1. Invest and not waste my time at the computer
2. Develop more writing skills
3. Get exposed to new books
4. Collaborate with colleagues and teachers
5. Debate about some interesting topics
6. Meet other cool editors
7. Write as much as I want about the things I love
8. Get help with research design for my own use
9. Make extra $
10. Keep my intellectual sanity
What say you?
I am about to take a year out of teaching as of January as our wonderful NZ system allows for unpaid refreshment leave. Having never actually left school (ie school, uni, work as a teacher) I wasn't sure I had any other options for a job. E-notes has shown me the whole world of e-teaching and learning, and I know I can make an income from home while I enjoy spending more time with my family. I get to read inspiring ideas, consider diverse texts and opinions and find out what the rest of the world is teaching and learning.
E-notes has given me a way of using my abilities and passion that is rewarding (bordering on addictive?)!
I love enotes as it allows me to increase my knowledge about the literature I teach and bring new ideas into my classroom by watching the assignments other students have to complete over the pieces.
I also like making a little extra money, as it has been a tough year with family deaths, a flood in my neighborhood, personal trials, and a wedding of my daughters to plan.
Finally, I do like debating and discussing with collegues especially during the summer months so that I can keep sharp when I am not actively in the classroom.
I echo the sentiments of my colleagues in saying that this website has allowed me to communicate with educators from all over the country. I love sharing thoughts, opinions, and sometimes spirited debates with everyone. It's all nice to see how people in other disciplines approach topics and questions. As brettd noted, it's often difficult to collaborate with people at your own site. In my dept., the English teachers are often too busy to meet, and there's little interaction with teachers in other depts. Plus, it's always fun to see what others are reading, and to help students understand literature even just a little more. And hey, the money's not half bad either.
Enotes has been a boon to teaching Shakespeare and many other works, and I have recommended the site to many a student; always these students have reported that enotes helped them very much.
As an editor, the intellectual stimulation that it provides is most worthy. As others have said, it has been so enjoyable to become reacquainted with old loves, the works read years ago, and to become introduced to new works, as well, and to view these works from various perspectives. There is no question that the discussions are a wonderful outlet for expressing a point of view, safely without fear of a parent complaining or otherwise. And, the communication with other enotes has been heartwarming and, at times, hilariously fun. Enotes is therapy! #11
Of much note, too, is the kindness and appreciation shown to me by the reviewers and people in charge; never before have I worked with people of such sterling character. What a refreshing change from the pettiness of some through the difficult years. (You all know what I mean.)
The monetary rewards help pay for those things I want without guilt or explanation. And, enotes has helped me through some months when added expenses have come up. All in all, enotes is a wonderful outlet of both mind and heart. To echo another's toast, Vive l'enotes!
I love everything about eNotes: the people, the ideas, the students, the literature. Above all right now, I appreciate the flexibility eNotes offers me--I can make money doing something I love while traveling!! It really is the best of all worlds for me. My being part of eNotes is accidental in the happiest of ways, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be part of this endeavor of enlightenment.
Not necessarily in order of importance, thanks to Enotes I am able to:
1. Hear other points of view on academic and social issues.
2. Express my own point of view on said issues.
3. Keep my analytical and writing skills fresh.
4. Have the flexibility to take care of an aging parent and my "aging" children, to teach as an adjunct, have another on-line job, and walk or swim every day.
5. Make new and interesting acquaintances.
6. Have a better grasp of what young people are reading and learning.
7. Become acquainted with new literature.
8. Become reacquainted with some old literature. (It's wonderful to re-read something when you are at a different stage of life.)
9. Contribute to my lifelong learning.
10. Put what I know to good use.
I'd say #5, #6, and #9 are the most accurate for me. There are some good and lively discussion threads to participate in, and I have met some colleagues on this site from all over the country that have been fun and interesting to talk to. eNotes serves as a forum for teachers across the 50 states and even internationally where we can discuss issues relevant to education and our fields of study. That's fun for me and I actually have less opportunity to do so within my own school.
Also, working at eNotes has allowed me the extra income to pursue other hobbies and interests (hiking, winemaking) without having to commit to long term summer teaching jobs, AND it has eased the impact of the recession and the pay and benefit cuts we have had to endure because of it.
For me, it's 9 and 10 from your list with a couple of additions.
Back in 2002 I quit teaching full-time to be mainly a stay-at-home dad. At that point, I was able to keep my hand in by teaching part-time. After the big economic crash, the community college I was teaching for cut out its program of offerring college classes to HS students on the HS campuses (which is what I was doing). So, since the end of the '08-'09 school year, I have not worked outside the home.
eNotes allows me to make some money and feel like I am a contributing member of society even as I do my main job of parenting. It gives me the flexibility to do both. I can walk the kids to and from school. I can let them play on the playground after school instead of going to a day care. I can play games with them, read to them, cook them dinner and then, when I have the time, check eNotes.
Because of eNotes, I can sort of "have it all." I can do something that (at times) is intelluctually stimulating and makes me feel like I haven't left the teaching profession. I can do so without having to send the kids to day care, which allows me the emotional satisfaction of watching them grow and being there for them the way my mother was there for me as I grew up.
So... it's a real win-win for me and I am very grateful that I stumbled across this site...
I certainly would miss enotes were it to spontaneously combust today and vanish completely. I think what I appreciate most about it is the new friends I have formed through being involved in enotes. By this I refer not just to other editors, but the new "friends" in the form of new poems, novels, short stories and plays that being an editor on this site exposes me to. In addition, I love the way that the questions that I answer help me to think again about texts that I have known for so long and to see them in different ways. The questions that some people ask help me to see such old favourites in completely different ways. Long live enotes!
I encourage fellow editors, college students, and other users to share your experiences with Enotes. The other day I thought: What if one day were to find out that Enotes is no longer. What would I miss the most? I realized that Enotes takes a huge part of my day, but not in a negative way at all. It is about the one "hobby" that actually feeds my brain, and allows me to continue to learn as an adult. I am not sure if I would be able to make it one day without Enotes, because the wealth of information that I have acquired here is amazing. I sometimes do not even bother going to Google: I "Enote it".
Please share.. (It does not have to be TEN things. I am just a "top ten-lister" by nature)