Sunday, May 4, 2008

Against Work, Redux

Back in February, I spent a week laboring over an application that made my hands sweat. I applied to be an adviser at a camp for homeschooled teenagers. The camp is run by one of my heroes and would be an opportunity to actually get involved in homeschooling instead of just thinking about it and reading about it, like I've been doing for the last ten years. This camp is completely one of a kind, and really the only way I've come across for an adult who doesn't have kids to get involved in homeschooling.

I was convinced I wouldn't be accepted, since I wasn't homeschooled myself and live a pretty traditional life, in contrast to the other advisers, profiled on the camp's site, who do things like raise sheep and live in communes. I knew there was a lot of competition.

On Friday, I found out I'd been accepted for the session in mid September! Ten shades of awesomeness!

Except...the board meeting is the same week. I'm expected to attend board meetings. I confirmed with a coworker who's been there for two decades that no director has ever taken vacation during a board meeting.

I hate that I have to ask for permission to do this. My actual participation in the board meeting is *extremely* minimal...at the last one, I believe I uttered three sentences. My presence, and the presence of the rest of the staff, is really symbolic more than anything. If it wasn't an expected part of my job, no sane person would expect me to choose going to this board meeting over participating in an event that's personally important to me. Yet there's a very good chance my boss will say no, either because (a) she doesn't want other staff asking for vacation during board meetings or (b) because it wouldn't look good to the board for me not to be there. Reason #134 I'm looking forward to freeing myself from full-time employment as soon as possible.

Going to this camp is so important to me I would actually consider quitting my job over it. It's a unique opportunity, and if I turned it down I have no guarantee I'd ever be invited again. I've spent all weekend formulating a plan for how I can convince my boss to let me take leave. I think I've come up with some pretty good bargaining chips. Wish me luck!


Sam said...

This sounds like such a wonderful opportunity! I don't blame you for wanting to go. I am all for home schoolers/unschooling programs. Good luck trying to get out of the meeting.

Blond Heretic said...

The camp will probably let you go for the time you need to be at the board meeting. Most organizations that use volunteers are very flexible.