Posts Tagged ‘nanowrimo’

Job Woes

Bad news today.

Last month my awesome boss (no sarcasm, really love her) called me into her office. I was a little worried because I was making some last minute copies and she’d recently commented that I was leaving my lesson plans to the last minute (I went through a couple weeks of stress over something, I definitely let my job fall by the wayside a little and her comment got me back on track). Turns out I wish that was the problem.

Instead she had called me in to talk to her and another guy who works with the students outside the classroom. He does discipline, outings, and so on. There had been a couple times over the last few months when my boss had warned me that they might have to put me on “furlough.” In other words, temporarily lay me off. Summer is their busiest time, so when she called me in and regretfully told me that they had to let me go for May and June, I have to admit I was blindsided.

It wasn’t the best feeling, but they told me over and over that they loved having me, it wasn’t their choice (my boss’s boss made the decision, apparently to save the program), they thought I was a good teacher, and they would recommend me to anywhere.

I started applying to jobs for September. I figured working July and August would be good enough, and didn’t really look for summer work. Unfortunately, I got a sad email yesterday. Boss wrote to let me know that boss’s boss had decided to not rehire any of the old staff (I wasn’t the only one “temporarily” let go). Instead, she is going to hire a bunch of recent grads who will work for 3/4’s of what I was being paid. They didn’t ask me if I would take less money, but there is a good chance I would have said no anyway. I can hopefully get that salary or at least better than 3/4’s of it elsewhere.

I’m sad because I did love that job. It was a small, intimate program with a group of teachers and students who had a great rapport. I genuinely hope that the program stays afloat because I think my boss and the other guy who works with the kids are great people who really care about the students and want to create a great experience for them.

So now instead of being temporarily unemployed, I’m actually unemployed. I am teaching two classes at a local college in the fall, but honestly, I’m already losing my mind. I hate being unemployed, always have. June 2009 to February 2010 when I got this job were some of the most miserable months of my life.

Things that suck about being jobless –

1. Boredom. I try to stay occupied, but on a rainy day with no new books (I need to join a library) and no good TV, there is only so much to do.

2. Lethargy. Without structure, I am bad at getting things done. Maybe this seems counter-intuitive, but the more I have to do in a day, the… more I do. If I have nothing to do all day I’m likely to do nothing. But when I work, I get home and go for a run, then do some dishes, etc. Not sure why that is, but it is the way I am.

3. Broke. How can I justify a new, fabulous cocktail ring when SleepyHusband is the only person bringing in a paycheck? To be clear, he would never have a problem with me spending money he earned as long as we could afford it. But I don’t feel comfortable spending money on anything frivolous if I didn’t earn it. If I was taking care of kids or better about cleaning or so on, I would probably feel differently. But as it is, no, I’m lame.

4. I love teaching. This one is simple. I love teaching, I don’t like not being able to do it.

Ok, for balance, some things that aren’t so bad about this situation –

1. As corny as it may sound… I truly do believe that when one door closes, another often opens. Sure some things are just straight crappy, but I’ve run into a few situations in my life where a good thing (like getting together with my husband) would never have happened without a bad thing first (getting dumped shortly after meeting my husband). I have real hope that this sad experience will lead me to a happy future somehow.

2. I have time! I am not going to have a meltdown this time. Last time I was unemployed I was totally unprepared for how much I would hate it. This time I know what is coming, and I’m making a genuine effort to put this free time to use. I called my Mom today to tell her about what happened. I’d already decided that I wouldn’t go for a run today, even though it had been over a week. What was the point? I could always go tomorrow. But one of the first things she said to me was, “don’t let it get you down. Organize your bedroom, go for a run, use this time in a valuable way.” I never would have put on my running shoes without that comment, but I did and I’m glad.

3. I should write something. I tried to do nanowrimo this year but I was genuinely too busy with work and family obligations. I should revisit that novel, or start a new one. I doubt I’ll ever get anything published, but I enjoy writing and this would be a good time to put some serious time into it.

4. Day drinking. Kidding! But I will have a lot more time for my friends, which I am happy about. Some of them have weird schedules, and now I’ll be free to hang out whenever.

5. My parents live in the UK but spend a lot of the summer in the US. If I am still without a job at the end of June, my Mom offered to take me back to the UK with her to hang out while she does a few things she needs to take care of before spending the rest of the summer here. Europe! So in.

Maybe my dream job is just around the corner, or maybe I have another year to wait. We’ll see. Either way, I won’t stop hoping that my future is going to start any minute now.


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Nanowrimo Fail

It is starting to look like I won’t be finishing nanowrimo this year. It makes me a little sad, but I’ve just been so busy and there is always something more important to do. Like blogging! Ha, yes, so I should be working to catch up on my word count right now, but I’ve pretty much decided it isn’t going to work out this year. The biggest problem is I hate what I’m writing. If I do this next year, I’m definitely going put more work into outlining and having a strong idea of my story.

I recently borrowed the Alias DVDs from a friend who claims this show is epically awesome. I am nearly through the first season, and greatly enjoying it. I find Michael Vartan and Bradley Cooper majorly cute, but I’ve found my show crush is, weirdly, Victor Garber. This is probably because Vartan plays kind of a wet blanket and Cooper was doing some truly awful bleachy stuff with his hair. Where Garber is an really solid actor with weirdly appealing hair (more weird than appealing, but I like it). And he’s playing a badass who could eat most of the other characters on the show for breakfast. Yet another reason my “busy” excuse for nanowrimo is not very good… Since I am watching DVDs of Alias instead. Ha.

One of my jobs dropped down to part time because the students are going to be thin on the ground. We might be down to as few as 10 students. My boss is a great lady and she’d love to keep Pat and I on full time if she could, but she can’t justify it to the budget dragon above her when we have so few students. We have a big group coming in March, which will increase the need for teachers again. But for now, Pat and I are part time and Pat will probably not get work there come January until the big group comes. He’s going to look for coaching work this spring, though, so hopefully something pans out for him. We’d both really like to find more stable work. As much as I enjoy my job, and it would seriously be somewhere I would stay for a few years more if only it were stable and came with benefits. Frustrating, when enjoying your job and getting on with your life have to be mutually exclusive. Can’t wait to find somewhere where that isn’t the case!

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I’ve been bad about blogging this month. Nothing much to write about besides whines about working hard and never having time to clean the apartment. Not exactly stuff anyone, including me, wants to read.

But chances are, I am going to be even worse about blogging for the month of November. It’s that time again! Nanowrimo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month. One can sign up at nanowrimo.org and attempt to complete their challenge, which is to write 50,000 words in a month (about 1,667 words a day I believe).

Last year I was unemployed and Pat suggested I take the month off from applying to jobs to relax and write for nanowrimo. Since I’d been applying to about a thousand jobs a day since July and I wasn’t getting anywhere, I needed the break for my self-esteem. He also, however, made me promise that my novel would be awesome, get published, and make us some Harry Potter money. Needless to say, that didn’t quite happen, as my novel was crap. It was, however, great fun to do. And it was the first time since leaving Prague that I felt like I was doing something worthwhile with my time, instead of just going crazy from boredom and applying to jobs.

I suck at being umemployed, hated it so much. I really need something to keep me on a schedule, otherwise I turn into a lump. It’s a character flaw that is remedied by being employed, which I always intend to be, so not such a bad character flaw I suppose?

Anyway, back from that digression (remembering unemployment makes me shiver). What I MEANT to say was this – Last year I was unemployed and had a few pages of a novel already written before I knew about nanowrimo (I didn’t use those words towards my final word count, that would be cheating! but it gave me a good basis to start from.) So basically it was relatively easy for me to finish the 50,000 words, though of course it was no picnic. When I say relative I mean relative to my friends doing the same thing while holding down jobs.

This year – two jobs (one full time, one part time) and no idea. I think I have a few false start novels lying around my computer that I am going to look at. Some I abandoned because they suck, but others might have been more laziness than anything else and worth using at least part of. What I should be doing right now is brainstorming, but I’m such a good procrastinator, I am PRE-procrastinating.

After this week a large group of students are leaving, so my full time job will go down to part time. I’m actually looking forward to it, I’m feeling a bit burned out lately and it gives me something to think about when I feel like I might go crazy if I have to plan one more grammar class 😛 Another reason I’m looking forward to it? The group of students who are leaving… well… let’s just say all the teachers have been counting the days of their month-long program. There have been issues ranging from being disruptive in class to sexually harassing the other students to bullying. One girl was actually sent home early due to repeated bad behavior. Unfortunate, but it happens. Not all of them are difficult, some are nice kids. One boy in particular has been a delight and a really nice addition to my class, always jumping to help other students, translating for his less fluent friends, doing the work assigned, completing homework, etc.

Anyway, looking forward to nanowrimo, but probably won’t be blogging much. Or maybe I’ll be blogging even more because some days I’ll want to do everything BUT work on the novel 🙂

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