Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Really Could Use Some Advice

So sometime in October one of my coworkers, who works in the activities department at the nursing home, fell and seriously hurt herself. I've pretty much taken her hours while she's been gone because they were very short handed in that department. It's not a bad job to have...in fact, I enjoy the fact that I get to walk around the facility wheeling residents to and from activities instead of sitting behind a desk all day. I also enjoy getting to know the residents...a lot more than I thought I would enjoy it. So this coming Friday is the last day this woman can be on worker's comp. We are pretty sure she will not be able to return to work. So in lieu of hiring someone from outside the facility, they have offered me her job.

Obviously it's not definite until she hears the final word regarding her condition. But as of last week her doctor said she was not able to return to work. I highly doubt she'd be miraculously cured in one week unless she was just playing the system.

I am having difficulties deciding if I should take the job or not.

The Up Side: Frankly, it'd be nice to have a steady job...one where I know the day before if I'd be working the next day or not. I do not enjoy getting called at 6 in the morning to sub...it's very difficult to make plans when you never know what your day is going to be like. I also get a pay increase which won't be a huge increase, but it'd be about $300 more a month than what I'm getting now which is much needed right now. And like I said....I enjoy seeing the residents and getting to know them and talking to them. I do NOT enjoy doing their nails...but I could suck it up.

The Down Side: There is pretty much no way that I could sub for the remainder of the year if Iaccept this full time job in the activities department. Even though I dislike being called in the morning to sub, I don't dislike working with the kids and teaching class. I'd love to be a teacher some day. I don't want it to look bad that I stopped subbing all of a sudden....especially if I try to get a teaching job in the future. But what am I supposed to do? Subbing once a week does NOTHING for my pocket book!! Even though it's great experience, I fear it may have to take a back seat for awhile until I pay off some bills and get a little bit more fiancially stable. Then maybe I'd be able to focus more on subbing and getting into a school.

I think I'll probably stop subbing and take the job with the activities department.....I just need someone to tell me that I'm doing the right thing.....I just don't want to screw up royally. *sigh* This is not an easy situation to be in....and it sucks that there wasn't a class about this in college. It could've been called: What to do when you can't find a job in your field? Or: Life Management 101 or: Good Decision Making 101

A little direction would be great, but I have no idea what to do right now.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day everyone!!

I had a pretty good valentine's day. Mike got me this beautiful necklace. It has a purple stone inside a silver heart. It is gorgeous. He tried to be cute about giving it to me too. He at first said he forgot to get me one adn said he'd take me out to dinner to make up for it. So we went to this cute local Italian restaurant (which the wait to get seated for was really long). Then while we were waiting for the check he started throwing the napkins at me playing around. But one of them ended up having the necklace box in it so when he threw it at me the box rolled out of the napkin and into my hands!! He's so cute!!

We didn't get out of the restaurant until almost ten o'clock though since it was such a long wait and we also had to wait until 7:30ish till we could go to eat because we were tutoring kids before hand.

But it was a pretty good day. Although, it turned sucky really fast when I got the news that my friend with bain cancer passed away today. This world lost an amazing young man. Facebook was covered in messages to remember him.

Rest in Peace, Derrick.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Interview!!!

Well, this new cover letter I've been using seems to do the trick. I applied for another long term sub jub and heard back to schedule an interview.

I have a lot going for me for this one. First of all, it's in a grade I have a lot of experience in. Also, it is at a school district where I sub already so I'm familiar with the classroom management styles and the way the school runs. And finally, the school district uses a math program, Every Day Mathematics, that I have experience in using. So I went into the interview pretty confident.

I had the interview yesterday. It was kind of intense. They had six people in there interviewing me. They apparently are having an adminstration class and the students had to particiapte in an interview. I wasn't expecting so many questions about how I would assess things...I was expecting this like, "Why do you want to be a teacher?" or "What would you do if...." or other questions about classroom mangagement and questions about my background. But there weren't so many of those kinds of questions...a lot of ones about what kind of different teaching strategies I would use.

Also, even though I have experience using the everyday math program, the teacher I'd be taking over for (who, incidently, was one of the people interviewing me) is the language arts teacher. I didn't have as much experience in language arts as I did with math, but I think I did okay thinking on my feet.

Not so sure about how this will go. I didn't feel horrible about it like I did with the other one (which by the way, I didn't get), but I don't have that feeling of "Definitely aced that!" either....so I dunno...we'll have to see.

But these last couple interviews got me really fired up about my education. So much time was wasted on these stupid student work samples and electronic portfolios. No one has been the slightest bit interested in reading any of it. I brought my student work sample from student teaching to both of the interviews, but they said it wasn't necessary. What was the point of doing it then? I wish they would have spent more time on interview tips and etiquette which would actually have been useful. We could have had a whole class on job searching where we could have learned what should and shouldn't go into a cover letter, what interviewers are look for, but more importantly PRACTICE interviewing. They should definitely consider making that change at IUP. Maybe I should write a letter.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Losing A Friend

One of my close friends has a younger brother whom we all grew up with. I mean we weren't extremely close to him, but close enough that we hung out with him once in a while. We went to school with him and obviously were really close to his sister. Well, her brother was diagnosed with brain cancer and had about 5 or 6 surgeries to remove the tumor. It always came back. Now, the cancer has spread through his entire brain. And so now he's pretty much on his last days of life right now. And it's really affecting me in a way that I never imagined.

Maybe it's because I keep thinking about "What if it were my brother..." and I keep thinking about what I would do. To be honest, I don't think I could make it without my brother. For 24 years, my brother has been my best friend....and for some of my life, he was my ONLY friend. Growing up, my brother was all I had. Making friends was always harder for me than it was for him, so I didn't really have too many...too many that lasted long anyway. I spent most of my time with him and his friends. If anything were to happen to him....my life would pretty much be over too. I don't think I could function without him.

But anyway, I keep thinking about how torn apart I would be without my brother and I imagine that is what life is going to be like for my friend from here on out. I don't know what this is going to do to her family, but I'm pretty sure it will tear them all apart. I don't mean apart from each other....I just mean apart in general. I think they are a lot more frail and fragile than they let people believe. And if I were to guess....I am thinking they'll keep to themselves afterward.

I went to see him today and I held his hand for awhile. I didn't know what else to do. He's not looking so good...and I'm not sure if he remembers me. His speech was very affected by the tumor...or the pain that I know he's in...or the exhaustion...or all of it. But anyway, I can't stop thinking about it. I had a HUGE pile of stuff to do at work tonight and this was the only thing I could focus on. I'm not sure why I'm having trouble dealing with it, but whatever it is, this dying thing just messes me up whenever I have to deal wtih losing someone I know no matter how close we were.

Anyway, I know there are not too many people I can talk about this with....except for the three people who follow my blog occassionally. So I thought I'd try and sort out my thoughts with a blog post while the feeling is still strong.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I got an interview!!

So, recently, there was an ad for a long term sub at a school near where I live. I decided to try for it. I hadn't been getting any calls or anything from anywhere I applied to so my mom suggested I rewrite my cover letter and resume. We spent hours on it, so finally I just took the chance and sent it out with the changes.

Well, it must have been exactly what I needed because I heard back from the school that week and they scheduled an interview. I did it this afternoon.

I was so nervous. It was the first interview I had done before (for teaching anyway) so I had no idea what to expect. I spent hours reading an article about questions they typically ask and the article listed examples of what NOT to say and what TO say. So I was feeling pretty good about myself.

But of all those questions I spent so many hours formulating answers to....they only asked one of them at the interview. They didn't ask any others. I had no idea what to say. And I also forgot to come up with questions to ask. On the fly, I decided to ask about the mission statement. I couldn't find it anywhere. When I asked they said, "Oh...it's on the school district's website." I definitely didn't see it. So then I tried to redeem myself for sounding dumb and asked what kind of curriculum they use..they refused to tell me. So I tried to compliment the principal's tie....he was not amused.

So anyway, I don't feel that I really did very well. The interviewers seemed really unfriendly, they didn't even ask how I was doing when I introduced myself....and they made me feel really dumb when I asked questions. They didn't seem interested in my answers at all. My theory is that they already had someone in mind and were just doing this as a formality. I'm pretty sure I didn't get the job. We'll have to see when they send the letter in a few weeks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

So I know it's been a looong time since I've written anything (the xmas season was kinda crazy!). Anyway just wanted to wish everyone a happy 2011!!

My new year started off great! After xmas, my family and I went to Albany, NY to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. It was pretty much the most awesome show ever! It was the second time I'd seen them. Maybe it'll become a xmas tradition! Anyway, it was great! And during one part of the show, they played a song that was originally written when the band was called "Savatage"....so one person in the audience all of a sudden screamed at the top of his lungs, "SAVATAGE!!!" so my brother and I (and the other 15 people who knew Savatage) screamed in response. It was great. Then when the band members introduced themselves, they mentioned the band Savatage and asked who the Savatage fans were...so we all screamed again! It was great.

Anyway for those of you confused by that, here's a breif history lesson. In the 80's and 90's, there was a band called Savatage. Their vocalist was Jon Oliva (who was replaced by Zak Stevens when he had trouble with his voice). Like most bands, the instramentalists changed regularly, however, most notable instramentalists were: Chris Chaffery (who plays guitar now with TSO), Johnny Lee Middleton (who played bass with Savatage and TSO), Jeff Plate (Drummer for Savatage and TSO) and Al Pitrelli (another guitarist who played for a bunch of bands including Savatage and TSO). In 1995, Savatage released an album called "Dead Winter Dead" which was a story about two countries fighting in a war (Bosnia and Serbia). The album contained a xmas song on it (The Ukranian Bell Carol) that they recorded with their own little twist (it was a heavier version of the song with drums and electric guitars) and they called it "Christmas Eve in Sarajevo." Well, it turned out that people LOVED the song and it ocurred to them that they should do more of these songs. Hence, the beginning of Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 1996!! Savatage disbanded around 2001 or so. Most of the band members went on to work with TSO while the vocalists moved on to work on solo projects.

That being said....the beginning of 2011 started off rockin' out at another concert! For my xmas present, Mike bought me tickets to see a band that I like, Halestorm. They played in Philly in this cute little theatre called the Trocedero on New Years Eve. It was SO much fun!!! Three bands opened for them: A local philly band, a band from North Carolina, and a band called New Medicine (who is actually kind of famous). We were up on the balcony where we were drinking at the bar just about all night! At midnight, the lead singer, Lizzy Hale, stopped the band and we all did a countdown and a toast to 2011! Then, after the show, Mike and I stayed behind to meet the band members, get their autogarphs and get a picture with them! Lizzy Hale was so sweet! And she gave me a HUG!! It was the greatest thing ever!!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Epic Fail

So, NaNoWriMo is officially over and I failed horribly. The last time I posted any kind of word count update was the beginning of November and I had under 2,000 words. It predicted that I'd be done with my novel in April. That was the beginning of the month though....I have no idea what it would predict if I looked at it now. Probably November of NEXT year. lol.

But I'm not really disappointed that I didn't finish...just that I didn't look at the winner page ahead of time. You get all kinds of cool stuff as a winner of NaNoWriMo...you get your manuscript published for free by a random, generic publishing company (just one copy of it of course) and a whole bunch of special offers on cool stuff!! If I had known that I would have cheated...no lie! I mean seriously how mnay of those people ACTUALLY wrote 50,000 words?! I am curious to know. 

But anyway. I did have a really cool idea and I will probably keep working on it and maybe next year during NaNoWriMo I'll finish it for good and win. I'll keep you updated on that.