Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Job Hunt

Today I had my last official meeting with my supervising teachers. Yesterday was my last Willamette required presentation. So, I'm officially done and can now apply for my license!! CRAZY!

Obviously, I'm not done teaching, but I only have two weeks left with that as well. My students are doing projects and getting ready for finals, so I feel like I am done planning "lessons."

Today I got my first job rejection. I had interviewed for a job when we were in Pennsylvania, and I found out today that they hired someone else. It's ok, it's just been a frustrating process trying to look for jobs. The system in Oregon is so much easier because the application process is very centralized, but in Pennsylvania it is very random and hard to find jobs.

I have a feeling I won't find one until August, or, I may just end up having to substitute for the year. It would be fine, but not ideal.

It's also bittersweet because the school I've been student teaching at has a social studies position open, and they've made it pretty clear (repeatedly) that they would be thrilled if I wasn't moving and would apply for the job.

Speaking of jobs, I am trying to decide if I should try to find one for the summer. I can only work for 6-7 weeks, with a week of camp and a family reunion in there. So, I am not sure if anyone would hire me for that amount of time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I'm graduating tomorrow! It's a little anti-climatic because I have to teach for another month, (and have a few more University obligations) but, it's still exciting. Yesterday I picked up my cap and gown and hood. I came home and tried them on for "practice." It was the first time I really felt like I am graduating on Sunday.

Today I am cleaning the whole house since we have family staying with us next weekend for Nick and Lindsay's wedding. It's amazing how quickly a house gets messy with two very busy people who come home and have to work and study all night.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I have been stressing about finding a job in Pennsylvania. Partly because while we were there I interviewed for a job and haven't heard from the school. I have been looking online for jobs, and haven't found too many, but have applied for a few.

The other day I spent some time working on looking for jobs when I was supposed to be working on schoolwork. When Michael found out he told me I need to just stop looking for the next couple weeks and focus on school, and graduation. It was a good reminder.

It made me think about how we had decided to spend the month of April praying about our future, and how we felt that those prayers were completely answered. I realized I haven't been committing this job hunt to prayer, and I need to trust that the Lord will provide in His timing.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Today's Fiasco:

In my US history class, projects titled "The Legacy of Vietnam" were due today. The second group of the day did a project on Napalm. They had created a video that was supposed to show the effects of Napalm (which translates to high school boys lighting anything they can find on fire).

All was going fine until the "jar" came out. This student had asked me if they could use this as part of the presentation. My first clue should have been here, when the student's grandfather was hesitant to let him bring this "jar" to school.

"It's mostly acidic, and will clean up with water," said my student.

"Ok, that should be fine," I replied, stupidly. (Chalk it up to my inexperience?)

After the video came the jar: filled with a substance the students created to simulate Napalm. Yes, red flags went up in my mind. When the lid came off and the styrofoam came out, I still hesitated to stop them. As the boys started shoving the styrofoam in the jar (which immediately dissolved), I was still more anxious.

Suddenly, that last piece of styrofoam went in a little too quickly, and SPLASH! went the "napalm" all over the table. The room filled with a familiar odor.

"What is really in that?" I asked.

"Mostly acetone, sawdust...and gasoline."

This was the point in which I really started to freak out. GASOLINE!! ARE YOU KIDDING? And the odor was getting stronger! "Clean this up, now!" I started getting nervous about the whole thing.

I walked across the hallway to look for my supervising teacher, who wasn't around at the moment. I walked back into the room and the smell hit me hard!

I opened the window to the room, and told my students to step into the hallway. I know that if they had stayed in their much longer students were going to be getting really sick. I started making phone calls, tracking down my supervising teacher, the student center, and the custodian.

I sent my students to the library, because I realized the room was not safe. The smell started to linger into the hallway.

The custodian was able to focus extra air through the vents into the room, thus diluting the air quickly. I took my students from the library down to another classroom to finish the presentations. By the end of the period, the smell was gone, and only my fears and stressfulness remained.

At one point during the whole mess of getting students out of the classroom and to the library, one student approached me with the need to talk to me. I told her it wasn't a really good time (as I was freaking out in my head, but trying to stay calm), and she said, "but it's about what just happened." She proceeded to tell me that what had just happened was illegal, and was obviously very upset by the whole situation. Immediately I knew she would probably be going home and telling her father about the incident. (The same father who believes that the attack of 9/11 wasn't the work of terrorists, but was planned by George Bush who needed a way to begin a war in Iraq.)

After talking to my supervisors about the whole thing, I feel a lot better, though I am still afraid that I will show up to school on Monday with a list of parents who've called and complained that I allowed gasoline in the classroom. Fortunately my teacher talked to the right people to cover all the bases.

My supervising teacher made me feel a lot better when he told me about how during his first year of teaching he had an assignment/project due during which in one class period he had to evacuate the room due to an aeresol spray gloss (because everyone was sneezing and coughing), another student had to get stitches, and something else happened that I can't remember (something to do with the fire alarm?)

As he pointed out, this was one of those few moments of high school that many of my students will remember for a very long time. Well, at least my class will be memorable for something.