Thursday, August 26, 2010

Never a dull moment.

Today we launched right into Theatre History. I warned them all ahead of time that I totally geek out over this stuff. And, true t form, I did. But not because I'm overly enthused about theatre history.

I got to explain to them the plot line of Oedipus Rex.

The faces on these kids was *priceless*. And the highlight was this exchange:

Me: So Oedipus marries the queen and has kids with her. She also happens to be his mother.
Student: UGH! That's worse than incest!
Me: *blinkblink* Honey, that IS incest.
Student: Yeah, but, like, it's so much worse than if it was his sister or brother or something.
Me: Uuuuuh.... I don't think think they differentiate. Incest is incest.

It took everything in my power to not spout out, "If you can't keep it in your pants, keep it in your family."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What do I need....

1. A bigger desk.
2. To never wear heels to school AGAIN (even though I know I will completely ignore this advice with the next cute pair I foolishly justify buying with "Oh! I can teach in these!" No. No I can't).
3. My paycheck.
4. To be able to print worksheets and not be sent to 6 different people to fix my inability to log on to a computer.
5. An instant understanding of EVERYTHING MY COLLUGES ARE TALKING ABOUT. What the hell is a Power Indicater? I have to use them, and I don't know what they are...
6. A beer.

I will survive.

I made it through Freshman Orientation. Which isn't much of an accomplishment since classes are all of 10 minutes long and they come to me. Though the air conditioner in my room is not working and I'm waering pants and sweating balls.... now more meetings.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I feel like the bottom just fell out. But in a good way.

You know that ride at amusement parks that uses centrifugal force to keep you plastered to the wall while the floor drops away? And the whole time you're screaming because you're terrified but enjoying every last minute of it?

Today's my first faculty institute. Tomorrow is Freshman Orientation. Wednesday is the first day of school. I kinda feel like I'm on that ride.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We have arrived!

So we've been in Indiana for 19 days, and in that 19 days we have moved in, unpacked everything we can with no furniture, scoped out the IKEA catalog for all the cool shit we're going to buy when I start getting paid, gotten my school keys, set up my classroom, learned where some of the stuff is at school, went to the beach, spent about 100 hours in the pool, missed a meeting, had 6 others, picked out a textbook, started writing curriculum, went to family events twice (which is so. Much. Closer now...), gotten lost about a billion times, and have had a general blast.

I'd write more now but the Unisom just kicked in.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Moving blows.

I hate moving. I hate packing, I hate schelepping, I hate unpacking. And since this will be roughly my fifteenth move in 12 years, you'd think I'd have this down pat. But I don't; I procrastinate as much as I can and then stress the fuck out at the last minute. So far, par for the course. The excitement of getting a job and the initial rush to pack has ebbed, and knowing that I have two weeks is dangerous. "Oh sure" I tell myself, "you can watch the weekly SVU marathon all day because you're not moving for two whole weeks."

Maybe I should pack up the TV.

It also doesn't help that we're moving back into an apartment. The place we're in now is amazing- it's a 100 year old duplex with hardwood floors and an upstairs and a basement. There are built-ins and original tile in the bathroom. It has completely spoiled me for having to move back into a beige apartment. The *only* reason haven't held out for something better is that there IS nothing better because we have dogs. Our little guy, Ziggy, is no problem, but Shelby is a big dog (60-70 lbs) and most of the places have weight limits of 30 lbs. So this place will let us have both, and it has a pool and is 20 minutes from the Indiana Dunes, so it won't suck while it's still warm out. Winter will be boring, I'm sure, but by then I'll be ass deep in the spring musical, so maybe I won't notice.

I think I'm fixating on the move because once that's taken care of, I will have to write an curriculum and prepare for the coming school year, and if I didn't admit to being nervous, I'd be lying. Excited, but terrified.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I got a job.

A REAL, BIG-GIRL, CAREER TYPE JOB. Holy hell, I'm in such a state that I got it several days ago and I'm just now posting this. Because it's in another state, and I have to move, and I've been packing and looking for a house and OH MY GOD I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!!

There is the eternal cynic in me that doesn't trust this 100% until the paperwork is signed. Like, we told our current landlord that we're out at the end of the month and I nearly had a panic attack because in 27 days we'll be homeless unless I find us something, and dear GOD WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY CALL AND SAY, "HA HA, JUST KIDDING!" AND WE'RE STUCK IN FUCKING INDIANA LIVING OUT OF A UHAUL???"

I'm better now. Largely because in the interview the principal let it slip that I was the only applicant that had the right kind of certification and also because I'm going up on Wednesday to sign my letter of intent and to look at a house that's 3 blocks from Lake Michigan (BEACH!!!). And dreaming about my new position as a Drama/English teacher in a high school. Holy shit, I'm terrified. However, the theatre I will be occupying for what I hope is a long time seats over 2,000. Which is larger than the "state-of-the-art" facility my college alma mater spent millions and 6 years building. HA! Take that, higher education!

I should point out that at the time of this posting it is the 4th of July and I've been drinking. Because right now, a beer is a better idea than packing. Woot!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Okay. Maybe not so depressing.

I have another job interview on Wednesday. It's another out-of-state job, but since it's right on the Indiana border, I'll actually be closer to my family in the Chicago burbs than I am currently, and we're in the same state. Aside from that, the other advantages includes 1. It's not Illinois, which has it's head so far up it's ass when it comes to education that 200,000 teachers have been laid off statewide and programs have been cut due to lack of funding, and 2. the principal, who sounded really nice and not the least bit intimidating, said she was having a hard time finding someone who could teach both Drama and English (which I find odd, but I'm not questioning fate). So, I went and actually bought a new dress (more out of necessity, since stressing over finances has me down about 20 lbs., and they frown upon you showing up to interview naked...) and I'll go to the 'rents the night before (mostly so I can weasel a free mani/pedi out of my mom), and I'll keep y'all posted. I'm sure if I get it, you'll hear the celebratory screaming.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This is the most fucking depressing blog ever.

I really wish I had good news. Lord knows I could use it about now. I'm on the tail end of another meltdown... it's amazing what kind of stupid shit will set you off when you're already fragile. There's this Jack-in-the-Box commercial, the one with the talking sandwiches, and a secretary pops her head in to gently chide the large-headed CEO about something or other. I went to college with that secretary. She has apparently started getting nationwide campaigns, and I can't even get a job at fucking Target. I gave up the idea of being a professional actor because I didn't want to have to work three jobs to make ends meet (HA!). I want to teach because I wanted to make a difference in the world, even if it's just in the lives of a few kids. And now I'm willing to give that up just to have a steady paycheck. Hell, health insurance would be nice, but let's not go crazy here. I'm finding that I'm overqualified for anything around here, yet underexperienced to actually land a job in my field.

I want to go to bed for a week.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Let's take a new route, shall we?

There are two openings here in town for English teachers. I have applied for both. I have also spent money I could scarcely afford on fruit arrangements for the superintendents of those districts to catch someone's attention enough to maybe get an interview.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Le Letdown

Since all the Regretsy fuckery, I've had two job interviews. I'm pretty sure those events are mutually exclusive, but you never know; the universe may have decided to cut me a break. The first one was at a Catholic high school about 20 minutes from my parents, which is nice in that I'd be able to stay with them rent free and unpleasant in that they are insane. But I'd be able to come back here on the weekends and we could save for a house.

Now, despite my atheism, I went to a Catholic school, so I know how the game is played. Also, so long as no one tries to convert me, I have no qualms with the religious. I panicked a little when I was asked in the interview if I was "spiritual" or "religious", but I managed to squeak out some kind of satisfactory response while avoiding the words "I", "don't", "believe","God", and "exists". So I left feeling pretty good about the whole thing, and the interview was even on my mother's birthday to boot.

Though I felt really good about the interview, I went ahead and made arrangements to interview one state over just for the hell of it. I figured it couldn't hurt, and since my dad offered to spring for a hotel room, it's win-win. And despite being in essentially a one horse town, I figured "quaint" can get me through the burgeoning career for a few years. And *that* interview was even better than the Catholic school interview (maybe because God didn't figure in). It was pretty laid back, which was nice considering the 5 hour drive I had to get there and back (in the rain, btw...). I had a small crisis when I though about moving even further from my family than I currently am, but $38K a year speaks volumes when the previous years haven't even broken $18K between multiple jobs. Which, by the way, is AWESOME.

Well, as soon as I manage to get myself embroiled in pretty heavy rush hour traffic, the Catholic school calls. And as soon as I saw the number on my cell, I just knew that I didn't have a chance in hell (thanks for nothing, Jesus). The principal was nice enough on the phone, telling me I interviewed well and I made his choice hard, but ultimately they went with someone with more experience. Which I find highly ironic, because how in fuck are you expected to get experience if you're currently in your third summer of job hunting??? He did offer, with my permission, to pass my resume on to any other school that happens to be in need of interviewees (or second-stringers, I though to myself), which I thought was pretty cool of him. So, all I had to hang on to was the long-distance job.

Until this morning.

I should point out that it's my husband's birthday today. We were on our way to take advantage of Denny's free Birthday Grand Slam breakfast when I got the call. Which was that ultimately, they went with someone else, but I had been a close second; that it was not that I interviewed poorly (far from it, I was reassured), and that he was sorry I had driven so far for nothing. I was quite proud of the fact that I didn't burst into tears until I hung up with the guy, but then I had to cry all over my husband, who was probably looking forward to a saline-free birthday.

So, I interview well, I am articulate and I present a clear vision for what I expect in my students and from a position within a district. But I'm only second best. Now I know how Miss Congeniality feels: stabby.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes.....

I've had officially over 20,000 views to my dipolma in a week. And the stories that have been shared with me have been truly appreciated; some warm, some tough, some funny, all appreciated. It's put everything into perspective for me... I know I'm not doing what I want with my career, but I get my bills paid every month, even if there's nothing left afterward. I own, but I have a roof over my head that keeps me warm. I may eat pasta 5 nights a week, but I'm not starving. It's hard at times to keep all this in mind, but I'm trying...

Friday, April 16, 2010

This has been the most productive sick week ever.

I have only worked one day this week. Partly due to whatever Martian death flu I've been inflicted with and partly because job #3 ran out of work. If they don't scan in the work fast enough and we catch up, then we get an instant day off. Which is nice when you feel like concentrated ass, but it sucks when it's paycheck time.

Since I found myself with copious amounts of "free time" and since the Etsy thing exploded on Wednesday, I've been able to be crafty this week. Which is nice; I was going through withdrawals. The downside is that if I go too fast or bend over, I get dizzy. So it's been slow. I thought I was all better a few days ago and probably over did it... woke up the next day and felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I hate being sick.

In other news, I just got off the phone with the Department of Education. Why are they so damn nice? My federal loans have been in deferment pretty much since 2002, and they are all just so freakin lovely and willing to help when I'm down and out. Not like Sallie Mae, who could give two shits that between three jobs I can't afford the monthly payment because they want more than I make in a month and a half. And the customer "service" reps are bastards. There. I said it. Jerks...

Even though I'm greatfull that the feds are willing to work with me, the fact that I've qualified for economic hardship deferment for the last 8 years is depressing. And the worst part is that student loans are pretty much our only debt. It's not like we're driving fancy cars or wearing designer clothing; we get by on what little we can. And we're not malcontent about it, either. It's just our life and we do what we have to.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm still in shock. And it's wonderful!

In about 24 hours, I have gotten over 10,000 views to my diploma on Etsy. in fact, because I'm obsessing, I have gotten over 100 in the last half hour. This is awesome.

I am currently fighting some kind of martian death flu, and have every intention of replying to all the messages I've received that warrant a response once I can string together a coherent thought.

Thank you all, you nutjobs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Holy hell.

So all I did was put a snarky post on Etsy and suddenly I am overwhelmed with support from total strangers. I love all you nutjobs.

Monday, March 29, 2010

So, how are things?

Alright, I will admit that I haven't been keeping up with this blog because it's too damn depressing. And I had a period of time there where all I wanted to do was go to bed and be unconscious. Not sleep, just be out because it was more appealing that the alternative, which is currently three jobs that add up to a grand total of a little over $13K a year. I'm living in the lap of luxury, folks.

A lot has happened since I last blogged, but that mostly comprises me running around like a headless chicken trying to keep the days of the week straight. Mondays and Wednesdays, I work at the community college as a Master Tutor (which sounds more impressive than it is; Master Tutor = I have a college degree), then in the afternoons I babysit. Yes. I babysit. At 30. To pay my bills. Brilliant. Tuesdays and Thursdays I work 8 hour shifts grading standardized tests for a local company, and they're ESL tests, and the only thing that gets me though those days are some of the adorable answers the students write. Fridays are my "light" days, as I am only tutoring. For now, I have the weekends off, but I have been contemplating a fourth job. Which I already know would be a bad idea, but I'm just that broke.

I am behind on Sallie Mae, which is to say that I haven't made a single payment, and my "deferment" is over, and I don't have $150 for another one month deferment. And the monthly payment they want is more than I *make* in a month. So that sucks. I did, however, grab some attention with the diploma I listed on Etsy. I went from a modest 900 views in a month to over 5100 OVERNIGHT. I have Regretsy to thank for that. They linked it on their fan page on Facebook and the response was overwhelming. I suppose the next step would be to get some media attention somehow, but I don't even know where to begin. It would be nice if someone came along and bought it, but I really posted it to bring attention to Sallie Mae's collection "tactics". Because telling me to move into a homeless shelter so I can send them my rent money isn't constructive. It just adds to my already tangible sense of fail.