Archive | August, 2011

Overwhelmed Is an Understatement

31 Aug

To say that I feel overwhelmed when it comes to my new teaching position would be the understatement of the century. There is just so much to do and so very, very little time to do it in.

I think the thing that’s most frustrating is the lack of direction I’ve been given in terms of simple things like where I can get a set of textbooks, how to get access to my email, and where on bloody earth the staff bathrooms are. I’m a planner, so things like pouring over curriculum and brainstorming a year’s worth of lesson plans are things I can wrap my mind around. How to attend an entire week’s worth of workshops and mandatory training when I’m only technically supposed to be working half-time is another thing.

But, I survived open house tonight, despite only receiving my class lists 5 minutes before my students started pouring through the door. It’s in true dismay that I’m now realizing I never got someone to take my picture. Me, handling my first open house at my first teaching position. I guess I’ll just have to freeze that mental image as one to remember forever.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how my class of 34 creative writing students is going to fit into a classroom with only 29 chairs.

Coming Full Circle

26 Aug

Apparently, all I need to do is whine about something on my blog, and then that something will come true. That’s right, folks, you are now reading the words of an employed teacher! In a crazy turn of events, I was offered not only one teaching position, but two, on Wednesday. While both positions were absolutely fantastic opportunities, the position I decided to accept was that of a half-time sixth grade creative writing teacher.

To be completely honest, I feel like the position was made for me. Here I am, complaining away about how I don’t have time to work on my novel (which, incidentally, is a young adult novel), and now I’m presented with an opportunity to write with adolescents on a daily basis. With this position, not only will I be able to help my students become better writers, but should the opportunity present itself, I can get feedback from my students on my own writing. I can’t imagine a better motivation than witnessing the ideas and talent of my target audience. I could not be more excited.

On a semi-related note, I’m trying to remember the name of a website the professor used when I took a Fiction Writing course at the University. It was a fantastic website that had a ton of really creative writing prompts. I think it may have started with an S? Or maybe a P? Does that ring a bell for anybody?

And now, to test my theory that my blog has magical powers, I would like to take this time to complain very desperately about how I have yet to win the lottery. Perhaps tomorrow, I will. *grin*

Doing Sit-ups With a Child on Your Chest

22 Aug

This morning when I was suffering through my Jillian Michaels workout DVD (damn you Jillian and your explosive cardio intervals!), my son insisted on sitting on me. I should clarify – this particular workout DVD is one that emphasizes abdominal work, so having a 25-pound child squatting on your chest really does present a problem. Am I truly complaining about having to take a breather from my workout? No, especially when the breather is caused by such an adorable distraction who keeps saying “Climb on Mommy!” in his adorable toddler voice.

But, as I was trying to do my sit-ups with Jack stationed on me, I couldn’t help but feel like the situation was slightly symbolic of my life right now. I’ve been having one of those “blah” months where it seems as though everything I attempt to get done and accomplish gets thwarted by circumstances mostly beyond my control. This summer was THE summer I wanted to focus on my novel. And, while I’ve made more progress on my novel this summer than I have in the past three years combined, it’s still nowhere near completion. Why, you might ask? Probably because I’ve spent half of my summer applying for jobs and putting together resumes, letters of recommendation and portfolios for the seven (that’s right SEVEN) job interviews I’ve attended. And, do I have a teaching position? Not yet. But don’t worry, job interviews eight and nine are tomorrow and Wednesday (respectively).

When it all boils down, I’m really getting frustrated because I feel like I’m doing everything I can to find a job and work on my novel and be productive in regards to the things that are important to me, but I’m getting nowhere fast. It’s like trying to do sit-ups with a child on your chest. You can strain and expel effort and ooze determination, but until that boy gets bored and wants to sit on something else (“Climb on the couch! Climb on the school bus! Climb on Lucie [the dog]!”), it’s next to impossible. I guess I just have to keep trying and hope that eventually one of these principals will decide to take a chance on a new teacher so that I can actually get some experience and finally start focusing on things other than employment.

Supply and Demand – A Work of Fiction

2 Aug

Charlie snorted what little coke he had left and looked at his bloodshot eyes in the mirror. “Shit,” he said. He hated his job, and running out of his stash mid-shift made it worse.

He went back to the kitchen without washing his hands. Grabbing a bucket and a rag, he went to go clear Table 23. Fuck. The people who had sat there had obviously eaten with children. Bits of french fries and macaroni were scattered all over the table and booth seats.

Behind him, a woman was bitching loudly. “Harold, I already told you that you could have the brownstone, but I want the Hamptons. You can even have Max.”

“Victoria,” the man sighed, “Max is our son. You can’t just barter him away like a family pet!”

Damn, Charlie thought. That kid’s going to have issues. Probably become addicted to coke. Use the same dealer I do. Raise demand. Raise the prices. Shit.

Spinning on his heels Charlie went back into the kitchen.

 

Author’s Note: Yes, this is the piece of writing I was referring to in this post. I decided to go ahead and share it because I like it, I’m proud of it, and the content of my fictional writing in no way reflects my own character.