Saturday, August 13, 2016

Well, THAT was unexpected...

Last week, I wrote this blog post: my feeble attempt at remaining positive when I couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel. I'd spent the last few months of my job search being rejected over and over and over. One rejection in particular made me feel like utter crap because I'd gone above and beyond the base requirements and requests to obtain the particular position I was going for. I sank, and I let my grief run its course.

Then I dug right back in. I was looking for work outside of teaching as well. I love teaching, but I don't think that love has to be exclusive; it works in much the same way as my joy of writing. I find joy in many things. I don't have to only find joy in one thing.

In any case, there I was last Wednesday, working my last day as an English tutor. For almost three years, my work there brought me immense satisfaction. My students, my colleagues, and my supervisors have been fantastic. My colleagues threw me a little going-away party and I found myself in tears on more than one occasion that day. The next day, I was helping out in the admissions office when one of my mentors came bounding through the door looking for me. She informed me that I'll be teaching a class this upcoming semester. The title of Adjunct Instructor has a nice ring to it. :-D :-) I'd had no idea that she'd been trying to get it approved for the last couple of weeks. Now I have a sharp incentive to go ahead and start applying to graduate programs. I'll greet 2017 by beginning my journey to obtain my master's degree.

In any case, I'm prepping for class, applying for another position at the college, looking forward to working in the admissions office this week, campaigning for council, and overall, just relishing the notion that my life is moving in places I'd never thought was possible for this point in my life. My friends and colleagues kept telling me that something would happen when I least expected it, and that God had plans for me. I couldn't see it at the time, but they were certainly correct.

Peace, love, and surprises,


Friday, August 5, 2016

Next summer will be better.

Back Stuff

An update on my back pain saga: I realize that I haven't updated since January. I left off waiting on new MRI results. I have another rupture at L5/S1. The SAME disc I'd had surgery on in 2011. The rupture isn't as pronounced as it was then, so at least I don't have the disc pressing on the root nerve and shooting pain down my leg. After the round of steroids which helped dramatically with the pain, I've taken to making sure I don't miss a single day of physical therapy. In fact, my hubs and I got rid of our *Dish Network so we could spend that money on a Body Vision membership instead; now, I can continue aquatic therapy. Swimming and aquatic therapy are the best strengthening (and thus pain relieving) options for back issues.

*Note: We rid ourselves of Dish Network partly because of their continued refusal to carry WHNT. Really, Dish Network? And now I've heard the problem has extended to WAFF. We also took that plunge because it's just an outrageous amount of money. We don't watch but maybe 5% of the channels, if that.

In any case, my doc said another surgery would be in order should the pain become too much. I told him I'd rather not. As long as I'm not in constant pain so much that I can't sleep, I don't see the point. I'll be in pain, surgery or not, so I might as well deal with it in other ways first. So far, it has been manageable. Like I said in one of my previous posts, I had to find a new normal. I had to stop focusing on what other people's "normals" are, and create my own.

The Summer from...

I'm not just talking about the heat.

In more than one way, this summer has been one of the more difficult summers I've had in a long time. I've been dealing with an allergy issue that pretty much tore me apart emotionally and physically. I'd walked out and about looking like I was Patient Zero for the next apocalyptic plague. Yes, perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic, but the roller coaster I was on leaves no room for anything but. Thankfully, this issue is being resolved, and the roller coaster has departed. But that leads me to the next issue...

Back in May when I walked to get my diploma, I was on top of the world. I'd gotten my degree. I could accomplish anything. I admit that my expectations were probably just a tad too high. I'd allowed others' praises to boost those expectations. After all, my grades were fantastic, and I'd been graced with memberships into even the most prestigious honor societies. I'd been invited to present papers at conferences, and came highly recommended by many strong professors, supervisors, and colleagues. I pride myself in being able to take a struggling student at the beginning of a semester, and assist their learning of material and concepts, so that by the end of the semester, they reach their goals. My heart swells with so much happiness every time a student thanks me for helping them.

None of this has mattered, though.

I don't say this for pity, and while I admit that I have pitied myself here and there over the summer, overall, I'm sharing this because I know others go through this, too. I thought my honors and grades and recommendations would easily land me a job, but right now, I can't honestly say that any of it matters. I've been on a number of interviews, but have been passed up each time. A couple of those jobs have simply been because others with more experience applied. One was because I didn't have the exact qualifications the principal was looking for. Others, I'm not quite sure why I was passed up. I requested feedback from some of those principals, but have yet to receive any replies.

The space under my dining table has become my supply stash; I've been hoarding things for a few years now, and I still need to buy more totes! I'm just waiting for a classroom to put it all to use.
So right now, as the school year gets back to business, I'm finding myself leaving the only job where
I've ever felt like I'm making a difference, and the only job where I've felt that my talents and skill-sets are being fully utilized. I'm highly disappointed that I'm in the same rut I was in before I started college. It's rather dejecting, to say the least. I know I'm a good teacher, and I have the background and recommendations to prove it. But I'm heading into a job that doesn't require any degree, and where I can't implement the lesson plans that spontaneously pop into my head at random hours of the day. Don't get me wrong; subbing has it's perks. I still get to be in the classroom, and each day brings along something new. In some ways subbing is like being a grandparent; I get to spend time with the kids, I get to lavish them with attention, and then I get to give them back to their regular teacher. It is a blessing, but it's not where I'd like to be.

As a result, I'm working on ways to improve. I first need to get past my initial social awkwardness, because I think this is one thing that is holding me back in interviews. I'm also looking into other ways to better utilize that time with the principal. There has got to be more effective ways of proving that I'm good at what I do, while also conveying that I'm eager to continue learning and growing.

Sooooo, on that note, I'm going to dive right into it.

Peace, love, and job searching,