Time for an update

Date: 28 Dec 2020 Comments: 0

Well, I am finally done grading my classes for the 2020 Fall semester at Liberty University. Wow… what a year it has been. This has easily been one of the most challenging years I have ever had for many reasons. Unfortunately, it had a strong impact on my ability to perform at my best for the students and that fact bothers me a great deal.

For the longest time, I have only taught one class per sub term for Liberty University. In these cases, I have around 20 students that I need to assist and this is manageable with my full time employment. However, starting in the beginning of 2020, I have not had a single sub term where I have been assigned less than two classes. On occasion, I was originally provided 3 classes before I explained that I simply cannot carry that kind of weight.

Teach two classes at a time means that I am responsible for 40+ students at one time while still working my normal job for my primary employer. This was usually manageable because I was well established in my employer’s eyes and I could usually balance the workload. However, in November of this year, I decided to leave the company that brought me to Kansas City three years ago because I was simply not getting anywhere financially or in my career path. I took a fantastic position as a consultant supporting a large video communications company in California.

With this change, I am now in a totally new environment wherein I do not have any previous rapport to draw on. I had no PTO as you have to accrue it over time. Plus, the client I am supporting is still in startup mode which means it is always busy and there are always changes happening. I was instantly flung into a whole new style of rapid fire work 100% remotely. I love the ‘never have to go to an office’ mentality but it is very difficult to balance work life when you work from home AND teach for a university.

As if this mixture of energy was not enough, my wife and I, after 9 months of trying to live like hermits and avoiding public as much as possible to prevent infection with COVID-19 – ended up getting COVID-19. I cannot express the wild mixture of weakness and general feeling unwell that COVID brings to your life. I was lucky that my symptoms were mild and mostly went away after about 5 days. My wife was hit much harder and still barely has a voice despite being clear for over a month.

During that infection time, I had started my new job and had no PTO but I was still expected to work from home and keep grading for Liberty. For some unknown reason, we also decided to buy a house since the market was fresh with good rates thanks to COVID. So now you add the pressures of the two jobs, recovering from COVID, and buying a home. Suffice to say, I am all but spent and expect to stay that way for a little bit.

Thankfully, God was there through all of it. He helped us find the perfect house and made all the work fall into place. After making a bad hire for a general contractor who robbed us blind, He put a great contractor right in front of us that re-did all the work that the first team messed up and managed to quickly finish all the outstanding work that was left when the first team walked off the job. He kept me with minimal symptoms from COVID so that I could still work for my employer and not have to just barely survive. Now, I feel like God is already giving us some simple examples of why he placed us here in this house at this time in our lives.

The bottom line is this, I did not perform like I wanted as an instructor (or even a husband for that matter), but God pulled me through and I am hoping that the next year will be much easier and full of blessings.

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