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Saturday, June 14, 2008

job hunt

A week and a half ago Central Jr. High contacted me. They had turned me down for a full-time position a couple of weeks earlier, but asked if I would be interested in a half-time position. I told them that full-time would be preferable, but staying in Lawrence was also a high priority.

(They were the only school that called to tell me that I didn't get the job. I thought that was very nice at the time, considering that other schools either sent a letter or just let me call to find out that the job was given to someone else.)

It really got my hopes up. I wrote to my friend Jon the following:


Dear Jon:

The job lead should pan out one way or the other by this coming Tuesday. It sounded pretty positive, for a few reasons:

1. It's part time math combined with part time para. This makes it less attractive to most teachers, as the pay will be lower. This also makes it more attractive to me because it leaves more time for studies, gives official, paid time to observe other teachers (while helping out in their classrooms), and comes with full-time benefits (insurance).

2. The vice-principal (the principal is moving on to another job) that I talked to sounded like she had me in mind for the position. We got along well in our interview a few weeks ago, and it sounded like they wanted to hire me. They actually called to tell me that I hadn't gotten the job--the only school to do so. I asked why not, and they told me that they had hired someone who interned at the school.

3. She told me that they couldn't officially move on the position until the posting had been up for ten days--Sunday. So unless someone better than me steps in, they want me.

The faith tag on my status was understated. (This refers to my status on Facebook. I had written that I still did not have a job, but was remaining faithful.) We've been praying lots about this. Within the past week or two I shifted my prayers of supplication to prayers of thanks for whatever God has in mind for me this fall. In hindsight, it's something I've never done before in earnest. I have always been somewhat carefree regarding the future before, but now there are two other people riding on my future, and that has opened me up to worry, work and concern like only my mother has experienced.

And so a weakness has been exposed, and it's been an opportunity for God to grow my faith. I realize that it is still not finished, and that I need to maintain the same gratitude even if I do not get this particular job. But I do believe that God wants the best for me and my family. Whether I "deserve" this job or not is beside the point. I have received no signs that I need to get out of education. No promptings to work my way up the ladder at Wal-Mart. No feelings that I am headed in the wrong direction. Just an encouragement to step forward into the dark.


And so I spent last week waiting for the call. I called the school twice and left messages on their answering machine, each time hoping that it wasn't the call that made them think, "What's the matter with this loser? Maybe he wants it too badly? I don't think we should hire him."

I got called back Friday by vice-principal Lisa. She told me that they were contacting my references, but that they were having trouble reaching them. She had talked to one (Bob at Wal-Mart, who gave a sparkling recommendation), and the voice mail of two others. I suggested a couple of other references that weren't on my previous application, and asked if anyone else was being considered for the position.

The answer was no. I felt better, but had been through too much to just start thinking of the job as mine. And it was a long weekend.

We took Chaeryon to the airport Saturday morning, then stopped at Zona Rosa for breakfast and a quick tour of Cabelas. Then home, food, shower, work. Sunday morning we went to church. Dad came to visit, including our church service and lunch afterwards. The sermon yesterday was given by John Kerstetter, a missionary from Lawrence F.C.C. staying with his family in Brazil. We invited them to our home for a meal, which we could only fit in today, Monday. Sunday afternoon and evening I was at work again, until 10 again. Today we sent Maxine to Stephanie's Day Care, I went shopping for lunch food, came home, cooked, we ate, sat around talking, and I got a phone call.

A job offer from Central Jr. High! I immediately said yes, and things are proceeding. The Human Resources department has to process my paperwork, and hopefully I'll sign a contract within a week.

Then I went to work again. Until 10 again. Now it's 1:36 a.m., my eye's are itchy and heavy, but my brain is spinning around, and I don't feel like sleeping. I put in my resignation at Wal-Mart. My summer is looking like this:

Wal-Mart until July 25th. July 28-August 2 class at Baker's Johnson County Campus, six hours a day. I get the following Monday off, then start new teacher training that Tuesday. A week and a half later, the kids show up and it just gets nutty from there.

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for us through this. It's been a long, sometimes frustrating process, and it's just about over. Then I become a Jr. High teacher, where I am sure I will have entire new vistas of frustrating opened to me. I am looking forward to it now much more than I did when we first moved back. A year of Wal-Mart has really given me a different perspective on life, because I have seen so very many people during this year, behaving well, badly and the whole range in between. I very much recommend doing a retail job to everyone. It will make you appreciate the anonymous person who takes your order, helps you find stuff, and smiles and says "thank you" even when you've been a complete jerk.

Well, Horyon is here, wanting help to put medicine on her chigger bites. Those little critters really love her. And it's almost 2 a.m., definitely time to go to bed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Revenge served Hot

So a coworker came up to me the other day and said, "Robert, here's my idea for getting revenge on my ex-girlfriend. I'm going to get her friend to come here and visit me. I'll take pictures of us doing the nasty, and email them to my ex. What do you think?"

Just to give some background, his ex used to work at Wal-Mart, and I was friends with her, too. She moved back to her hometown, some distance from here, and apparently took up with a new boyfriend. He says that she was with the boyfriend before they broke up, she says not. Whatever the details, the fact is that he got hurt. Not sure about her.

Of course I suggested not going through with it. I reminded him that revenge never leaves one feeling as good as one expects. I suggested that perhaps the best revenge on your enemies is to live well. He countered with the suggestion that perhaps he could just sleep with the girl and not take pictures. I had to concede that the new plan was an improvement, though still not ideal.

Later he told me that after sharing his plan with everyone in the store, I was the only one to counsel restraint.  I'm not sure how I feel about being consulted as a sort of external conscience, but when he later told me that he didn't send pictures to his ex, it made me happy to have been involved.

A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.