Yesterday I took a break (temporarily quit for an unknown period)from one of a job that I dearly love, teaching. It’s one decision that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. There were times when I really want to quit and call the Dean right away, but then a part of me ( I guess she really loves teaching) said, don’t you think it’s a privilege to be their lecturer? Don’t you think it’s a way to give back to the community? Don’t you remember that you have been going near and far to get this lecturing job? And now, you want to quit?!

You see… I am weak to myself, and most of the time, this patronizing side of me wins. Even at the time I really want to quit, by hearing that part of me speak like that, I canceled my decision and get back to the class. I do like to teach upper-level students, I found conversing with them so refreshing and gave me lots of new insight regarding the linguistics field. If I do like teaching, why stop? Well… I like teaching, but I find the “administration” and also the payment part of teaching is quite frustrating. Once, there’s a lecturer who gave a presentation in a seminar and he said: in Indonesia, A lecturer is called “dosen“, it means kerjaan nya sak dos, bayarannya se sen ( so many workloads, so little (a cent) paid). Boy, how right he was. And I did not believe him back then.

It’s not rocket science, when you feel frustrated with something, you don’t give all your best to it. I started to copy-paste my material. I prepared everything an hour before the class started, and even that was a half-hearted preparation. I also often canceled a class at the last minute just because there was a thing that is (arguably) more important to do. I deeply believe my students deserve a better lecturer.

Finally, I cut the rope. I quit. At the beginning of this year. And I feel relieved. I guess time will tell whether I will again find my path to teach in a college or not. I believe we all should take time for ourselves. Take a forward step, and take backward steps if you feel it necessary. I don’t want to be just “busy”, I also want to take really good care of myself.

Cheers and take care,

Karin Sabrina

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