Friday, August 18, 2006

Running Around; Starting Over

Hubby spent today playing chauffeur and I’m exceeding grateful to him for his time and effort. The new job (teaching) is far enough away from home that I don’t know how to get there without serious instruction. I can get lost getting out of my own neighborhood, while Hubby can find his way around Robinhood’s Barn.

Yes, he gets lost and yes, he won’t ask for directions – but he claims that’s because if you’re lost in a new place the best way to learn about it is to muddle your way around until you get your bearings. The problem for me is I have no bearings. Directions mean nothing. I need to be told: “Go five blocks down and at the gray and white house with the tulip tree in the yard, turn left; stay in the left lane until you come to the big Kroger’s on the corner of the third street and take a left again.” Mileage, east, south – all meaningless instructions for me.

So we drove across the state line and into the next big city and found its school administration building. Hubby patiently waited with dogs in the car while I had my ID photo taken and filled out the paperwork that would get me inside a school building. This immediate paperwork consisted of forms that allowed them to do background searches on me to see if the local police or any federal agencies were hunting me down. I also came away with stacks of paperwork that weren't as immediate but were pretty critical none-the-less.

We stopped then and ate a lovely big breakfast as a treat. Just three blocks from our home a home-style restaurant has opened, serving wonderful scrambled eggs and potatoes O’brien. We thought we needed the sustenance before we tackled all the paperwork I was dragging around.

Back home, after reading through all the material, we set out again. First to the local college campus where students were enrolling and paying fees. It was a mad-house but because Hubby was behind the wheel, I was delivered right to the front door and as I wasn’t matriculating, I came away in about 10 minutes with a promise that my transcripts would be mailed out post-haste to the proper locations. I could have gotten them immediately if I had graduated after 1975 . . . the student assistants examined me closely when they found out I couldn’t make that cut. I guess they wondered what an old fart would really look like who still needed a copy of her college transcript from the dark ages.

Then we headed back downtown to the headquarters of my old school district. I hadn’t been inside their offices in over a dozen years but nothing had changed. It took about three minutes to fill out their forms verifing my past employment – and a promise that within two weeks or more they might find and mail my actual records. They did make me a copy of the paperwork I left with them so I could prove I was trying to move forward on everything the new district needs.

Once I have all the required paperwork completed and in-hand, and a doctor’s certificate claiming I don’t have TB and am fit enough to teach in a public school, I have to go to the police station and get myself fingerprinted. I understand the necessity of that but I truly am horrified that it’s needed. The police will then seal and mail the envelopment off to the state education offices.

Our weather was very humid and hot today so I pretty much wore Hubby out with all the running around but his help was invaluable. Being able to simply run into all those buildings without finding a place to park and having door-to-door service cut down on the time required to get all these tasks completed.

Meanwhile, my friends who had vouched for me with letters of recommendation were providing verbal confirmation for me over the phone. This is first time I’ve ever had to provide my references, much less have them checked, but if any employer is going to do it, it should be one who deals with our children.

My pastor, a highly education and serious gentleman, e-mailed me that he had "stopped just short of nomiating you for canonization to sainthood without pushing the envelop." One can't ask for a better recommendation than that.

Monday night I attend an orientation for graduate school. One of the smaller "across the state-line" colleges is offering certification classes in my urban area for teachers. They have waived "out-0f-state" tuition for the metropolitian area so the hourly fees are not impossible to meet -- and the school district has said they will chip in.

This job is beginning to feel real.

After I left teaching 16 years ago I had a consulting job with one of the five biggest firms in this city. It took a while but eventually that job turned into the best one I'd ever had. I worked with and for really good people and I was paid a very nice wage. As always happens in big business, the way the company was operated changed radically and my contract was not renewed. During the time I was there, nine years actually, it was the best time of my life. I never thought I'd find a job that paid as well as that one or one I enjoyed as much. Interestly, this teaching job pays nearly as much, once I factor in the benefits I'm being provided. If the folks are half as nice, I will have come full circle -- back to where I started in my career. Hopefully I bring a lot more to the table.

When I started the school interviewing process just three weeks ago, I wondered where I was headed. When the first three interviews fell through, I wondered what I was gaining from the experience. I questioned why I was led to go through the process, especially since I had found it so defeating. It's just a trite adage, but things happen in their own time. You just have to trust that things will turn out and that is one of the hardest things in the world to do when you are mired down in disappointment.

I had a lot of help getting where I am right now and I owe a huge debt to a lot of people. I only hope I can make them proud now. What I have to remember is that I'm not alone in this. Everyone who helped me get to this place wants to see me succeed. I'm going to be leaning on them in the upcoming year.

The next chapter of my life is just beginning.


snugpug said...

I didn't realise there was so much running around, so much paperwork. I thought once you're offered a job, and you've accepted and signed the necessary, you're pretty much set. Still, I'm so happy for you, that things are lightening up -- all this stuff you're doing is good stuff. So when do you actually start teaching?

abigailroad said...

good to hear things are looking up for you.

M said...

Good luck with all that red tape!

Remiman said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Good luck on your new adventure.