posts tagged with 'work'

my real job

I'm spending all week teaching in the same classroom of fourth-graders, which is kind of a luxury: it's nice not to have to remember new names every morning! But it also gives the kids time to wonder about me. Yesterday one asked, "what's your real job?" After I assured him that all I do is substitute for teachers who are out, he—by this point joined by other interested students—pressed, "but what about when no one needs a sub?" They were clearly concerned about me. "Do you run out of money? Do you have to go to your mom to get more money?"

Haha, if only they knew! I did reassure them that my mom gave me some money for my birthday last week so I'd be ok. It's hard to think about financial planning when you're 10 and live in the suburbs.

routine adjustment

I went back to work today, and Leah was glad to get me out of the house (Harvey and Rascal missed me, though; Zion didn't care). I had forgotten how much time working takes, and I don't even work quite full time. How on earth do people ever get anything done?! Seems like I only just got home when and it was time to eat dinner and put the kids to bed; I don't know how I'm ever going to get this chicken coop finished! Although I suppose it will help that tomorrow and Thursday are half days and I have both Friday and Monday off for Labor Day. They like to ease us into the school year.

As for blogging, who knows when I'll ever have time. I'll have to start doing some writing on my lunch breaks.


applying myself

Job hunting can be kind of addictive. At least, that's my excuse for still being up at half-past eleven on a Monday evening. Sure, I'm on vacation now, but I vowed that I'd get to bed early in order to be able to enjoy the sunny part of the summer to the fullest (and my family would like to have me awake and alert to do chores with them too). But there are still new jobs being posted, so I apply and apply. Seven more tonight, bringing the total to over 40 applications sent in, some of them for multiple positions. No bites yet.

I heard from an administrator that he got 400 applicants for one position earlier this year. I figure that means that if I apply to 400 openings myself I'm a shoe-in for the last one. A tenth of the way there!

Of course, that's only true until December when the next crop of ed school graduates gets their degrees and the game resets. How many new elementary teaching licenses to you thing Massachusetts issues each year?


faith and joy and the job search

At church, we're in the midst of another "Leap of Faith". It's kind of like a Lenten discipline for the non-aligned church set, but it also involves praying for big things for ourselves and the church—thus the name. I'm asking God, naturally, for a teaching job. Of course, when you lay it all out on the line and pray for big things you open yourself up to big disappointments, which is why the pastor preached yesterday on being happy with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hedging our bets. Well, that and I guess the Holy Spirit is kind of important too.

The thrust of the sermon—and in fact all or this year's Leap of Faith—was that our relationship with God is more important than what God can do for us; and that, plus, God gives us all kinds of other gifts that we can take for granted or miss out on entirely. Like the Holy Spirit, and the joy we find in a beautiful day at the turn of the seasons (though I'll pass on using The Decemberists to illustrate that message). Sounds good to me!

Only that's kind of a problem. It was like preaching to the converted for me to hear that: I take a whole lot of joy in beautiful days, and rainy days, and all kinds of things. I am very aware of the gifts of God, and delighted with all that I get from God. It hasn't included a teaching job, but that's fine for everything except... our bank balance. So, maybe I should be praying harder.

I'm practicing interview questions in my head these days and so I'm feeling a whole lot more introspective than usual. One conclusion I've come to is that I'm not really very ambitious in any conventional sense, which I suppose shows on my résumé. Oops. On the other hand, everything that I do I want to do well: as well as it is possible to be done, in fact. Prospective employers should know, then, that I intend to win a teacher of the year award should I ever manage to be employed somewhere. Well, I'll win one if other folks notice and appreciate my ground-breakingly wonderful teaching, because I sure won't put myself in for any sort of awards or teach in ways designed to attract the attention of the prize committees (are there prize committees? there should be prize committees).

All that is to say that I really want a new job, I would do totally awesome at it, and if I don't get one I'll still be rejoicing in God's goodness. Is that lack of drive? If so, I'm afraid I'm guilty of lack of drive.


unemployment update

After a trip to the pond that included pic nic lunch, Dan took H-ster out in the bike to the farmers market while I showered and did some sewing. I managed to knock out a toddler t-shirt and do some light clean-up, and now I'm headed out to the hammock to read a book. When the boys get back we'll all walk the dog together. Life sure is easy when you're going about it with two unemployed parents.

Of course the days will get a bit more stacked once Dan goes back to work at the end of the month. But for know I'm enjoying a bit of rest... trying to calm down and re-learn how to be human and stop grinding my teeth. Oh my poor jaw. It smarts when I chew.

Friday my lay-off was finalized. That evening I also got an email from the start-up I'd been interviewing with for the past month. They're passing on me and going in a different direction, like, more towards hiring a different person. Which is okay, given the thin safety net provided by our commonwealth. I spent an hour on hold Monday waiting to open an unemployment claim. With the questions and the follow-up pin set up it was a two-hour process in all. I hope everything works out all right - the agent I spoke with had a very thick indian accent which made her kind of difficult to understand. I would spell something, my home address for example, and she would say "E as in EBOAH? A as in ANUTH?" And I would be like, "Um, yeah, okay" because I had already asked her to repeat half the questions and her tone was tightening to the point where I was sure she was flagging my application for fraud.

So I wonder. If they've outsourced the department of unemployment assistance call center to India, how come I had to hold on the phone for 57 minutes? Oh they haven't outsourced it? They just don't discriminate on the basis of ability to speak recognizable english? Well, that's good I guess.

Harvey is coping with me being home during the day by not wanting to let me out of his sight. Did momma go in the bathroom? MwwaaaAAAAAAAAA!!!! We have a new project this week - weaning him off of night-time feedings. I was hesitant to take this on while I was working, but now that there's no fear of not enough contact with my child it must be done. I said I would nurse him until one of us was tired of it, and all of a sudden I'm tired. Harvey's a big boy now. He doesn't need to be gnawing on a momma at 1 in the morning.

And that's all the update I can crank out before I collapse into a hammock. Jealous much?


sweet going down, bitter aftertaste

In celebration of my last week commuting dash last couple of months without a baby all up inside me I stopped at Starbucks this morning. I haven't been in Starbucks in maybe five months or so, so it was exciting to learn that they now serve make-it-your-way frappuccinos. Now you can choose your milk, your flavor, and your level of caffeine. I guess I gave them that idea, that time that I went into Starbucks at six months pregnant and grabbed the barista by the collar screaming "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T MAKE A DECAF FRAPPUCCINO????!!!"

Just kidding, that only happened in my mind. Also, in my reverie they didn't cost no five dollars for a medium size.

Anyway, yeah for capitalism making things slightly better. That's its job after all. To give the wage slaves the illusion of improvement. The sweet lullaby of oppression tastes like delicious caramel.


"working girl"

As many of you know, I started a new job last week. I'd been dreading this transition for several reasons, most notable because of the pumping and the not getting to see my kid. And yes, in some ways my dread was well-founded. I do spend a lot of time pumping. I don't get to spend a lot of time with the kid. But to my surprise that didn't stop the world from turning last week. I gather we're all still here, breathing oxygen, writing stuff on the internet. I have to admit this came as a bit of a surprise.

There have been several silver linings to the new work situation. The first is that the pumping may actually be HELPING the problem I've had these past weeks with the clogging and mastitis et al. I hate to admit it, because pumping feels so much like the life-force-suck-of-death, but there are upsides to the regularity of the machine. Unlike Harvey's feeding whimsy, with the pump I can keep milking till I'm good and ready to stop. And that means that for those hours when I'm not huddled in a little locked closet, I can go about the rest of my day with breasts that feel more like normal human appendages and less like medicine balls.

I know what you're thinking. A breast isn't strictly speaking an appendage. Alls I've got to say to that is wait till you're breast-feeding. Then tell me what you think it is.

As for the missing Harvey, what can I say? Of course I miss Harvey terribly. But even when I was home I missed Harvey. Even working from home, with what everyone calls the "best of both worlds" situation, I was mostly miserable. I didn't want to be working. I want to be raising my kid. That hasn't changed of course with the new job, but at leas the move has solidified my commitment. I will get out from under my loans. I will be a stay at home mom some day.

Even if I have to turn tricks on the side. In that case, the pump would count as a tax write-off. You might even call it a necessary appendage.


a look that stops traffic

People occasionally ask me what I do at Harrington school this year. Traffic enforcement is certainly a highlight.

home again, all in the same day

All of us except Rascal took a trip today down to New York, where Leah had to attend a work meeting-slash-party. While she met, Harvey and I walked around the city, taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the Big Apple. Surrounded on all sides by skyscrapers stretching to the heights, we... What's that? We weren't actually in New York City, only minor Westchester suburb New Rochelle? Oh well, it was plenty big-city for us little country mice, and we're glad to be back home now. And this time, "all in the same day" is really something to comment on!

the end of a (short) era

I am now back to being a humble IA; my reign as the classroom teacher is over after only seven short weeks, with the return of the real teacher from her maternity leave. Less work for me now, yes, but less fun too! It was strange walking out of the building this afternoon right after the kids left. "But... people are still here doing things! What about the faculty meeting?!" I'm sure I'll get used to it in time.

At least leaving early meant that I could catch more of the Red Sox opener, but even that pleasure was denied me thanks to the torrential downpour we had all afternoon. Is April 6th too soon for baseball in New England? All signs point to yes. It is not, however, too soon for seed starting indoors, something which has still not begun yet. And peas outside soon! Better get going!