There is nothing in the world other than art and oboe that I enjoy participating in more than WORK. There are so many benefits to working that go beyond a paycheck.
I started my first job at age 17 at McDonalds. I was assigned to the grill and made burgers, fries, milkshakes, egg McMuffins. I had to clean floors and empty trash in the seating area. Unless I had a rehearsal or concert, I worked exclusively on weekends. I was glad for the work and money. I never had the attitude that the “job” was beneath me or not appropriate to my future career. (Best employee 11/10/2012 – Kara)
By the time I was in college, I started working part-time as a tutor. I tutored Music 101 students — non-music majors who needed assistance understanding the difference between the sounds of instruments and certain composers music. I was a conscientious student. Though I was an art major, the music professors recommended I tutor students who needed help with their class. I found ways to relate the student’s area of study to music and enjoyed working in an area related to my degree — education.
Before I graduated from college, I was hired for an official art teaching position. I taught drawing, design & graphics, 9th grade general art, jewelry, pottery, art appreciation. I formuled ideas, assignments, graded, displayed, prepared supplies, disciplined. No one needed to monitor me. I was self-motivated to do the best job possible. After two years of temporary positions, I divided a paper into columns to mark the pros and cons of the current job, but decided to take a full-time position that required me to move. I retained the connection with music colleagues after the move.
I planned to remain in the school system for at least 10 years. I stayed 11.5 years. The entrepreneurial spirit that I exhibited since selling pewter jewelry at age 16 needed to be nurtured. I was 32 when I “retired.” The adventure of working every day had just begun. I never needed someone to coach or prod me to work. I began building an amazing business that developed into a marvelous merging of art, and music. The final addition was a coffeehouse. A restaurant was not in the picture as I was growing up — definitely not a dream. But what a joy the inclusion of coffeehouse was to my art studio. Sometimes, it barely seemed like “work” even though I was on call about 98 hours a week.
I loved all my jobs that were destroyed by a hostile spousal takeover. My pay was nothing to brag about, but the connection to my family of art, music and coffeehouse friends was “priceless.”