29 April 2010

Burning the Candle

at both ends...

Worked all day today, went to a meeting with another landmark Montessori school owner, fed the kids, and tried to get the website to a place where I was satisfied with it.

Tomorrow I start a series of short essays on why I'm leaving academia. Besides the fact that FIU has a policy to work from 8am to 6:30pm four days a week for six weeks over the summer (which is really crazy for anyone who actually wants to spend time with their family and/or loved ones)...there are many other reasons that come to mind.

Spread your wings!

28 April 2010

Website unveiled!

Yes! We have a web presence. It still needs work and a lot of pictures, but I've got the guts up and running. Can't wait to post it to the world. Since you have been kind enough to follow me early on, I will show you first!


Spread your wings!

27 April 2010


Headed to commencement now, so I figured I better post something for today. Incorporation went through just fine. Bank account will be ready tomorrow. Working on our third parent meeting for Saturday. Emails flying back and forth. All is good.

Spread your wings!

26 April 2010

Monday night

Met with the bank today to get our accounts established. Things are moving ahead great guns. My official title for next year will be co-founder (along with the four other fantastic women who are establishing this Montessori school), and Director of Advancement and External Relations. Basically that means I'm in charge of raising money and building community partners. We have another teacher on board, and are up to 29 kids for sure, with another 16 maybes, and a handful of possibles. The parents I've met with the last two weekends have all done a fabulous job identifying new sets of parents to meet in the upcoming weeks.

Head's up that we'll have a big open house around mid-June just to kick off the PTA and get everyone working to get the school open and everything in place by the end of August.

The job at FIU is winding down quickly. Totally forgot my power cord today and had to write everything by hand. Working on a borrowed PC is horrible, so I'll not do that again. Tomorrow is the last graduation in which I'll participate at FIU. I'll be in the platform party for the College of Architecture + The Arts at commencement tomorrow night at 7:30 pm. It will definitely be bittersweet. I'll be happy to see all my former freshman that I recruited, who are now senior music tech majors graduate.

Spread your wings!

25 April 2010

parent meeting, part 2

We hosted our second parent meeting this afternoon. It was awesome--about 8 sets of parents with their kids came by. There were some great ideas launched--t-shirts, marketing, etc. Lots of questions to answer. We had a fantastic meeting for nearly 3 hours. Next week, we'll have our third meeting for yet another group of parents. So far, so good!

Spread your wings!


24 April 2010

Saturday morning?!

So I missed my posted yesterday because I was watching the first half of Avatar. I hope you all forgive me.  :)

This morning (Saturday) we had a strategic planning meeting for the College of Architecture + The Arts at FIU. This will be the last Saturday I spend time away from my family to instead wind up spending the time with FIU. I understand the need to assess what's going on in the college with faculty, budget, marketing, etc., but really...a Saturday morning for 3 hours?! I think time would have been better spent requiring faculty to actually read the materials we've already developed for these purposes.

Planning the second big parent meeting for tomorrow afternoon. We have about a dozen families who will be coming over to learn more about the new school. I'm sure we'll hit our target enrollment in no time.

Tonight--I'll be relaxing with the second half of Avatar!

22 April 2010


Recruiting is tough when you don't yet have a bank account. Hopefully that will all be fixed on Monday afternoon when we meet with the nice folks at Community Bank in Homestead. Then we'll be able to start taking registrations.

In the meantime, I had a great group of six families over to our house last Sunday, and I've got about a dozen more coming this Sunday. I'm already taking reservations for next week! The word about the new school is spreading like wildfire. If you know anyone who is looking for an awesome Montessori arts school with fabulous teachers, send them my way!

The day job is winding down. I told my boss that he needed to wean people off of me and start relying on those who will be there after I'm gone. Tomorrow is the first test...we'll see how that goes.

Spread your wings!

21 April 2010

Atala Foundation, here we come!

So the foundation is official: Atala Foundation! This is going to be the non-profit side of the business so we can apply for government grants, foundations, and secure other types of donations to get things rolling. Eventually this money will be used to set up new rooms as the school expands. And we also hope to be able to offer scholarships down the road to help out those who may not be able to afford the tuition. The school incorporation will be done tomorrow, and that's separate from the foundation. We'll accept tuition and pay bills through the school, and all donations will be run by the foundation to give everyone a tax break if they donate.

On another note, how does one believe, "Maybe we're actually doing her a favor..." by terminating someone? So if we release them from their position they're somehow going to grow stronger by the experience and branch out on their own? That's exactly what I heard yesterday. What?! Anyway, onward and upward.

Spread your wings!

20 April 2010

Two Friends!

I am so very excited that I've got two followers now. I'm practically Svengali! Now go spread the word, you minions, and get me some more followers!  :)

Had a great meeting with Yvonne Knowles, who is going to expedite the whole process with the city. We've got a lot of people rooting for us, and we cannot fail. We will not fail.

Bought a whole bunch of Montessori lessons--trinomial cube, binomial cube, abacuses (abaci?--sorry, I'll have to look up the plural of abacus some other time...), tables, eggs, etc. It's awesome. What a great start to furnishing Atala Montessori!

Spread your wings!

19 April 2010

A Day of Transitions

Good day and bad day. On the downside, my FIU boss has reorganized the world since the event manager left 3 weeks ago, and I've announced my departure on May 27. He's trying to get 4 jobs pared down to 2. Just doesn't make sense to me, but I don't have a choice in the matter any more.

On the upside--I've got my first official follower! Yee haw! And we had a fantastic meeting with our accountant. He was fabulous and lots of great advice. I'll call the attorney tomorrow, and she'll prepare the documents for incorporation. After that, we head to the bank on Thursday or Friday and set up the accounts. By next week, we'll launch the website and start taking registrations!

Spread your wings!

18 April 2010

First parents' meeting

Today we hosted five sets of parents and their children to tell them about the plans for Atala Montessori School for Creative Expression. The meeting was fantastic! Everyone is so supportive. We are moving forward quickly, and I'm hoping in the next week or so to have the website up and running and the bank account set up to receive registrations fees. Tomorrow we meet with the accountant, and Tuesday we meet with Yvonne Knowles, who knows everyone in downtown Homestead.

Spread your wings!

17 April 2010

Eight Days a Week

Spent today with the other owners of the new school and our lawyer (who's awesome, by the way). We are making great strides on setting up the business portion of the new school. We will be advertising by next week. Tomorrow I host the first of a series of home meetings for parents who might be interested in learning more about the school. We're all very, very excited, but we're also working seven days a week. I'm not sure, but I think we're going to sleep well tonight! We had an 8-hour day on a Saturday. Ack!

Day 4, and I finally had my first official comment. Woo hoo! I'm so excited. At least one person has actually read what I'm writing. Bless you, Tallulah!  :)

Tonight, we drink champagne!

16 April 2010

Day 29

Finally, a weekend! I'm working on a lot of documents related to the new school. Hopefully we'll start registrations in about a week. Yeah!

15 April 2010

Day 30

 I can't believe my blog has been up for three days now, and I don't have one single follower. How depressing! Well, not really, but I needed the drama.

The new school is well underway. We're meeting with our lawyer on Saturday morning, and then accountant on Monday afternoon. Parents are coming to us in droves to get their kids registered. All we need to do is finalize the incorporations, open a bank account, and we're good to go! I'm so proud of all of us.

Life is good.

14 April 2010

Let the Countdown Begin!

31 work days left. My computer crashed, and Apple wants $1295 to fix it. Will FIU buy me a new one so I can work the next few weeks, or will I sit in my office quietly biding my time until May 27?  :)

13 April 2010

Diary of a Recovering Academic, Countdown

After 17 years as a college professor, the last 13 of which have been in South Florida with 4 years as Associate Dean, I have officially have resigned from the Office of the Dean as of May 27, 2010.

This blog documents life after academia...what it's like on the outside...having the freedom to make decisions on my own without the red tape of the administration deciding where, when, and how the budget cuts, faculty loads, research and creative activities fall.

I look forward to the next phase of my life!