Wednesday, April 25, 2007

gut reactions

I check every few days: the employment opportunities at the local high school. For a while, it was just a long term sub for the janitorial staff. Then it was just an ASL interpreter. But today, I found many postings for jobs, including one 1.0 position in the Language Arts department at the high school (here, I am in the Communications department, and in college, I majored in English) and a .4 at the middle school. I am thrilled and was very near giddy when I spotted the posting (as I had just about given up.

I think with so many roller coaster attitudes and emotions since Thanksgiving, I am not sure which to trust--my head, or my heart. I think the best is to follow those immediate responses, which can often be surprising and recently, can be very strong. January: immediate disappointment when I found out the board would not cut the middle school positions, realizing I would be safe. March: calm for about ten minutes, then great gasping sobs, hiccuping tears, when I realized I would be cut. April: excitement at the mere chance of teaching in the town in which I live.

Conclusion? I'm not sure. Perhaps it means I do want to teach next year. Perhaps it means I just am excited to have a chance at a job in town. Perhaps it means I want to remain in the teaching profession after all (low residency MFA?). Or maybe it just means I want to be employed for the year between now and graduate school (hope for graduate school). I know I am utterly content when I think of myself back in the classroom, in a desk, perhaps teaching comp courses to freshmen to pay tuition. All I know is that I am going to allow myself to be hopeful, and I've let my principal know, who promised me he would indeed call the principal of the local school (who he apparently taught when she was an eighth grade social studies student) and put in a good word. My department heads and activities director also promised good letters of recommendation. My resume has already been updated; I just need to tweak the letter of application.

Other happy news: Chris in the Minneapolis newspaper. Kelly on her first day of her honeymoon. Tonight was the last rehearsal before we have an audience (preview night is tomorrow, which means senior citizens, parents, and staff of the district--this also means a small, but very polite and content audience). We are prepared for preview night, not terrified at the idea.

And spring. I haven't seen much of it, but in the glowing light of dawn and sunset, I have seen the trees become greener, which is something I search for every day. The grass is rising and almost ready to be cut. Perhaps I will be the first to mow our lawn this year. I love the smell of freshly cut grass, the stains on last year's sneakers, the long walks in the evenings. I love the clearing out of dead grass, the reseeding and hopes that our weeding efforts will work this year. I love going to the greenhouse and picking out seeds--how many tomato plants, squash, zucchini was so successful last year, as were sunflowers. Green beans, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries. Peony bulbs. Tulips coming up and the burning bush. Honeysuckle. Dogwood tree, so small, survived the winter.

And of course, thoughts of the future, because that has so much been on my mind. So many whirling thoughts. I imagine a dust cloud spinning up in those unused parts of my brain, now resurrected: poetry, deep reading, keeping notebooks, watercolor. I imagine those parts of my brain that have been waiting for only just this moment to unfurl: teaching locally, graduate school, getting married, children (!) one day. I've also been thinking about that probing question: to be a stay at home mom, particularly during the earliest stages of development, or to find daycare. I think this is mostly boosted by Mandy's pregnancy, reading a poetic blog, and observing Kathryn. Interesting New York Times opinion article on whether or not women should return to work: Off to Work She Should Go. It's kind of interesting because women are leaving the work force in higher numbers, but divorces are, of course, on the rise. I certainly find value in working, love the teaching profession, and have a strong drive to return to school myself and perhaps teach college. I wouldn't mind, however, teaching ad hoc, if we can financially swing this, if only to have mental stimulus and a chance to be away from home for a while (and contribute to the community, of course), but I see increasing value in simply Being A Parent. I know I do not have to worry about this for several years, but with my upcoming marriage, it's definitely something to consider and establish before things get tricky! I do know that I want to be a mother, I know I want to have children with K (he shows signs of being a great father, and I know he is a monumentally wonderful partner), and I know I want to go back to school / teach at least part time, though am willing to take a few years off. So we shall see.

And now I am off to bed, to finish the sixth book in a pair of trios on King Arthur legend. After this book and after the musical, I will need to take a knight in shining armor break (unless that knight is a certain someone in jeans and a white t-shirt).

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