Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | March 20, 2010

#11 My Ideal Job

My ideal job is pretty obvious, I think. What I love is talking to homeschoolers about learning. I love seeing the light go on as they shed their own school-created hang-ups about what and how children “need to” learn. I really especially enjoy the creative process of figuring out how they might handle certain situations that they are having problems thinking through on their own.

I don’t do this as a “job.” I have mixed feelings about people charging money for this kind of thing. I don’t begrudge people the money earned for their time spent, that’s okay with me, but charging money seems to change people, and not in a good way. They start to behave and speak more in terms of marketing themselves and they eventually seem more about self-promotion than about being helpful. I wouldn’t want to become like that. Maybe I wouldn’t, but there is that risk.

What do you think? Should people charge money for giving unschooling/parenting advice?

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | March 10, 2010

#10 Why I’m in my current job.

I have two paying jobs, both at Cypress College. I’ve been teaching economics there, part-time and temporary, since 1986. For a part-time job, it pays a lot per hour and I don’t have a lot of prep time, given that I’ve taught the same classes for 23 years at Cypress College plus another 10 years elsewhere.  I like community college students – they come from so many different backgrounds and are there for so many different reasons and have so many different life circumstances. They’re interesting and, mostly, they’re usually hopeful. Many have had a tough time in life – lots are refugees or children of refugees.  Most are the first person in their family to go to college. Helping them get a grasp on how the American economic system works is satisfying.  I don’t mind that it is the same basic material over and over – the discussions are always different and current events are always changing.

My other paying job is to run the box office at the college. I like this, not so much for the work itself, but because it lets me hang out at the theater with all the right-brained creative people – a nice contrast to the left-brained, math-oriented economics world.

Sometimes I tutor math, statistics, or economics  – sometimes for money and sometimes as a favor. I like that a lot IF the person isn’t calling me at the last minute to try to “just pass the test.” That drives me crazy because they have no interest in understanding, but just want to know “how to do” the problems that are likely to be on the exam.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | March 10, 2010

#9 Wish I’d spent less money on….

Too easy. I wish I’d spent less money on any kind of schoolish textbookish stuff. I paid for Saxon math books – not cheap and never used and sold, with a slightly guilty conscious at not just throwing them into the trash, in the HSC Conference recycled resource room.

Another thing – any clothing I ever tried on that I knew, in the dressing room, wasn’t super comfortable, but I bought anyway because I liked the look. Outside the dressing room, I never WEAR anything that isn’t comfortable.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | June 17, 2009

What to Blog About #8 How I Choose to Spend My Money

I’d skip this one, but I’m afraid if I start skipping, I’ll skip them all. This blogging thing is still not feeling at all natural or comfortable for me – not like answering email on unschooling lists. I have just a little of the exact same panicked feeling I always had in English classes staring at a blank piece of paper and being expected to fill it with something worthwhile. I took only the absolute minimum requirements in English in college – which meant ONE English class. And I had a traumatic experience in that one class when the teacher wrote: “Somewhat juvenile, don’t you think?” across the front page of my first story.

But, okay, how I choose to spend money is the actual topic of this post, right? I try to spend it on the things that will give us greatest joy. I think things like, “Is this worth it? What else could I get with this money? Would that be more worth it?” We don’t have a budget, but we live a certain lifestyle. So I know I can’t go out and book a cruise , on a whim, but I can buy a cup of coffee or a book or even a new toaster when the old one is kaput. Luckily, we have enough money to live a lifestyle that is comfortable and satisfying.(Not really due to luck, due to my wonderful husband’s hard work.)

I don’t spend time wishing for more money or thinking about how I’d spend it if we had more; I don’t really think about it much and THAT, in and of itself, is quite a wonderful luxury which I greatly appreciate! I didn’t think about it much when I had a lot less of it, either, though. I’m a person who tends to joyfully spend what there is, but lives within our means, whatever that might be.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | June 16, 2009

What to blog about #7

I’m back.

#7 is “How I Shop.”

Well – my kids will tell you I’m not much interested in shopping as I don’t like malls much. I can only stand to be in a mall for about an hour – after that my feet get really tired, I get overwhelmingly thirsty, and I get so sleepy that I can barely hold my head up. I’m not sure why this happens, but it almost always does. I have no bad mall memories, unless they are very deeply repressed <G>.

In fact, we didn’t have malls here in Southern California when I was growing up – we had shopping centers. Shopping centers aren’t enclosed like malls. Malls remind me of bazaars – I shopped in bazaars in Turkey when I was there for a few months – but the bazaars were much much larger than malls, even larger than the largest malls, I think. In the bazaars, most of the shopkeepers stand in front of their stand or shop and accost you and try to sell your their wares. In malls, usually only the cell phone salesment do that.

When I shop for clothing, if I find something I like, I usually buy two or three of them – in different colors. Recently, I’ve been buying just one, wearing it a few times to make sure I still really like it, and then ordering another 2 or 3 online.

Other kinds of shopping? Grocery shopping – I go every other day or so. I can’t plan meals more than a day or two ahead because our plans are always changing. I just stop by the grocery store on the way home from wherever.

I buy books and some other things online – bought window shades online and they turned out great. I read reviews online before I buy appliances or electronics, but I try to buy them at Costco if they have what I want, because they are SO good about returns and their prices are great.

So – there ya go. How I shop. How boring.

But, most of us probably do spend a lot of time shopping. I wonder  what percentage of most people’s time is spent buying stuff.  I was at Downtown Disney tonight, browsing in a bookstore (bought some gifts there). So, I guess that’s shopping as entertainment.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | March 1, 2009

What to blog about #6

Why I was a childhood bully.

I can’t blog about this as I’m sure I never was a bully. Far from it. I was a happy-go-lucky life-loving little kid and became very shy and timid just around puberty. I remember being aware that there were kids who were bullied and I remember feeling bad for them and sometimes befriending them. I was a little afraid of a couple of girls who were loud and tough – I was afraid of them saying things I didn’t understand and embarrassing me. One of them wrote, “You are bitchen,” in my end-of-year autograph book and I hid it from my parents because I was embarrassed that someone had written a bad word in my book. This was in 1963 and I was 11 years old. I wasn’t sure if it meant something good or bad.

There were LOTS of things I wasn’t sure about, lots of times people talked about things and I nodded and smiled and pretended to understand. I most often felt bewildered and confused and short of information. I almost always felt like other kids had some insider’s knowledge that I wasn’t privy to.

Teachers and other adults seemed to think I knew everything and that I was competent and capable, but I lived in fear that they’d discover how wrong they were.

I didn’t feel bullied and I think I was actually pretty well-liked by most kids and adults. I certainly didn’t bully anybody.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | February 17, 2009

What to blog about #5

What do I hate about my home town?

Hate is too strong a word for any feelings I have about living here. I wish the traffic was a little lighter. I wish the people here were a little more progressive. I wish there was no crime at all. I wish the coast had been protected more from private construction. I wish  I wish that chain stores weren’t taking over and driving out so many independent stores (but that’s everywhere, not just here).

But, really, I love living here. Did I mention the strawberry stands? Yum.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | February 13, 2009

What to blog about #4

What I love about my home town.

I live in Southern California, in what is referred to as “the LA basin.” I’m in Orange County, about 15 minutes up the road from Disneyland.

I LOVE living here. I love living close to one of the biggest and most diverse cities in the world – Los Angeles. We really utilize what it has to offer – we go to museums, theaters, gardens, fairs, sporting events, ethnic festivals, and much more.

I also love the geography. We are about 15 minutes from the ocean – sandy beaches where we’ve spent many many long sunny days and had many bonfires in the evenings. But we are only a little more than an hour from the mountains – which are snow-covered and absolutely gorgeous this week! And, we’re about two hours from the desert – Joshua Tree National Park is my favorite place to go camping.

I love the weather here. Some people from other states complain that the weather is always the same here – but really there is a lot of variety. I love the Santa Ana winds with that soft warm desert air and I love the foggy marine layers. Recently we’ve had crisp cold (mid-40’s) temperatures with a slight breeze coming off the snow-covered mountains. It doesn’t snow where I live, but for those who like snow, there is great skiing and snowboarding only about an hour away.

The best thing about where I live is that my family lives close by – my sisters and their families live within a couple of miles of me. I grew up only a couple of miles from where I live now and I really really love that I know the area so well. When we drive around I often tell my kids little vignettes about the places we pass. I show them where I worked or tell them little incidents that happened to me, little adventures I had when I was a teenager. It is really fun. One of their friends once said that riding in our car was like being on a really interesting tour.

I’ve lived in this area for almost 57 years so I have a lot of little stories to tell about it.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | February 4, 2009

What to Blog About #3

This will be my epitaph.

I think an epitaph is supposed to sing the praises of the deceased, but this is what I want written on my gravestone:

“Be nicer to your kids!”

People will probably take it as regret that I wasn’t nicer, but that’s okay with me if it gets any parents thinking about how to be nicer, themselves. I’d like to think that I could keep on helping kids have better lives, even after I’m dead and gone.

Posted by: Pam Sorooshian | February 4, 2009

What to Blog About #2

Who do I most admire?

I’d have to say that I am filled with admiration for Barack Obama these days. I know he’s not going to be perfect, and I’m not expecting that I’ll agree with his every decision, but admiration? Yes, for sure. I am delighted to discover that I believe there is someone in the White House who is smart, capable, and (dare I say it?) virtuous.

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