Three mini-posts

I did, unfortunately, end up watching most of the “debate” last night, giving up at about the 2/3 mark when it became clear that the Beast was not going to stroke out or have a heart attack while I was watching. It was every bit as horrible and depressing as everyone says it was; there simply should not be further debates while this person is in office. There’s no goddamn point. There have been some rumblings that the rules are going to change from the debate commission, but if they’ve provided any specifics I’ve not seen them yet. Basically unless the moderator has the power to cut microphones there’s no further point in entertaining the exercise any longer.

We missed the sadly predictable moment where he refused to condemn white supremacy. Which … no one should have been surprised. White supremacists, the Klan, and the Nazis are clearly his people, and there has been no reasonable doubt about that for quite some time. He’s not going to condemn them because he’s one of them. That’s all there is to it. And yes, you are a bad person if you continue to support him. It’s not up for debate.


I think it is still the case that I own every album-length release Public Enemy has put out, including their live album. I generally find out about them by accident now, though, and while it’s kind of depressing it’s been true for a while that the band’s best days are behind them. The fact that they continue to mine the well of songs from Yo! Bum Rush the Show and It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back after all these years is … well, it’s a choice, is what it is, and true to form this release has three or four different tracks that pull material from those two albums, plus a remake of Fight the Power with a bunch of new verses by non-PE rappers.

That said … I think I”m on my seventh or eighth listen already, and I just discovered it on Tuesday, so they’re doing something right. I mean, it’s PE. It’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav, despite the fact that Flav has been kicked out of the band at least seven or eight times by now. I’m enjoying it.


I got an email from Human Resources this afternoon, late enough in the day (no doubt on purpose) that there was no real point in asking for any clarification, informing me that my request for a length-of-the-pandemic e-learning job had been approved. (I assume it’s length of the pandemic. How long this job is slated to last was not mentioned, and honestly I can’t criticize them for not knowing.)

This rather portentous paragraph was in the message:

As we begin to start school back next week,  please be aware that your grade level, subject, or building designation could change based on the demand for eLearning in the school corporation.   We will continue to modify based on student attendance, eLearning requests, and building needs. 

Now, next week is the last week of the quarter, so my assumption is that I still have my current job next week. But I literally have no idea what they will have me doing the week after that. None at all. I mean, I’ll probably still end up teaching math in my current building, because seniority, but I have no idea.

And, I suspect, neither do they.

The pandemic started in March, y’all.

So that’s fun.

Some updates

I wanted to post more pictures of the boy’s room today, but it’s not quite done yet– one patch of wall maybe a foot square needs a touch more paint on it, the tree decals need to all be put in place, and we need to hang his curtains– and for some reason I don’t want to put up any more in-progress pictures. So have a sleepy kitty.

PAINTING! All in all I’m happier with how the project turned out than I thought it was going to be; I spent most of the first day of painting muttering it’s not my room under my breath and looking forward to repainting the entire mess again in five years when he grows out of it, but now that it’s mostly finished I feel like we did a pretty good job. More soon.

VISION! I have this thing going where I either stop paying attention to my eyes or they get noticeably better once about noon rolls around. I’m still kind of frustrated with mid- and long-distance vision, and even close up can be kind of spotty for the first couple of hours after I get up. I had a long talk with a friend of mine who also had the surgery earlier in the week and she assured me that everything was within normal parameters; despite trying to not be impatient about the healing process I think I’m expecting too much too soon.

VAGUEBLOGGING! I hoped I was going to have good news this week. I do not have good news. Strictly speaking I don’t have bad news either, but this is one of those situations where no news and bad news are indistinguishable. I am not very happy with the world right now.

AUGUST! Nobody knows anything. The superintendent’s plan has been radically revised three times in three weeks, the county health department released their own plan, and dominos are falling across the state as more and more districts go to online-only for the first nine weeks, which is the only available responsible decision. Remember: I’m not dying for your child care, nor am I endangering my family, period; and there is no magic switch that flips in August that prevents whatever you’ve been doing with your kids since March from working any longer. We have a school board meeting on Monday and I fully expect to find out at that time that we are online only for the full first quarter, at which point we can reset the clock until we make another last-second decision in October.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS! I’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on noted dipshit Herman Cain over the last few weeks; turns out that being an idiot about masks earned him a final month of his life where he was isolated from his family and struggling to breathe before he died alone and ignominiously. I hope that hour or two where he was courageously owning the lib orthodoxy by not protecting himself from a highly communicable disease that didn’t know or care that he was a Republican was worth that pain for him. I suspect not. I also wonder how many other people that Tulsa rally killed who aren’t famous enough for us to know their names.

BOOKS! I recently finished Lisbeth Campbell’s excellent debut The Vanished Queen, which isn’t actually out for a couple of weeks. I read a very early draft of this and it was amazing to see how much had changed since I’d seen it. There is a review coming, but I’m waiting for a go-ahead from her to publish it. I’m currently reading Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching, which I’m also quite enjoying but am having some trouble getting into because my eyes haven’t been cooperating when I pick it up. This one will probably get a review too at some point.

KAMALA? Word on the street is that Biden is going to announce his VP pick possibly as early as tomorrow and certainly by next week, and word also is that it’s going to be Kamala Harris, which would be just about the only thing about next week that could lift my mood. Please, goddammit, give me this one fucking thing. Well, this thing and that other thing that you haven’t given me yet, but at least one of them.

In which there is an unexpected development

I have recently come across an Employment Opportunity that is worth thinking about and investigating. Don’t get too excited; I haven’t even decided to apply, much less done so and been called for an interview or anything like that. Nor do I know how much it would pay. But for now, just trust me that it’s an Employment Opportunity and leave it at that.

At any rate, I’m bringing it up because my first thought upon discovering of its existence was I’m not sure I want to leave teaching right now. And, more broadly, I’m not certain I want to leave teaching again.

Which is … not the direction I thought my life was heading a few months ago. One of the numerous problems with being a teacher, of course, is the limited window one has to find a new job if one wishes to 1) stop teaching without 2) abandoning one’s current students. And I am finding that I am far enough into the year and I like my kids enough (most of ’em, at least) that the notion of ending the school year early even for a much more lucrative job gives me quite a bit of pause. The most amazing thing is that I’m not currently planning on a mad scramble for a new job this summer. For the first time in forever I feel like if I ended up in the same job next year that I have this year I’d be okay with that. And that surprises the hell out of me, especially since I mostly teach 8th graders who are all going to be gone next year anyway whether I like it or not. One way or another I’m highly unlikely to be in these kids’ lives for more than about seven more months; is it really that big of a deal if I were to leave in, say, January rather than June?

Apparently it is.

I’m going to look into this job anyway, because there’s no harm in looking into it; it’s not like I’m committing to anything by putting in an application, and they may not be interested in me or it may turn out that the job doesn’t pay enough or really any number of things. But it’s odd to realize that I’m back in the position where “Yes, please, now, please” wouldn’t be my immediate reaction to escaping the classroom again, especially since ending up where I have was at least a bit of a last resort anyway.

God help me, I may actually be enjoying my job again. Weird, innit?

In which things happen fast

Welp.

Things happen fast. Within an hour of putting up that post yesterday, I got an email from another principal at a different school letting me know that they had an opening for the same job I currently have and asking if I was interested in it. I went in for a brief interview this morning, and … well, at this point we’re just waiting for dots and crosses, so to speak. Naturally, the first principal called me during the other interview to offer me the job, and to be honest, a part of me really does regret having to turn him down. But this way I don’t have to worry about grading for eight hours every Sunday for the entire school year, and I don’t care what else is involved; I’m just not going to ever miss that.

Of course, now I have to talk to my current boss, something I will happily put off until everything is good and official but nonetheless requires doing. And that’s gonna be a not very pretty sort of conversation, because “I know this situation we’re in is kind of shit, and rather than doing anything to fix it I’m kinda gonna make it worse, and, man, good luck with all that, I’ll be over here, not helping at all” is just not going to be any fun.

Do I feel bad about it? Yeah, a little. Not enough that it matters, though; not enough that I’m willing to put my family through what I’ll be like next year if I stay, but I feel bad about it. I’ll, uh, let y’all know how it goes.

When you’re trying to project confidence but on the inside you’re screaming

Had a job interview today.

A two hour job interview today. Not, like, interviews with multiple people in a row that totaled up to two hours. One interview, with one person, that lasted two hours.

I was interviewing for two different jobs– math at two different grade levels, basically, so it’s not like the questions were going to be different and that’s why the interview ran long– but I got the feeling that the principal was definitely zeroing in on one grade instead of the other by the end of the interview. Which is fine. I’ve been teaching middle school long enough that grade levels don’t really matter all that much to me any longer, although I do have a preference for one curriculum over the other, for whatever that might be worth. I gotta feel like if you sit down with me for two damn hours then you’re probably pretty serious about bringing me into your building; a red flag at any point could have ended the interview a whole hell of a lot sooner.

And here’s the thing, right? If you’ve been around here for a while, or if you’ve read Searching for Malumba, you know good and damn well that if you ask me questions about education you’re gonna get answers. I’m better at talking coherently about classroom praxis and education in general than I am at almost everything else. Which means that I interview really goddamn well for teaching jobs, and the number of teaching jobs where I’ve made it to the interview stage and not been offered a job is frankly pretty damn small.

At any rate, I think it’s probably reasonable to believe that I’m gonna get offered a job at this school in a couple of days. Not guaranteed, certainly, because shit happens, but I think it’s reasonable, especially since I was applying for two different jobs. Which will mean that I’ll be back in the classroom this fall.

Which I have … mixed feelings about, as you well might imagine, if you’ve been around here for a while. And those mixed feelings made honestly answering questions like why are you applying for this job a bit more … I dunno, fraught than they might be? Because I really do have mixed feelings about the idea of leaving my current position. It’s just that after being placed irregularly into a classroom over the last half of last year, at least until ILEARN hit and then my life went to hell, I’m pretty goddamn certain that I’m gonna be teaching this year on at least a part-time basis whether I want to or not, and I’m absolutely going to get asked to write lesson plans for classes I’m not teaching, and, well …

Here’s the thing: something has to change, one way or another, because of reasons having really nothing at all to do with me or the job I actually did. I know where I’m at right now is probably not tenable, so there are a bunch of available moves that represent improvement over my current situation, and one of these two jobs would do that. And … that’s basically how my answer went? That, honestly, returning to classroom teaching wasn’t ideal to me, but that if that was what was going to happen anyway (and I think it will,) I would rather be in control of the where and the when and the what than where I think I’m gonna be if I don’t make some changes.

And, well, the principal talked to me for another hour and forty minutes, so it must have been an acceptable answer, I guess.

We’ll see how it goes.