My first dyeing class of the year went off without a hitch, well the actual class did not have any hitches. Unfortunately the individual that is supposed to be in charge of the classes has chosen to set new parameters that she let me know about by sending me a very rude e-mail. The situation is a little too complicated for me to write a lot about, but it boils down to:
I have been doing these programs for 11 months alone and with no real supervision so I Have done the best I am able, and they have flourished.
Four months ago, in the beginning of December, I gave this supervisor a plan covering a years worth of crafting classes that specified what the materials fees would be going toward and that these two classes would be 3.5 hours long.
Two weeks before the class was going to happen this supervisor e-mailed me all sorts of accusations, what was I going to do while the speaker was there (“We’re paying you to be there…”), they need to approve speakers before they come in (never mind I let them know that I was approaching a speaker and they gave no indication further action was required on my part), etc. I managed to take this to our respective supervisors and we temporarily have things hammered out. Unfortunately my attempts to open up channels of communication, sending out a confirming e-mail that I had the details of the meeting correct, was met with radio silence for a week. Then upon prompting I received “it looks fine” as a response. Just like that, no capitalization and no punctuation. These details might seem petty, but we are supposed to be grown-up professionals.
Due to these troubles, I know that I will see my commitment through the end of June when my spinning classes come to a close. However, I am not certain if I will pursue this through the summer and rest of the year. I love doing the classes, but if there is no communication I will not wait around for the next bullying e-mail from this individual. By discontinuing the craft classes I will be taking myself out of their sphere of influence. I also have plenty of work that I can be doing, computer tutoring, computer classes, developing my collections, etc.
Right now I am going to wait and see if this supervisor sets up a meeting to go over the programming planned for May and the summer. If this meeting does not occur and no further efforts toward communication are made, then I will see my current commitment through and ask for written guidelines so that I can consider picking these classes back up in December.
*I seriously considered deleting this post, it can sound like whining. However, I firmly believe that it needs to be put into a public forum that just because you love doing something you do not have to put up with bullies to be able to do what you love. If I do decide to discontinue teaching these classes at the public library I intend to find another forum to express my love of these crafts. Whether it is lessons on this website, setting up private lessons, creating a studio, requesting opportunities through the local arts council, seeing if my guild will sponsor events, etc. I want to pursue this, I need to pursue this, and I will find a way. Just because someone tries to beat me down only means that I will arise stronger and more determined than ever. I will not be bullied, and I will not be stopped.*