Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bring your towel...

I interviewed Tuesday of this week for essentially my dream job: good school, great colleagues, almost no commute, growth potential, great salary, curriculum I actually want to teach, and generally kids I know I will enjoy. (I'll explain why soon.) It is under two weeks from the start of school, so I would have figured they would hire fast. As of 5:00PM on Friday, I had no answer. Maybe they already snagged someone else. Maybe they were still deciding. Maybe they were just waiting to hear from my references. Maybe my current district was fighting back somehow...? Who knows. In any case, I was more or less in panic mode all weel, not because I fear unemployment, but because damn it...this job would make life so much easier and more pleasant, whereas my current job sometimes (actually sort of often) makes me cry. I am not generally a superstitious person, but to get a job that I desperately want - one that presents truly excellent conditions all around - there are a number of things I will shamelessly do.

1. Make an article of clothing. This harkens back to my college days when any challenge - however insignificant or life-altering - was met with the creation of a sigil, some kind of token, or another hand-made receptacle for all the intention I wanted to send in the direction of a particular endeavor. Before I got my current teaching job, I made a ridiculously complicated skirt out of a dozen or so different patched together fabrics. It took days, and remains one of my favorite articles of clothing, despite the fact that the job I made it for turned out so...dubious. This time around, you created some time constraints, so I kept it simple and just made a simple skirt out of dragon and phoenix patterned brocade.

2. Acquire a Ganesh. He has been my guy for a number of years, and we happen to have a number of shops around that sell pretty neat Ganesh sculptures, jewelry, images, etc... Your little green Ganesh came from a shop downtown, and I'm still pretty convinced that him hanging out by your bed is one of the few things that made me feel safe/sane leaving you in the hospital. I don't necessarily need to buy a Ganesh; it can be a drawing, an online image, something borrowed from a friend, or whatever. This time around, I opted for a fairly actively posed Ganesh from one of the weird import stores in Portland with lots of gold and green all over him, and he will live in my classroom forever and ever and ever. (And ever.)

3. Paint my toenails. I find that identifying a somehow significant color and painting it onto my body makes me feel more actively engaged in the process of getting whatever it is I'm trying to get. Sure, I'm sitting on the couch eating ice cream at 10:00 at night while I wait for the alarm to go off to remind us to give your 11:00 meds, and I haven't moved anything more than my arms in the last two hours, but my toes are the school colors...and insides of tenth graders...?

4. Buy earrings. I bought earrings before I went to tour Bard, which almost immediately preceded my applying to the college. I bought earrings before my moderation panel, and apparently did a spectacular job. I bought earrings before my senior project panel, and actually before graduation just a few weeks later. I bought earrings before interviewing for my first teaching job. (Incidentally, I did NOT buy earrings before I got my current job, which I can only think means SOMETHING, but what I cannot say.) So...I bought earrings while I was out with your Uncle Cameron last weekend. They are shiny big spirals and I really like them.

5. Sort of creepily drive past the place of potential employment and yell at the building. This was SUPER convenient for this particular job, as the school is just a few blocks from home, but really no less weird than if I had to travel farther. Basically, the technique is this: I drive past the building at a normal speed, and loudly announce to it that it will give me a job. I do not bargain, I do not mince words, and I do not offer any reason for why I deserve the job in question. I simply state that I should have it. I think a construction worker saw this happen on Wednesday, and he definitely did not know what to do about it. Maybe I should only do this with jobs that aren't a few blocks from where I live...

6. FREAK THE F*CK OUT. Inevitably, invariably, and with frustrating certainty, I will freak out after a job interview so badly that some amount of time (ranging between a few hours and a few days) is completely lost to self-doubt, overanalysis of the interview/application/how I smelled that day/etc..., and fairly crippling depression over what I eventually determine to be my failure. Every damn time, I get a certain amount of time past the interview and decide that I have not gotten the job. It is then that I launch myself into a spiral of self-loathing that only really resolves when I get the job in question. If I don't completely lose my bananas for at least a little while, nothing happens. If I demolish my self-confidence, ruin my sleep and eating cycles, and generally become a loathsome bore to all my loved ones, I get the job.

After four days of waiting, at 5:30PM on the Friday before the week before school starts, I was offered the job. Yes, your Dad was about ready to lock me in the bathroom to cry quietly in the bath tub, fully clothed, with the water running. Yes, I was gearing up to add a loop past the school to every errand I had to run, regardless of whether that errand was in that direction or even as far away. Yes, I had bought, worn, and surrounded myself with everything I needed to supposedly ensure success. I have a very weird sixth sense about this sort of thing, and as much I seemed to have lost faith and gained both doubt and loathing, I kind of knew from the beginning that this would work out. So, I guess I have to add to the list...

7. Know the outcome in advance. Hudson, there are some things I just know. I just knew when I had found the right college, I just knew that your Dad and I were meant to be together (awwwww...), I just knew when I applied to grad school that I would get in, I just knew that you were a boy, I just knew that you were ultimately going to be okay, I just knew we weren't going to wait long for your heart, and I just knew that I would get this job. I really need to learn to trust my gut and possibly skip that pesky step #6, but if I did, would everything still work?

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