Crazy Happenings!

   Posted by: Faith   in Rye Thoughts

So, I had a crazy thing happen this past week… it was rather unexpected, but at the same time, something I’d been hoping for…

This fall (and last winter), I’ve been TA-ing for two professors at the college where my father works (he’s the Dean of something-something, I honestly don’t know anymore because the title keeps changing as he makes administrative changes to the school). I do TA work because it’s a little extra cash on the side, and though it always takes longer than it should to do marking, I figure it’s good experience.

I’ve always harbored a secret hope that one day, possibly, doing a good job as a TA would turn into something else… I’ve taken classes at the college & seminary level there, so I know how things work, and I’m familiar with the faculty and staff because my father works there and I’ve been in and around the school for the past ten years for various reasons…

This week, I went in for a quick meeting with a prof that I’m doing TA work for next semester, and as I walked up to the school, I thought to myself: “Why am I doing this? It’s too much work, it takes too long… but maybe someday someone will let me teach something, so here I go again…”

Ahem. Well. Turns out that the woman who was supposed to teach the English Composition class next semester – who is very pregnant – will need to have a C-section, which is going to put her out of commission for the first six weeks of the winter semester (at minimum). And the first guy they asked to fill in for her wasn’t able to commit. And – here’s where it gets really weird – the class is to be held on Monday nights, the only night of my schedule I hadn’t filled up yet.

Soooo… as of yesterday, I’m officially an English Professor! For one semester, anyway. But whaddaya know, my random TA-ing has paid off!!!

Yes, it’s a mandatory class of first-year students who failed their English competency exam (there’s one for grammar and one for essay-writing, and they’re required to take it and pass in the first year) and who absolutely do not want to be there, let alone on a Monday night…

So, it’s going to be a tough class. And I don’t know yet if I’m teaching the full course or half, but either way, talk about an unexpected blessing and work paying off…!

And there’s a moral of the story here: Take the opportunities that come your way, and do your best… because you never know when that opportunity could turn into something else. I know, it seems like common sense, but that little critique you’re working on? Or that workshop piece you edited? Or that information you passed on to a journalist friend? That could be where an unexpected, great opportunity comes from in the future.

Treat every job, every task, no matter how big or small, with the attitude that doing your best is the only way to complete it. And as you do this, be willing to build relationships with the people around you, who will see that you’re working hard and that you care about what you’re doing, and then will be more likely to give you more responsibilities in the future.

As writers, we often think that it’s only what’s on the page in front of us that counts or makes the difference. In reality, it’s our work and our relationships with others that make the difference, and doing our best in both, even when the task seems tedious or difficult.

Now, share with me! I want to know: What wonderful and/or unexpected opportunities have come your way in the past, due to your good work or good relationships with others?

This entry was posted on Friday, December 10th, 2010 at 10:21 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 comments so far


Wow, good for you! That’s very exciting!

For me, I got my last job because a friend who knows how much I enjoy tedious, detail-oriented work told the office manager not to hire anybody until she had interviewed me. Yep, good relationships win!

December 10th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

Congratulations! That’s awesome! Sure, you’ll be busy, but does that even matter? Busy can be good :)

My boss at the internship I’m at let me use some of her data to submit to a national conference for undergraduate research :) I don’t know if I’ve gotten in yet, but it’s been a great opportunity and I’ve gotten a lot of great support I never thought would’ve been possible with it, too. I have a good feeling I’ll be going, and then I get to go to Ithaca, NY on scholarship! It’s going to make me super busy next quarter, but I’m excited!

I love it when things just happen to fall in place :)

December 11th, 2010 at 1:31 am

Wow that’s great!

I’m sure you’ll have your students eating out of your hand.

:-) Good luck!

December 11th, 2010 at 8:45 am

Ah, so we are colleagues now, I’m also an English language and literature professor :)

December 11th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Su – Thanks! And that’s super fab about your last job… you never know when these type of things can just pop up out of nowhere!

Jessica – That sounds so exciting!!! I hope you get in :) Keep me posted!

Misha – Thanks, that’s my hope anyway! Heck, as long as they’re not falling asleep, I’ll be happy… lol.

Dez – I didn’t know that! Now I feel like I’m joining some kind of secret club… one where grammar and correct punctuation must be followed, or ELSE. Haha.

December 11th, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Woot, well done you!!! That’s so exciting! :)


December 13th, 2010 at 10:55 am

Congrats! I’m sure you’ll do very well at this! I’m looking for a job on the side right now and not having much luck, but fingers crossed.

December 13th, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Susan B

Excellent, Faith! I’m sure you’ll be a stellar English professor!

My brain is a bit milky right now, but the answer to your question is, I think, that because of good relationships, and because the pastor liked my sample work, my church decided to form a creative writing team and asked me to head it :)

December 14th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Your week is full, huh? My condolences.

December 16th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

One Trackback/Ping

  1. Literary Coldcuts on Toasty Buns » Blog Archive » You Are Not the Exception    Feb 15 2011 / 5pm:

    [...] some of you know (if you’ve been around the blog a little while), I’m currently teaching English Composition at a local college. It’s a class of first years (and some seniors who avoided taking the class [...]

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