teaching and being taught, and links

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this on this blog or not, but I spent a fair amount of time as a part-time schoolteacher for both middle school and college freshmen as a substitute teacher and later as a graduate assistant. I taught intro to calculus and accounting in grad school and substituted for math, gifted ed and other subjects when I was still chasing my starry-eyed dream of becoming a math professor.  I was good.  My students liked me and I don’t recall if I’ve ever had a negative review or bad experience teaching (I don’t think I have).  I continued my teaching/training throughout my corporate career, leading new employee classes and training in software for over 15 years.  I like training and teaching.  Nowadays I do little of that as a corporate consultant – nobody wants me to train, they want me to DO.  And now, if not yesterday.

Well, I get glimpses of the past and flashbacks now that I have kids. I spent a couple of days at my children’s preschool/pre-K school where Little Buddy attends pre-K and Pumpkin goes to daycare (or preschool or whatever you’d like to call it).  I do realize from time to time, when I self-analyze my abilities, that I do have one ability if nothing else:  kids like me.  I can engage them in learning and don’t make them nervous as some other parents do.  I probably would have made a decent grade school or middle school teacher if I could have supported a family on that salary.  That’s a sad observation, frankly, but one for another post.

I’ll make one other observation, too, unrelated to personal finance or careers: my children’s school concentrates heavily on play, and I like it.  Not learning, but play – directed, but not with any intention towards teaching any specific subject.  It’s interesting as a parent to process the conflicting emotions that arise from watching this:  you want your kids to learn but I also (mentally) slap myself and say “Pumpkin’s not even 3 yet – she deserves play time.”  I’m a firm believer in the concept that kids need play time – creative time, self-directed – to develop themselves.  They’ll have plenty of time to be crammed into desks and forced to learn times tables later, I guess.  Just my parental opinion, I guess.

MonaVie Blackmails Me?: Stunning that a company, or a rep for a company, would stoop this low. Read the article to see how low a supposedly ‘legitimate’ company can stoop. You can also read MonaVie: Multi-Level Marketing Gone Haywire for more idiocy. I can’t believe anyone falls for MonaVie’s crap after I’ve read stuff like this.

Blue Cash Rewards Increase: I’ve owned a Blue Cash card for years, so this is good news.  I’ll take it…

Social Lending Arbitrage Beats Projections: I still think Lending Club is a good bet – if you’re interested in trying it they have a $25 signup bonus right now.  I’d treat it like any other investment – it has its ups and downs, but it can serve as a reasonable diversification strategy versus the market.

Personal Finance the Krav Maga Way: Since I’ve seen all the Krav Maga signs up around my neighborhood, I thought this was an amusing – and timely – post.

Small but Alarming Indicator: This is unpleasant – but not unexpected – anecdotal news.  On the other hand, Bubelah just attended a small business workshop where they barely had enough room for the interested attendees, and I remarked that it must have been all of the laid-off people thinking about launching small businesses (and good for them if they were)…

Life After Debt: What It’s Like in the Third Stage of Personal Finance: Just an interesting read, on many levels (fitness, travel, etc.)

and more…