Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Garden Jounal
While I was away, the peppers, tomatoes, and leeks have started germinating. The lettuce, daisies and calendula still only have their first two leaves but are getting big. Everything is leggy because of the lack of light. They're happily back home and under a light now, though it might be a bit cold in the house for them. Nothing to do about that at the moment though.

Mulling - jobs I'd love to have
With a total of 12 hours of driving this weekend, I've been thinking a lot about work, careers, school, and working in a field I love. My job is great, and it's giving me a lot of skills that are useful to me and my resume, even though I have no intention of working in theater or arts for long. But I've been mulling. I turned down an interview at a good public horticulture program last year because of where it was (South of Philly), among other things. I still think that was the right choice - school for 2 years after 18-some-odd straight years of school would have been way, way too much, and living in communal housing again would have put me over the edge, not to mention being South-of-Philly for 2 years, in the middle of nowhere, not close to anyone I know or love or want to network with. I don't regret it, but I am aware that i gave up a 2-year sacrifice in exchange for being a shoe-in for most jobs I'd love.

So it's good to remember that the experience I'm getting now is invaluable, not to mention a huge relief and much-needed respite after what feels like a billion years of schooling. It's good to know what working 40 hours a week is like with juggling hobbies, making ends meet, and living on my own. And that I enjoy it way more than I enjoyed school. And what's more, I can still be a shoe-in at jobs I love - I have way more experience and chutzpah than most people my age. It's just going to take some concerted effort and creative thinking about strategic additional coursework and the resume item known as "equivalent experience" to get to the next step. And when I put it that way, I relish the experience and look forward to the coming year or two with a zest I could hardly muster in college - even when looking forward.

So I'm thinking about what's happening next. I'm not going to be an office assistant at a theater forever (obviously! - at some point I'm going to homestead and housewife it up)! I've already arranged to take the next Master Gardener course that Cornell Cooperative Extension is offering in my county (which isn't until next year). That's great knowledge and cred. People are always excited by the "Master Gardener" qualification - if only because it sounds so legit. It'll be good for making contacts, learning awesome gardening stuff, and opening up my opportunities - and who wouldn't want to volunteer by answering gardening questions a few times a month? I do that all the time anyway! Besides, being able to put "Master Gardener" after my name means I can teach more classes and get some things published. It doesn't hurt that a job for the extension is one of the few local jobs I absolutely covet.

And then there's my favorite garden in the world - that place where faeries still exist, even at my age - The New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, which has the unbelievable benefit of being on Metro North. It has it's own horticulture certificate program (a full time, 2-year program that's affordable, though not really, seeing as you can't really work for 2 years), but also has part-time certificate programs (!!) and gainful employment opportunities. And there's a good botanical garden in the berkshires, not to mention colleges with landscaping that needs maintenance.

So I've been mulling. a lot. That, and I have a book to write, a garden to grow, and a personal life to keep up with! And I need to plant ground cherries! Oh my! At least the rain is coming at the right time this year (even if it's coming down a bit too hard)

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