Math says that it’s been three months and twenty-four days since the last post over here. Did I do that on purpose? Maybe, but a new post is long overdue.
Lots of things have happened. Those who keep up with me via Facebook or Twitter have seen events unfold over the past four months with respect to my doctoral exams, my dayjob situation, and my pursuit of professional narration.
Comprehensive exams: I passed. Specifically, I earned a 96% on the Theories and Trends component, a 90% on Educational Research and Statistics, and a Pass on the take-home proposal/project. I was the only person of the group who did not have to schedule oral follow-ups for the exam, because I earned scores above 85% on all three parts. So, all of the hard work paid off. Insert a wee bit of gloating here, because I’m pretty damn proud of that detail.
Since the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) is the exam and course component of the PhD of my program, I filed paperwork to graduate in one month. As of this week, I am still continuing toward the doctorate and choosing a topic and question for my proposal. I’ve had to alter the topic due to changes at the dayjob, which leads me to the second part.
The dayjob situation: The reorganization of my department and associated programs officially happened on March 17th, although I was notified a week earlier. Others have received more details via private messages or personal conversations. Considering the dayjob environment, the details aren’t for public posting. All that I can disclose without fear of reprimand or that soft baritone chorus of middle-aged disapproval echoing from the ivory towers is the following:
1) My job duties changed, and programs previously under my purview since 2007 moved to another group.
2) The department where I work was reorganized and moved under a new area, the third such move since 2007.
3) I am still employed in my little corner of campus.
This change altered many of my responsibilities and duties; I no longer teach on campus in any capacity after this semester. This change allows me to spend more time conducting workshops and peer tutor training, something that I truly enjoy. I still get to help people learn and aid students on their academic journey. My immediate supervisor is still a great guy; being able to crack jokes about dragons roasting knights for appetizers is a bonus in my book. At the same time…
Pursuit of professional narration: In five years, I will have everything in place to be a professional narrator and voice talent. Two weeks after the announcement at the dayjob, I had the blissful fortune to attend Faff Camp in San Antonio, Texas. Those five days of learning, listening, and networking provided so much balm for my bruised confidence, I can’t begin to describe how truly necessary that trip was for me. For someone who started out narrating stories for friends because she couldn’t wait for the next episode, having the opportunity to ask questions of experienced individuals made me realize just how much I love helping people tell stories. Stepping out of my comfort zone to volunteer and receive critiques, asking for feedback and recommendations, and listening to others’ experiences made the weekend so very worthwhile. The Faff Camp community is beautiful, generous, smart, savvy, and so very inclusive. Life-changing? You better believe it.
With that goal in mind, I am working toward a more sustainable model for my narration. Quoting professional rates, examining authors’ sales before accepting contracts, and having a better business outlook begin now. I’m creating a mailing list for those who want to know when new work is released, and I’m redesigning the Voices by Veronica website. As things change at the dayjob and more proposal decisions can be made, I’ll audition for more books and invest the revenue from current projects in workshops and coaching to improve my craft. With more training and experience, I hope to branch out into other voice venues for which my talents are best suited.
Here’s to spring, to growth and renewal, and to all things bright with promise. The next update won’t take as long as this one did.