Monday, April 28, 2014

Just One Really Good Thing

Normally, I'd be giving you all a list of good things in my life right now, but I'm going to skip the list this time because I got some great news Friday night.

Starting this fall, I'll be a full-time lecturer at CSU Stanislaus.

It's funny because really, this job is a very reasonable next step in my career. It's not a huge step. But it is. And I'm kind of freaking out about it.

For one, I'm surprised and thrilled at the opportunity. Full-time teaching jobs are hard to come by. Even though I've worked hard, I also know I got lucky. 

Two, it's a university! Since teaching at community colleges, I've come to value them and the students there. I pictured myself always working at one. This university is still quite small, but they have graduate students! And dorms! I'm a little bit intimidated, which makes me realize that I'm too comfortable where I am. 

Three, we're moving! This is the first time I've moved for my job. It'll be the first time, despite all the moves I've made, that I haven't found myself in a brand new city being totally disoriented, saying, "Now what?" For most people, what I'm doing is probably pretty normal (moving a couple hours away for a job), but this is a novelty for me.

I think we're going to enjoy it out there. It'll give my husband the opportunity to go to school if he wants to, and I'm looking forward to a much lower cost of living. It'll be a lot of work, but in reality, it's not more than what I've been putting myself through the last couple years, and this time, I hope we'll be building something instead of just staying afloat. 

As always, thanks for reading, you guys. I've had tunnel vision the past several months. Job hunting does that. Maybe now I can think about knitting and cooking again. I'm also feeling such gratitude right now for all the people who've inspired and challenged me along the way. Just thank you. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Dream of Overalls

Statements I've made publicly:

"If I could wear overalls to work every day, I could die happy."

"I know I've made a call for this before, but seriously, if side ponytails and grunge can make a comeback, why can't overalls be cool again?"

When I was in high school, overalls were the thing. They were perfect for so many reasons. For one, they were warm, and my high school was inexplicably cold even during warm months. Two, they went with everything. Three, they were comfortable to wear while sitting for six hours a day.

Alas, the trend died, but I never gave up hope that I would one day get to wear them again. I can't really justify wearing them for any particular reason at the moment, but I have this fantasy of wearing overalls while working in my garden. I figure if I ever have a proper garden again, the lure of being able to wear overalls might ensure that I'll spend a good amount time out there.

It goes to show that I associate items with a certain lifestyle. For me, long past my high school days now, overalls signify work, utility, being sweaty, and getting dirty. They send the message that I won't be spending the day at the mall. I have real work to do today. I've had a similar attraction to tool belts.

The point is that overalls are a specific object that represents a lifestyle I like. Some people think if they own a house or a certain kind of car, they'll know they're where they want to be in life. For me, it's having a reason to wear overalls. I'll know I'm living right when overalls seem like the most appropriate thing to wear. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

8 Good Things

1. Walking 10,000 steps per day (or trying to). I dusted off the pedometer, and I've been pushing myself to walk a little more than usual to get to 10,000. In part, I've just been curious to see how much walking it really is. It's quite a bit if you don't count steps walked at home (I usually don't unless I'm doing something fairly active like cleaning). It's gotten me outdoors enjoying the lovely spring weather (photos above).

2. The interview! I'll say more about this in a later post I'm sure, but it went well. After the phone interview, they asked me to visit the campus. It seemed like a great college and a nice area. The day after, I got a call about another job out of state and set up a phone interview with them too. I'm on fire!

3. Sleep. The interviews were exciting but nerve-wracking, and I haven't been sleeping well. I'm grateful for the times when I've actually been able to get a good night's sleep and catch up.

4. Twitter. I'm using Twitter more and more to learn and write about education-related topics. It feels really good to be part of that conversation and to see my words being passed along to others.

5. The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy. During our trip to Colorado, I had wanted to download and start reading The People's History of the United States, but I don't think I could get it on my Sony Reader, so I settled for this anthology. It's nice, though. I enjoy reading Zinn's commentary on his own words, and I have a better sense of how his ideas developed.

6. A new haircut. No one's really noticed, and I take that as a good sign that I really did just get a trim. I'm happy with it.

7. Grading papers in the college library. As you know, I tend to work in cafes, but the college is a little closer, and the view is amazing. How many community colleges in this country have an ocean view? It's also quiet and the big tables are great for spreading out all my crap.

8. Fun students this semester. It's been a strange semester because I have fewer students than usual, but I seem to have a good rapport with one group in particular. I've especially enjoyed seeing two 30-something men in class develop a friendship and support each other. It's great to be a part of someone else's journey toward reaching a goal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

8 Good Things

1. Spring break! I didn't do anything exciting, but I had lots of time to sleep in and relax. I couldn't ask for more.

2. An interview scheduled! I have mixed feelings about this particular position, but I'm curious about what they have to say, and I needed some good news. Searching and searching with no result is depressing. After I got the phone call, I took myself out to Myo to celebrate (because nothing says "celebrate" like frozen yogurt), and they were having a 1/2 off deal. It was my day.

3. Taking walks. I sometimes walk from my apartment to one of the cafes downtown (about 2 miles) to combine a little fresh air and exercise with grading. I'm thinking of dusting off the pedometer and seeing if I can do 10,000 steps per day. I'm partly just curious to see how much walking I do on days when I teach.

5. A finished object made with my thrifted yarn from Goodwill. I estimate that I made this huge, squishy cowl for about $2.75--$3.00 + all the time I spent unraveling and knitting. Good deal financially but really time consuming. 

6. Speaking of, for the first time, a man came to my knitting group. For some reason, that made me ridiculously happy. And, and! He's kind of a local celebrity.

7. House of Cards on Netflix. I caved in to the hype, but only because it's Kevin Spacey. And he is definitely the Kevin Spaciest I've ever seen him in this series. I've only watched a few episodes, so no spoilers please! 

8. Eggs and rice. Sometimes eggs make me want to barf. I suspect I have a mild allergy, but they're quick and easy, so it's a bummer when I can't stomach them. I saw an image online recently that showed a couple fried eggs atop some brown or white rice with a few slices of avocado, and I thought, "I have to eat this right now." I've eaten this probably four times in the last week. I can't get enough, and so far, I haven't had any barfy feelings. I think the rice somehow balances things out.