Thursday, April 26, 2007

outta here again

Portland-bound. Maybe not the brightest idea, but it's got to happen. All things being equal, I'd like to look at the other Potential Home City.

got a few comments back from the thesis advisor, in other news. "This is MA level work." !!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

MS 224 didn't hire me. Welcome back, doubts. Make yourselves at home.

Apparently, my lesson "showed [my] potential," but class management was lacking. I could have told them that. I'll likely have to teach demo lessons in all of my interviews -- if possible, I'm even more intimidated now than I was before. Damn it. I've never cried about a fucking JOB before.

EDIT: Not that the doubts haven't been a long time coming. They're starting to mount, not as a matter of self-doubt (although that's certainly an element,) but doubting whether or not I want to do this altogether. I'm hard-pressed to come up with a reason why Teach for America is a compelling option. Making a list of pros and cons has, over the course of a few hours, resulting in a staggering mountain of cons. What am I doing with myself? Why? THE FUTURE IS LAME.

FURTHER EDIT: considering I spent the first three years of university (to say nothing of the many cogent years prior) saying that I'd never be an educator, the sudden decision to teach perhaps ought to give me pause. It's hard to illustrate how beyond second thoughts I am, how doubts have rapidly galvanized into regrets, how I've made NYC into some kind of Saving the Children Fantasy Camp where I'll be totally happy no matter what. I didn't think about this much before. "hey! health insurance! awesome!" is kind of how it went down initially. Damn me for not knowing myself. And damn the Cubs and their losing streak.

but hooray for student loan checks! and sunshine! and new CDs/retail therapy!

also: a bird shat in my hair. C said it's good luck.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kid E's first conference

This whole weekend has been a lesson in staying my own awkwardness. Never terribly adept at conversation when meeting new people (see also: my father), I've run the gamut of venues at which to "network" -- conference rooms, bars, hoity toity restaurants, beaches, fire pits. While my "network" has only minimally grown -- just as well -- I've made somewhat minor strides in chatting with strangers who intimidate me. Like Jonathan Lethem. Who sat at our table and was largely engaged with the musical obscurefest going on round that neck of the woods. I got some good shots in when conversation turned to Batman, but get a bunch of geeky and PUBLISHED academics together and set them loose... fangirls like me have trouble keeping up with the sheer force and quantity of the "when I met Tina Weymouth" variety. See M for a more comprehensive account of the nerve-wracking drive(mart) and other more eloquent bits.

That said, I'm having a blast. A mass geek-out? Hells yes. I'll even submit a paper once I get up the nerve. I mean hell, there was free beer at one point.

Likewise, hanging out with old friends and friends of old friends has lead to some escapades such as hanging out on a beach listening to a didgeridoo jam session on 4/20 and wandering about Discovery Park, trying to avoid childrens.

Moral of the story: the Experience Music Project is the ugliest building I've ever seen. The Science Fiction Museum's space croissant is bitchin', though.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

now with less whining!

Despite the fact that I'm looking at spending three unplanned hours at Newark Liberty Airport and the night in Sea-Tac, I'm shockingly un-grumpy. This New York/New Jersey weekend has been something else. Early mornings and commutes (up by ugh:00, into the city and hour and change later, emerging from the fog on the subway, arriving at my South Bronx interview by 8:15, my Brooklyn test by 7:30) gave way to plodding around a city that I could get used to. Hit four of the five boroughs. Missed Queens, and Staten Island might not fully count since I only drove through it, but still not so bad. Overview: City - yes, Jersey, hell no.

The interview went reasonably well. Checking my email the night before, I found out that all of my frantic lesson planning for an elaborate classroom debate was for nought. They assigned me a lesson, and a math lesson at that. Parallel and perpendicular lines, to be precise, for a class of special ed 7th graders. They were pretty sweet -- shy and reluctant to answer at first, but they warmed up. As I was leaving, one kid asked me if I was going already. A good sign, I think. It wasn't a perfect lesson by any means; I made the rookie mistake of spending too much time conferring with each kid and some of them got restless. But no riots. I hope I get the job -- the school is small and well-run. It's a middle school of SCIENCE! apparently. MS 224. For the moment, I'm excited.

The exams petrified me, but they weren't as bad as I expected either. A lot of general knowedge sorts of questions.

Going back further, I haven't written anything about the awesomeness of late, such as Jenaya's phenomenal pig roast, my father's visit to Eugene or any of the miscellaneous tomfoolery I've been up to when not frantically studying. To round up: massive pig + good folks + my awkward father + SO MUCH PIE = best birthday party in a long, long time. That tenderloin chunk haunts my dreams, as does the chocolate bourbon pecan pie. It was dreamy. The parental visit was pleasant and laid back, much like my dad. We hit all the Eugene highlights: Bier Stein, Sweet Life, Hendricks park, aforementioned pig roast. I think it was strange for my dad to see me on my turf, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. Since then, I've been getting a lot of "you and your father are the same person" sorts of comments. In other news, L came down for a mermaid omlette and a photo op and 10 cent beers. John and I played a lot of N64. Lincoln House. you know.

Although I think New York will be pretty awesome, it's becoming eminently clear that I love Oregon. Portland owns my heart, but Eugene has endeared itself to me as well. This year has been fantastic, owing to the population of my world -- new and old members both -- and those incredible Oregon springs and those incredible Oregon beers. There's an unshakable atmosphere. I dig it. The biggest misgivings I have about TFA are related to leaving my friends and my new home. Big cities are fun, but I get intimidated and restless when the only trees around are requisite sickly roadside saplings. This is really just a roundabout way of saying to myself, "I'll come back."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NYC tomorrow - sunday. Seattle next weekend. Montana after that. Final thesis draft by April 30. My little bro's graduation in Anchorage May 15. Defense on May 21. Graduation in June. Moving to NYC eight days after. Eighteen academic credits.

"you seem tense."

yep. I just learned THIS MORNING that I need to concoct a 30-45 minute lesson for my interview on Friday (by the way, I apparently have an interview -- think of TFA as a placement service rather than an employer.) In South Bronx. Commuting from fucking jersey. between this and the certification exam, I'm pretty well freaked out.

okay, rant over. needed that.

Thursday, April 05, 2007