Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming"

I did it again - I applied, hopefully or foolishly, we'll see how it goes - for yet another job:

Dear Mrs. Chili
Thank you for your interest in employment with Tiny Community College. All resumes will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be considered for the open position. If you are chosen to move forward in the employment prescreening process, we will contact you by telephone or email.
Thanks and have a great day.

I will, of course, keep you posted!

Monday, August 28, 2006

It's Not That I'm Not TRYING....

I suppose I can't get rejection letters if I'm not actually applying for these jobs, huh? It seems I'm starting a collection of these:

Dear Mrs. Chili:

Thank you for your interest in employment at the University of No Hope. The hiring department has carefully reviewed a number of applications for the Instructor (Part-Time) position, job order number 01472, in the Thompson School of Applied Science department. They have determined that other candidates are a better match based on job requirements and department needs. We wish you the best in your employment search.


Human Resources Dept.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Another Perspective

I'm kind of moping, too, but for the exact opposite reason.....

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Still nothing. Not that I was really expecting anything, mind you, but I'm still holding out hope, however futile and irrational that may be. Teachers in my neighborhood get back to work on Wednesday (that's tomorrow) and kids go back on the 30th. The liklihood of someone calling me, desperate for an English teacher, at this stage in the game ("can you start tomorrow?!"*) is pretty stinking slim.

I sent a letter to the principal of Local High School, reminding him that I'm still out here, still unemployed at any other school, and still really interested in working for him. I'm going to hit up all the other area schools for long term sub gigs, too.

I had a quasi-argument with someone in my health club the other day about whether or not I should just apply for sub jobs and use that as a means to get in the door. Her argument "for" was that it really is a good way to get yourself in the door - people recognize you, you're admired for your fortitude and reliability and, very often, hiring gets done from within. My argument "against" is that I'm not sure I can live my life by the ringing of the phone at 6 a.m., that subbing at the high school level isn't teaching, it's babysitting, that hiring isn't always done from within - I know this from personal experience - and that I'm not guaranteed a sub gig in English - I'm just as likely to be called in to sub for algebra (can you IMAGINE?! Me, who can't even figure tips!). This person works as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher, and she conceded that subbing in the upper levels is a very different proposition, but still believes that's the way to go.

When I had lunch last Friday with my former seminar groups (only one of whom has a job, by the way, and as an aide), I asked my supervisor, Sam, what he thinks I should do. His opinion was the same as mine; that I shouldn't take sub jobs and for the very reasons I laid out for the kindergarten teacher. If I can get a long-term gig in an English class, that's the way to go. So, to that end, I'm going to re-send resumes to the schools in the area and reword my cover letters to ask for long-term English sub positions.

Who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky.

(*the answer, in case you were wondering, is YES!!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

In a Fit of Optimism...

...I bought some stuff for my classroom today.

No, I don't have a classroom. I don't even have the PROSPECT of the CHANCE of having a classroom any time soon. Do I care? HELL, NO! I figure that going about behaving as though I WILL have a classroom will only help to spur things along. What the hell. Certainly can't hurt, right?

Anyway, I went on a bumper-sticker buying spree. I love the succinctness of bumper stickers; much wisdom expressed in just a few words.

I got these two because it's important to me to have my space be safe for EVERYONE:

and this one because it's one of my favorite sentiments (I also have it on a tee shirt, and the "narrow" is spelled out in the colors of the rainbow, which I thought was clever):
I got this one because we're implementing this thought process in our own home, and teaching kids to stop and think before they speak (or do) is never a bad thing:
Finally, I bought this one. Weedwoman insisted I get it because, well, I say this ALL the time.

The thing is, though, I can't bring myself to stick the things to my car. I can't, actually, bring myself to stick the things to ANYTHING. I'm planning on turning these into magnets.

Now I just need a classroom in which to display them...

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Received this morning via email:

Hi Mrs. Chili,
Thank you for checking back in and I apologize for the delay. Being in the middle of a move re: CATA has slowed down communications in many areas. I want to thank you very much for your interest in CATA. At last night's Board meeting, another applicant was nominated for the English position and has accepted it.
I wish you the very best.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser

The Universe with a sledgehammer.

I've been calling the charter school every couple of days for about a week now, and leaving messages letting them know that I'm still here and still waiting to arrange an interview time. It seems that they've moved their offices and are in a state of, well, disarray and confusion at the moment, and I'm not entirely certain that anyone's even receiving my messages. Anyway, let's just say that I'm in a bit of limbo where this particular job opportunity is concerned.

Anyway, I stopped by the auto body shop this afternoon to check on the status of my Hockey Puck, which was involved in an accident a week ago (the car was in the accident - *I* wasn't, and neither was any other human being). I wander into the office to find Ed eating his lunch. He comes out ("no, don't let me disturb you," I say, "I can call later." "No, that's okay," he tells me, "I'm trying to choke down some gawd-awful KFC sandwich. I'd do well to take a break.") and we proceed to discuss my car and how happy his is with the wiz-kid of a dent repairer that he's imported from Texas to handle the repair of a flood of cars that were damaged in a pretty severe hail storm a couple of weeks ago**. After explaining that he's waiting on a couple of parts to be delivered so he has "something to measure against" when he gets the Puck on the frame machine, I say goodbye and head for the rental.

As I'm backing out of my spot, Ed comes out of the back of the garage and motions for me to roll my window down. He then proceeds to offer me a job working in the office with Cathy. "I know you've got kids," he says, "so we can be completely flexible. Come in when you can, leave when you have to. I just want someone in there to help her - she's so flooded now that I'm afraid she's going to leave, and I can't have her leave."

I'm intrigued. I can see myself working in this place; I really like Cathy - and have for years, ever since I met her after the Jetta was rear-ended in 2000 - and Ed is so easy-going and calm that I can imagine, even under the worst of conditions, he'd be a decent and fair boss. The flexibility of the job really appeals to me, the location is easy, and I already know I like my would-be coworkers. Since I don't have any promising ENGLISH teaching jobs on the horizon, I'm seriously considering taking Ed up on his offer. I'll call him tomorrow to talk about the specifics, to let him know that I'm still in the market for a teaching job and would likely leave him if offered one, and to make sure that he's serious about the flexibility - I need to not get any crap for staying home with the occasional sick child. If it all works out, though, I may be employed by the end of next week.

**Link courtesy of Kizz over at 117Hudson. Thanks, Honey!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Guest Lecture

I was a guest lecturer in CT's graduate seminar this morning.

The University puts on a Summer Literacy Institute every year, and CT has been an instructor in that program for nearly 20 years. This year, she drew a "Responding to Literature" course, and she asked me, way back in March, if I could come in to offer my presentation on reading film in high school English classes.

I was really excited to do this. I have had some really great conversations in graduate seminars, and was hoping that this class would be talkative and engaged. While I'm not saying that they WEREN'T, they weren't as excited about this subject as I'd hoped. Of course, tomorrow is the last day of the class, most of these folks have been participating in the Institute for four weeks, and it's excruciatingly hot in these parts, so it could well be that, under different conditions, the conversations would have been more animated. As it was, they didn't seem eager to challenge their thinking, but they did seem to enjoy the presentation.

I showed them scenes from Schindler's List, Nuremberg, Ever After, and Glory. We talked (okay, *I* mostly talked) about navigating the silences where we KNOW something important is happening, about motivation, and about how to write through important moments. I told Punkin' Pie's "bring out your dead" story and reminded the class that the whole reason we're in this business is to give our students experiences that help them relate to their world. We talked about what kind of films we can show when trying to teach concepts like hubris, patriotism, irony and humor.

It was great to be in front of a classroom again.