Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Booksmart, Lacks Common Sense

I found myself taking the Census test today.

I think its amusing that I would say "I found myself" when really I choose to get up, drive down the the EDD (Employment Development Department) to take the test.

In any case, the test itself was very easy for me. I finished first, turned in my work and then went to fill out the rest of my application. Not only had I left my resume in the car, I suddenly realized that I didn't have my social security card OR my driver's license. In fact, I probably would leave my brain at home if it weren't actually inside my head which is luckily, attached to my body. I had to go back home to get them so I could complete my application.

Funny, I don't remember being so forgetful.

One lady came out to where I was:
Lady: Wow, you finished fast.
MissD: It was easy...
Lady: Really? I thought some of the questions were like, I don't know...
MissD: ummm, except for the math. The math was kinda hard.
(It wasn't, actually)
Lady: I got a little bit stuck on some of the questions but not the math, that was easy.
MissD: Good for you. I never did well in math in high school.
(I didn't. It's easier now for some reason.)

I later found out that there were alot of people who didn't pass the test. I found myself making excuses for myself to not be any good. After all, I can be very forgetful.

Guy: I only got six right.
MissD: Well I sort of rushed through it. I'll bet I got alot wrong.
Guy: Six right!
MissD: You can always take it again. Don't give up!

Woman: Wow, you sure finished fast.
Savvy: Yeah, I've always been really book smart, but lacking in common sense sometimes. I guess it balances out.

You need 10 right to pass and possibly get hired, but 20 to get hired before 2008 ends. Suddenly I was wondering how I did. I mean, I knew I would pass, but would I score high enough to maybe get a slightly higher level job? How many Recessionistas am I competing against?

I was nervous as my test was scored...

I got 24 out of 28.

MissD: Should I take it again?
Census: That was one of the highest scores.
MissD: Well, I was interested in some of the lead positions since I have experience with surveys.
Census: Your score is high enough that they might offer you that right away.
MissD: Really? But should I take it again just to be sure?
Census: You're a perfectionist, aren't you?
MissD: A little. I sort of feel bad that I got any wrong at all. Maybe I went too fast. There was plenty of time to go back and check again and I didn't.
Census: Oh, you silly girl. Get out before I kick you out. You're fine!!
(She was a really cute, tiny Vietnamese lady, so it was even funnier.)
MissD: OK. Well, thank you so much.

So I did well on the test. But I tend to rush and make snap decisions. I need to slow down and look before I leap. I also need to go ahead and shine when I do something well.

And finally, working for the census may be a great way to transition out of teaching, if that's what I decide to actually do. The Census is temporary full-time work that won't return in 10 years. This will look outstanding on my resume whether I get out of teaching or start working for the National Park Service as a Park Ranger or something insane like that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The "I ain't got no insurance" Blues

What's a girl to do when her insurance runs out? Get religion and start praying? Well, I do attend church. It's partly because I get paid to sing in the choir. Some guy called it "spirituality for hire". I call it singing for my supper.

Back to insurance...

Since church is a workplace, I am covered there by work comp.

If I get injured at home, maybe my parents homeowners insurance will cover me. I have no doubt that slipping on a pile of papers on the stairs constitutes negligence on the part of Mom and Dad. (God love them, but the house is a bit messy.)

If I get injured at school--either as a sub or with the after school program, I'm covered by work comp--even though the system completely sucks.

If I get into a car accident, I upped my insurance coverage to include a hefty amount of medical coverage. Let's hope that doesn't happen as my neck hasn't yet recovered from the last one.

I'm all covered--just so long as I don't step on a crack in the sidewalk and hurt myself--hey wait--then I could sue the city!

Where there's a will, there's a way!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bitter Teachers

If anyone has a right to be bitter right now, it's me. I accepted a part-time gig teaching music in an after school program. It's a huge step down in pay. I was asked to teach guitar, even though I have never done that, and I said yes.

Coordinator: MissD, this is the facilitating teacher.
MissD: Nice to meet you. Would you mind facilitating carrying this box for me? It's kind of heavy. (I do have that torn rotator cuff, after all.)
Facilitator: Sure, no problem.

I was stuck in the cafeteria with a bunch of other kids who were doing homework and talking while I was trying to teach. I was yelling. I had to ask several times for those children to be kept quiet.

What fun when I got to the school and made a mistake in front of the Facilitating Teacher.

Facil: You're doing it wrong.
MissD: I'm sorry?
Facil: You're doing it wrong. You're not telling them the right strings.
MissD: Excuse me, but may I speak to you privately?
Facil: Sure.
MissD: Do you mind if I make a mistake to not speak to me that way in front of the children?
Facil: Well you're doing it wrong. You can't teach them the wrong things.
MissD: I apologize that I reversed it, I've never taught guitar before.
Facil: So you don't have any guitar experience?
MissD: It's been awhile.
Facil: They promised you would be qualified. I should be teaching this class but the district wouldn't let me.
MissD: I'm sorry that they district wouldn't let you teach the class, but please don't take that out on me.

I then turned back to my little class while he stormed off to complain about me. Meanwhile I called my company. They later complained about me being flip by asking the man to carry something, didn't seem happy to meet anyone and the staff didn't like me. My next question...

Are you seriousss? So you want me to stop the world because YOU wanted to teach the guitar class? Teach it, then!! I had just driven 27 miles for 1/4 of the hourly pay I get as a certified teacher with no benefits and only teach 2 hours.

I get $30 dollars for 2 hours.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Being A Sub Sucks

I forgot how much it sucks to be a sub. I've only been on one assignment. OK, OK, part of the problem is that I got sick with, as I mentioned to a friend, Alot of symptoms.

I still feel like my head is floating about an inch outside of my skull, but that's a considerable improvement from floating about a yard above my head. Oh how it bobbled in the breeze when I tried to drive to the mall to pay my credit card off. Thank God that I didn't owe anything because

I haven't really made anything!!!! 1 freaking day of work.

Wow, I'm underwhelmed by all the money I'm NOT making. I believe I've joined the ranks of the gainfully underemployed. Bonus to me, I can get my student loans deferred.

On the side, I 've been searching for some extra stuff. And at least I don't come home from work overwhelmed and totally drained like I was when I was teaching choir last year. I suggested to that same friend that he hire me as his temp, since he really is too highly paid to be doing his own filing. They used to shoo me away from the files when I was a graduate assistant because they had undergraduates for that. I was getting paid only $13 an hour or something ridiculous like that. He makes oooodles more and certainly SHOULD have an assistant to do his filing and get his coffee. Plus he took me out to dinner and to see the improv.

Seriously, who subs anyway?
Let's see, my former Spanish teacher who just retired, kids who are waiting for an elementary teacher to die so that they can take over the 2nd grade class (seriously, it's that hard to get a job teaching elementary school), college students who want to be teachers.  And then there's me. I feel truly humbled to go back to it after having my own music classes last year and I wonder if education is really the right place for me.

Just like starting oooooover!!