I know I can do the job, but can I get the job?Posted: September 18, 2009
Or at least, can I get to the interview?
I had a second interview for a teaching job this past week. Just getting there was a crazy experience. As you may know, I used to teach middle school and took an extended leave of absence when Clooney was born. Lately, and now that The Princess has started school, I have felt the call to return. A position recently opened at my alma mater, which also happens to be the school the kids attend, and several weeks ago I began the process of pursuing this opportunity.
From the list of candidates (and they had quite a few), they’ve narrowed it down to three and asked each of us to prepare a lesson and teach it to a room full of students. I felt a lot like I was auditioning for American Idol, but okay, if that’s what they want, I’m willing to dance and sing. The session was to be the introduction of 20 new vocab words, and I prepared my lesson by approaching it from an angle where the students would use context clues, making up their own sentences as we learned the meanings. My audition was set for Wednesday afternoon, and I was just a bag of nerves all week.
In addition to the interview, Wednesday also happened to be a big day for Manfrengensen. He had a huge audit that day for one of his biggest clients. He had been preparing the materials all summer, and the auditor was due into his office first thing in the morning. I think we were both tossing and turning all Tuesday night.
Plus, Clooney was sick with an upper resp infection, which I took him to the doctor for Tuesday. They wanted him to stay home another day, but because I needed time to get my head together before this thing, we decided to send him to my mother-in-law’s for his rest. Because of the audit, Manfrengensen had to leave extra early to drop him off, and I had to take The Princess to school.
They left; the carpool came to pick up Edison (who goes to a different school), and I packed all of my gear and took The Princess out to the car. I planned to go to the gym, to work off a little stress, and I had my aluminum bottle full of water and a book in my gym bag. We got out to the garage, and the doors to my car wouldn’t unlock. What the??? So, I unlocked them manually, figuring I would deal with it later, but when I turned the key in the ignition, I got NOTHING. No sound, not even a click. The battery was dead.
I came into the house, threw everything (though as it turned out, not everything) onto the kitchen table and started making calls — to my father to take The Princess to school, and AAA — the whole time The Princess trailing behind me begging to play Barbies. “Play Barbies with me. Play Barbies with me. Can you play Barbies with me?”
I did play Barbies until my father came to take her (and thankfully, she went without a scene) and AAA arrived about a half hour after that. But then, I couldn’t find my keys. Could. not. find. them. I gave the guy the spare to get him started, then went back inside to search some more. On the kitchen table, I came across my gym stuff and was more than a little confused to find my aluminum bottle was nearly empty. There was no water on the table. Yes, the cap to the bottle was not on tightly, but where had all the water gone? I found out on my next pass in the search. Looking inside my gym bag, I found it slightly damp, and inside was my saturated paperback. It had totally absorbed the water. Looks like I dropped it in a bathtub.
So anyway, long story short (too late, right?) I got all that taken care of, and then actually had breakfast with a friend and that calmed me down quite a bit — at least to the point where I wasn’t a total spaz.
It felt SO GOOD to be up in front of that class. Even just feeling the dry erase pen between my fingers as I spoke to them in my animated fashion…you know that theory that if you love what you do, the time flies and you achieve this thing called flow? a kind of occupational zen? That’s me in front of a class.
They were eighth graders, a wonderful group. I got them to laugh, engaged the ones who were reluctant to come out of their own heads, blew their minds with an example of how Betsy Ross is only a legend (the word was “legendary”) and didn’t really sew that first American flag. It was so much fun.
I felt I did well. I just went in there, did my best and stayed true to myself. That’s all I could do.
As you know this life has given me bountiful (another word from the lesson) blessings. I am lucky that I am not in a position where my kids won’t eat or have a roof over their heads if I don’t get this job. But I still feel that eye of the tiger. I still feel like it’s where I ought to be.