Monday, September 29, 2008

First (Unofficial) Day on the Job

I spent the day at my new school. Here are my observations:

1. A fresh coat of paint could do wonders for the entire school.
2. I have 20+ boxes of classroom stuff from my other job. There is NO (zero, zip, zilch) storage in my new classroom.
3. Students do not have lockers. They carry their belongings with them all day.
4. I have an 8th grade student who is expecting a baby in November. The kids call her "Bunny" (in reference to her reproductive skills, no doubt).
5. There is no apparent dress code. After three years of being trained to tell people to tuck their shirts in, now I just feel like a useless (mindless) drone.
6. The cafeteria is big enough only for 3 classes to eat at one time. Maybe. But the food's not bad.
7. We have old-fashioned desks. They're not made out of wood, but they are old. It's the old chairs with the half-desks attached. And, of course, all of them favor right-handed students.
8. My classroom is dirty. The linoleum is scuffed from years of use; the walls are covered with grime; the windows are caked in dirt; the window shades are old, torn, and starting to yellow; the window sills have accumulated a disgusting collection of dirt, dead bugs, and abandoned candy wrappers; the ceiling in the room has cobwebs.

I'm feeling optimistic. A part of me just wants to jump in and get my feet wet. Unfortunately I have to wait for one more day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Former friend M

I moved to Texas in ninth grade, and one of my first "friends" was M (name changed to protect the innocent). I guess we had class together, we sat next to each other in band (both played the clarinet), and we sat next to each other at lunch. I spent the night at her house, though I can't remember her coming to mine. We didn't stay friends after ninth grade, though, because she was interested in boys in a very different level than I was (dating 17-year-olds, etc.) and she wasn't as interested in academic excellence as I was. I was in Honors and AP classes, and she was not in my classes--I'm actually not sure what her academic track was. I also was in the top band sophomore year, and M wasn't. Personally, I thought she tried too hard to be "cool" with her always too-red lipstick and too-dark eye makeup. I just didn't care.

It's been 11 or more years. I honestly haven't given much thought to her since ninth grade--except for a couple mentions of her living across the street from a later friend of mine. She friended me on Facebook recently and I have been looking through her profile. People are allowed to surprise you, right? She went to TCU and double majored in political science and French. Her favorite books are one in French (never heard of it) and Hemingway. Hemingway? I never would have guessed. It makes me think that maybe I am/was shallow in my estimation of her lo those many years ago. She's a teacher now, who enjoys belly dancing! (Sounds familiar.) But then, maybe I wasn't. She is a single mother. Never married. Her different level of interest of boys was obviously not in my imagination.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I'm sad that maybe I misjudged her, that maybe we could have had intellectual conversations, that maybe we could have been friends, despite our differences, but for my snobbery, my goody-two-shoes-ness. Oh, well.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Starting October 1, I have a job! Evidently, the language arts teacher in Chambers County has been offered a job somewhere else, doing something else, for somewhere upward of six figures. I would leave too. Anyway, this worked out for me. This week, I finish up my permanent sub job and next week I start teaching full time.

I'm not really sure what to expect, but I'm willing to do anything for a year. As far as I know I'll be teaching 8th grade language arts, but there may be a 7th grade class thrown in there somewhere. I'll find out more on Monday when I go up to LaFayette (which in Alabama is pronounced "luh-fet'").

And since I am officially employed, though I won't get a paycheck until November sometime, Eli went ahead and ordered cable and Internet for our apartment. It works out well since we don't have to pay for the water bill at this apartment (saving $25 a month), and we've decided to live the year without a land line since telemarketers were the only people who called on it (saving $31 a month), and our apartment is all-electric--much to Eli's chagrin--and is much more energy efficient, so we don't have a natural gas bill (saving $40 a month), and we don't have hundred dollar electricity bills. For instance, our final partial electricity bill in Tuscaloosa this last month was $110 dollars. In our bigger Auburn apartment, our entire electric bill for a full month was $40. All this to say, we finally have cable for the first time in my life. And internet at home.

We were supposed to have limited basic cable, but the guy came and didn't limit our cable, and when Eli brought that to his attention, he didn't seem so concerned. In fact, I think he was a little surprised that Eli mentioned it. Most people would stay quiet, right? Anyway, now we have way more channels than we could ever need, and I think I'm going to die of input overload. We used to have 3 channels (on a good, clear, antenna-friendly day) and now we have well over 100. And internet at home. Input overload already.

Did I mention that I'm supposed to be grading papers right now? All day? Ugh. I just don't feel like it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Weekend

This is the first weekend that I have spent in Auburn. Eli is out at the hunting camp in Vineland with his brother. They're clearning trails and getting ready for hunting season, which officially starts on Iron Bowl weekend (sometime in November). I'm at home by myself (okay, I'm at the library, posting to my blog, but I'll be home again soon) with a list of things to do. We finally got our washer working, which was a Godsend, because we can't afford a new washer or dryer right now. That only happened 3 nights ago, so needless to say, I have a lot of laundry to do. I need to get the kitchen in order, and I need to unpack all the rest of my boxes of junk.

On the job front, my sub gig is up in 1.5 weeks, though I'm not exactly sure which day. I haven't had any bites from the Auburn U applications I've sent in, which is disheartening. There is, however, a middle school language arts position posted in Chambers County (30 minutes from here) and I applied through the state department website, but I haven't formally contact them about that. I'm waiting to hear from AMSTI at Auburn. The woman there told me that they are still reviewing applications and that that is all she can tell me right now. They have been reviewing applications since August 15. And the principal of Trinity Christian School in Opelika called me on Friday to set up an interview for this week. But, I fear, the jobs that he's interviewing for start after Christmas. I'm not sure I can wait that long. There is a job as a long-term sub Spanish Teacher at OHS that has been offered to me, but it doesn't start until November sometime. What would I do in the meantime?

So I guess I'm saying that things are looking up, but ever so slowly. I'm going to be patient, but I need a plan, and soon! Patient. Patient. It's so much easier to say than to be.