*I actually don't know if that's how it's spelled, but whatever.
I flew out to Walla Walla over the weekend to accept the job at Greenpark as a Para Educator in the Lifeskills classroom. I'll spare the minute details of the trip itself, but I will say a few important things. First, the job itself is going to be wonderful. After the meeting that made everything official (with the principal and the two teachers I'll be working with, Kathy and Barb, a newcomer), I had lunch with the rest of the Lifeskills staff. While I know some of us will be more willing to do what's necessary than others (like deal with snotty noses or change diapers), I have faith that we'll make it work somehow. I do know that we have less staff this year than when I was a tutor through America Reads and MORE students that need extra care (one is in a wheelchair, two need walkers to get around), but the setup this year is going to change a bit, so I believe this will help us all support one another. Barb impressed me, too. Kathy had said Barb's background was eight years in a room just like ours, so I had assumed she would be at least fifty and kind of crotchety. No, not remotely. She's younger than Kathy-- in fact, she went straight from college to those eight years of special education, so she's only in her thirties. And she was very easygoing and seems to have the perfect combination of flexibility and firmness that is needed in Kathy's other half. I liked her, and she said she was very impressed with me in my phone interview at the beginning of this month. We're both looking forward to working with one another.
I also realize I'm extremely lucky to have this job. Given how many of my friends that graduated with me are having trouble finding their own, I'm so thankful to all things Holy that I was able to secure this position. And I am fully ready to admit that it mostly came to me because I had been tutoring in that room during college, but that's fine. It's my very own bit of social capital that I earned completely on my own, and I'm going to milk it for all it's worth. I want every bit of cheese it can get me.
A slight tangent to that: The term "Unemployment rate" is skewed and inaccurate. When politicians and talking heads mention this, they are talking about the number of people receiving Unemployment benefits. They are not talking about the people not collecting these monies but that are still unemployed, whether it be because they were on Unemployment for too long, never applied at all, or didn't qualify and were incapable of applying in the first place. There are a lot more unemployed people in the United States than the "unemployment rate" suggests.
After some careful consideration and calm thinking, I have decided that yes, I'll take two years off to study for and take all of those standardized tests and then apply to graduate programs. I may not want to take that much time in terms of, well, time, but it's what is best for my scores and potential, so ultimately what's best for me and whatever family I end up getting. Another positive spin to put on it is it gives me more time to get into better shape and be more attractive when I start school again- more chance to snag a boyfriend. (And no, I'm not saying I'm going to play the cute ditz or anything like that- I just know that if I'm prettier, maybe the men I'll meet won't automatically stick me in the category that feels incestuous to kiss.)
Also, I put my foot down with Nick and Julie that I want basic cable somehow in the house when I return at the end of August- not even being able to watch local news during the time I lived there while a student was stressful and isolating, not to mention bizarre. I said they could either let me pay for half of the bill and have it upstairs on the main TV, or I would pay the entire bill myself and have it on a TV I'd buy and put it in my own room. Nick tried to come up with reasons why it would be an inconvenience (installation, for example) but I basically told him to stuff it, I want what I want, and I don't care. Julie seemed much more receptive to the idea, even said she thinks watching the Olympics would be fun, but Nick, damnit, I knew he'd be stubborn and stuff (another way he tried to dissuade me is by commenting that the "most local" news I'd be able to get would come from the Tri-Cities... SO EFFING WHAT?!). The two of them don't seem to realize how abnormal it is and that their daughter, about to start Kindergarten, is ALREADY suffering from it. They think it's funny that she loves everything Hannah Montana, even though she's never seen it: "Her preschool mates talk about it all the time, so she of course loves it." What this really does to her, though, is makes her a total follower- she's never seen HM before, so she hasn't been able to CHOOSE whether to like it or not: she just assumes she should because a lot of her friends do. But I know not all of them do, because I met one in May and asked her, and she said no, she watched it once and didn't like it. So Nick and Julie's daughter is just following majority rule by saying she looooooooves Hannah Montana and wants to be just like her and stuff... She's only five now, so she has as of yet to get the ridicule that's going to come, but it will, it certainly will. She's being set up for insult. It's one thing to not watch TV, it's another thing to not have access (the TV gets nothing but one Spanish channel, and even that comes in fuzzy and hard to hear). Ironically, we watched Bridge to Terabithia
on Sunday night, and it contained a scene depicting exactly what their daughter is going to face sooner or later: Leslie (main girl character) has to tell her teacher she cannot watch an assigned television program because her family does not have a TV, and not only at that moment does she receive lots of snickers and remarks, but then later on the playground and as she goes to the bus, more kids insult her. I really hope that scene did something to Nick and Julie. I'm not saying TV should be the focus of the kid's life, but it is just plain abnormal not to have at least one working television in the house and access to the local news. I feel sorry for her, though, because she's not my daughter and I can do nothing but insinuate.
And I so got jipped by Amazon. I ordered the special edition version of the soundtrack to The Dark Knight
from them, and it was waiting for me when I got back. YAY, right? Well, I tried ripping it onto my compy immediately, and I noticed it kept encountering problems when the last track was aaaalmost finished. I thought, ok, well, maybe it has some sort of protection thing on it and I'll just have to listen to it with the actual disc. But unfortunately, it started skipping when that track was about 2/3 done, and it did so on every other CD playing mechanism we have inside the house. AMAZON SENT ME A FAULTY DARK KNIGHT
SOUNDTRACK THOSE MUTHAFUGGAZ!!!! I got it all prepared to return to them, but this is just a pain in the tush. Especially since I want to be able to show it to Lora when she gets here two weekends from now: I pray that Amazon sends me the replacement as soon as possible and that I get it before she arrives...