Thursday, July 30, 2009


Just a few notes from my first week at the new job... the drive is exhausting and I'm really glad that it will soon be reduced by 75%, from an hour and 15 minutes to about 20. (Math check?) Anywho, here's the stuff:

- the 404 page from NPR is wicked funny
- there was an article about my friend Stacy in The Washington Post today; I miss her very much. You can help her foundation by buying a print of one of her works of art.

Plus, a few shameless plugs for friends:
- My friend Katie is walking in the Breast Cancer 3-Day in October; won't you help her fight breast cancer?
- My friend Beth is running the Marine Corps Marathon in October for Team-in-Training in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Beth has been successful in her own fight against lymphoma. Help her so there are more stories like hers & my sister Tracy's (in remission from Hodgkins) and less like Stacy's & my dad's.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I am reading a book right now that is one of the best books I have read in a long long time. You should read it too: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It's amazingly well-written and inspiring. It makes me want to get a degree in public health and help people in the same way. (In the same way that reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver made/makes me want to keep chickens and raise my own food.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Old Ladies

According to the NYT (trend-seeker that it is), more older women are choosing to stay single after they are widowed.

Favorite lines: "In a strange twist of fortune — some might call it poetic justice — age can bring with it something of a reversal in gender roles. The rise of an old girls’ network, friends and family who see women through a lifetime of transitions, often contrasts sharply with the decline of the old boys’ network, the professional associations that secure young men’s places in the world but offer little support or solace in later life."


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weird Weekend, Lovely Day

These weekends during the summer have been strange. Really, the whole summer has been strange. It's weird to have time with absolutely nothing to do -- usually I spend a chunk of the summer planning or preparing for the following school year, but this summer there's none of that. I don't even know what I'm teaching at the next job! So it means that I end up with some days that I absolutely don't know what to do with myself. The packing is nearly done for the move -- I'll finish it after I come home from the family reunion in NH, so there's no big rush on it right now. Yesterday I found myself completely at loose ends with no interest in doing anything, not reading, not knitting, not watching TV, not playing around on the internet. I ended up wasting pretty much the whole day and not even in a satisfactory way.

On the other hand, today was a lovely day. I met a college friend in DC for brunch, did an errand for another college friend, and poked around the Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum. I saw an exhibit on art from the New Deal, which I enjoyed very much. It's sticky outside today, which is not so nice, but it's the first really summer-y weather that we've had so far.

Am trying this: "How to Fix Bad Ankles" & think I'd like to take a yoga class this fall when I have some time and am close to a studio.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I was just reading another teacher's lament that "kids these days" are never bored. I remember claiming boredom as a child. There's a lot more information and entertainment at my fingertips today than there was when I was growing up and for the most part, that's fine by me. I enjoy the speed at which I can look up a word in an electronic dictionary or an online encyclopedia. However, I also sort of miss getting distracted by the guide words on the way to my intended entry and learning something new.

Friday, July 10, 2009


After nearly 4 months and 35 job applications, I have been offered a new job. Thank goodness. I'm not dumb, so I took it. Nicest things about the offer? It pays more than the previous job and I don't actually have to move all that far -- I get to stay in Maryland. I'll be doing Social Studies instruction for an online high school run by a for-profit company. Very different from what I've been up to for the past 5 years, but could be interesting. Most of all, it's a job, with benefits and a salary and I can afford to live and pay my car payment and my student loans. It's still in my field and if I hate it, I don't have to stay forever.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I like to ride rollercoasters!

And clearly, this job search is another example of a rollercoaster, for sure. I didn't get the job in the midwest. I am applying for several more though, never fear. The new applications bring the total number of jobs applied for up to... 35. Yes, 35 jobs.

I have my last interview tomorrow with a for-profit "virtual education" company. I'm not totally convinced that I want the job, but then I think, hey, health insurance. And hey, it doesn't have to be forever. And the fact that there's no planning (canned curriculum) means that I'll be considerably free-er on evenings and weekends than I have been at prior teaching jobs. Of course, I'm also going to spend my days in a cubicle (or office)... Could be interesting.

I had to make a jaunt to the office supply store tonight to buy a new ink cartridge for my printer. I bought it, but have a few observations to make about the process:
- a new color & black cartridge together from the printer brand cost about $58
- a new color & black cartridge together from the office supply store brand cost $50
- a discontinued model of printer, new, cost $58

- Why does recycled paper cost more than non? Aren't old trees cheaper than new trees?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Few Notes

From today's NYT:

- An opinion piece by Sarah Vowell, one of my favorite authors, bemoaning the decision of Rhode Island to put to a ballot the suggestion to change the name of the state
- A travel piece about Mary Oliver & Cape Cod. I have been enamored of Mary Oliver ever since taking one of my many courses with Jane Crosthwaite, my favorite professor ever.

I should be packing, but I'm not. Fiddle-dee-dee, I'll think about that tomorrow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Getting Closer

With each passing moment, I am getting closer to my move. I have not heard from the job in the midwest, though I thought I would have heard by now. This makes me nervous on some level and I'm having a bit of trouble sitting still this weekend and concentrating on the packing. I'm doing a good job sorting my stuff as I pack, which I'm glad about. There are many many bags of trash ready to be picked up by the trash collection on Monday. Regardless of whether I get the job, I'll be well packed/sorted.

I also should do some thinking about a job interview that I have to do online (?!?) on Monday, especially if I don't get this job in the midwest. I know that I need to do the interview even if I don't actually want the job. Can I actually afford to turn down a job that I'm not sure I'll like?

Anyway, I'll be moving soon regardless. Oy.