13 June, 2009

People, now our meeting is over

"Maybe all jobs are like this in the sense that there are the good parts and the bad parts, with the bad parts occupying the majority of the space because it is a JOB after all. If you have a job where there are more good parts than bad parts then you've obviously made a deal with the Devil and you're going to spend the rest of eternity being tortured by fork-wielding elves to make up for the imbalance. I'm just saying." -Heather B. Armstrong, in her book It Sucked and then I Cried (2009, p. 139)

It's the end of the school year, and it's time for me to say something: I have an awesome job. It is 95% "good parts," and I know this because I have worked several jobs that ranged from 20% good to about 50% good if being forcibly optimistic about what constitutes "good" (this does not include seasonal work, like summer camp, because then we would need a different rating system since GV is batting over 100%). My current job, you guys, is seriously good. And I'm leaving it. Voluntarily.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. For three years, maybe more, I've been waiting to score a sacred 6-month time slot at the Folk School in Brasstown, NC. I've saved up my money and gone to week-long classes there three separate times, and each time I was there I expanded my fantasy of someday living there for longer than a week. The Folk School hires 2 people every six months to live in the Keith House (big, old creaky beautiful wooden main building where the main community gatherings are held) and take a free class every week (FREE! CLASS! EVERY WEEK!!!), while doing the duties that I have inadvertently spent my entire life polishing up on: basic camp counseling, setting up of spaces, having a bit of knowledge about a lot of different crafts, leading blessing in the dining hall, managing the put up and take down of folding chairs... oh yes, and leading morning walks, welcome speeches, handing out mail, and trotting off to find a maintenance person when someone's shower isn't working. I am made for this job. Did I mention the FREE CLASS every WEEK?!

in basketry class

Because the Host positions last 6 months, only 4 are available each year. Do you think they hear from 4 people every year who want to do this? I'm sure it's 10 times that number. In a way it's amazing that I only had to wait 3 years. On the other hand, it felt like forever. I remember trying to decide whether or not to begin my Masters because I wasn't sure when I'd get the go-ahead and receive a starting date to Host. Good thing I decided to just enroll already, because here we are and it's 2009 and I've finished my degree. And I've got those blessed Hosting dates: September 26, 2009 - March 26, 2010. Oh, glory of glories. Now, beggars cannot be choosers, or at least, they can be choosy if they don't mind waiting another few years. I jumped at the chance as soon as I got my dates, noticing (as I'm sure you did) that they fall right in the middle of the school year. Hmmm.

More beads: the Vermont sessions

My awesome, lucky job. The Folk School. Awesome job; Folk School. Argh. I struggled for, well, at least an hour, talked to Kenny and my Mom, and said yes. I'll have a month of working just the After School part of my job (reducing myself to an hourly position, instead of full time) before I go, and when I come back hopefully I'll be able to just assimilate myself right back into After School (as a helper, of course, rather than the Director). And in the mornings, I'll be nannying for an amazing family here in Williamsburg who by some miracle don't mind that I have to be gone for 6 months. I'll work for them for a month (including paid time to go to the beach with them! And Kenny is invited, too! omg.) and then pick right back up when I come back at the end of March. It's all going to work out.

folk school sign

Of course, this means no pay for 6 months, so I'm saving up everything I can right now and babysitting my butt off every chance I can get. I am SO EXCITED about going to the Folk School. 6 months of being fed wonderful food, 6 months of living in Western NC again (close to Brevard, close to Asheville, an hour away from the ATL airport!), 6 months of free classes and living in a beautiful creaky wooden room and walking around the hills and having a weekly contra dance literally in my house. These things are barely the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure, and I feel the need to say again:

I am very, very, lucky. For both my awesome job and what I get to leave it for.


Marce (BrownBerry) said...

I'm so TORN! Thrilled for you and excited, but can't imagine how tough it is to leave something you so obviously love. You are totally deserving of having this kind of "dilemma" though :) Looking forward to hearing about your NC adventures (I still have not-so-secret dreams of living in the Carolina mountains)

misscurious said...

One of my best friend's from high school did a six-month host position at the Folk School (probably 5 years ago now). I now she loved it because she stayed in that area for almost 2 years after. She not only learned how to spin, but also learned metalwork, woodworking, and met a ton of interesting people. Sometimes you just have to take these opportunities when they come. Have a blast.

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