must be there.  (Where is that extra dollar?)

I’m also in a different boat because most people going back to grad school have some sort of career goal in mind that the schooling is meant to equip them for, with the hope that, eventually, higher salaries will justify those loans.  My grad school experiment was a lot more self-absorbed.  Everyone wants to be a writer, but  I was one of the few who thought it’d be a good idea to spend tens of thousands of dollars pursuing that dream. (And I chose the even more  bizarre route of not once submitting anything for publication, to my father’s constant dismay.  Sure, I might have a certificate authenticating me as a fiction-writing MASTER, but I have a hunch that The New Yorker might not agree.)

Every day I check my bank account and my credit card bill.  I make monthly projections of how much I should be able to save.  I beg for babysitting jobs, and as of this week, I tutor four nights a week for a 5th grader who dreads my arrival and spends our sessions expressing his desire for me to leave.   (All kids hate homework, right?)

It’s not so bad.  I’m lucky because I love saving money, and I love coming up with new ways to do so.  I’ve cut my current credit card bill almost in half by being vigilant and super-aware of how much I’m spending relative to how much I’m earning.  I don’t like saying no to all those Anthropologie dresses I could otherwise easily convince myself are necessary additions to my closet, but it’s also kind of thrilling, even addictive, to be so in control of what I spend.

And today is payday, which is my favorite day of the fortnight, as well as my bank account’s, because it gets so much action.

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