Sunday, September 11, 2011


Tomorrow I start as an adjunct professor at a local community college, teaching one class twice a week. That's four hours of work each week, at a decent pay, but it's still only four hours per week. SOOO, I also have registered to be a substitute teacher in my district. This was originally supposed to be a last, last, last resort, and here I am starting that on Thursday. Even with both of those things, it's still not enough money. I also have gotten a job making minimum wage at a local nonprofit organization that I love. I have been wanting to work there for a long time. Maybe this is God's way of making room in my life to be able to do something that rewarding. But I didn't even know what minimum wage was when I got the job. That's how far removed I was from the whole scene.

Even with all this, I will be making (hopefully!!!) around $1750 per month. That's a little less than half of what I was making before. SOOO, with all this said, I have another job interview on Wednesday. This would be a full time job, making $2300 per month. Pretty crappy pay, but the requirements for the positions are only an associate's degree, so it's to be expected. IF (Big IF), I get that job, I don't have to substitute, and I would be making about $3400 per month. THAT's and income I can wrap my mind around to survive on.

I know lots of people who do just fine on $24000 per year, but after you have been making twice that for so long, you build up that type of lifestyle. I can't just sell my house in this market. I currently owe about $20,000 more than it is valued at. My student loans are not going to go away, and they run me about $500 per month. I have a car note, but that is almost gone. There are reasons I need a certain level of income, and I know I walked into this situation myself by quitting my secure job (that I was surely going to be released from in the next few months), and not having a savings. But I have learned my lessons. I know that it seems like it is all about the money right now, and it really is, and I apologize for that.

I have always been a big believer in giving back to your community and being a productive member of society. But when it comes down to it, I have bills to pay. Thus far, I have not even considered the idea of borrowing from my retirement, even though I found out yesterday that my sister has done exactly that. She is 10 years older than me and has wiped out her TRS. WOW! I have way more in that than she does, and I haven't even considered touching that. I have learned the lesson though. As soon as I am back on my feet, 10% of my earnings will go into savings. For any future event. Like this. Because this sucks. Big time.

Friday, August 26, 2011

new job development

I don't know the last thing I told you. On Wednesday afternoon, I got an email from Lone Star College asking me my preference on teaching during the day versus the evening. I responded back, and was asked to come in for a meeting. I met with the instructional leader for the division and was offered a position as an instructor to teach one class this fall, starting Sept. 12. I was UBER excited. And I accepted the job. It can turn into something like a full time career at the community college level. Except they don't call themselves a community college; they are a college system. I don't see the difference. You have to live within the district to pay low prices, and it's subsidized by the state. I think its a community college.

It cannot turn into a full time job there, because adjuncts can only teach a maximum of two sections per semester. Here is the kicker: the class is only $600 per month, which is good pay for four hours each week, but right now its all I have, and it severely limits others full time positions I can take. I have to have the luxury of flexible hours now, because I am unavailable on Monday's and Wednesday's before 11:30am. That's all okay, though, because of the future this might make for me. I can get on with another community college in the area, teaching two classes, and make almost a full salary. But that might take a LONG time. Other community colleges offer full time positions in this department, so after teaching here, I might be able to do something like that. Who knows, but for the short terms, I need more employment.

I need a total of $2400 per month. I hate to be so hard-nosed, but this really is about getting the bills paid. This is $600. If I sub on the days I am not teaching this class, that's another $75o per month. That still leaves $1050 that I need to pay my bills AND break up with my boyfriend. That means if I get an evening job for about 25 hours per week, I need it to pay $10.50. That's going to be REALLY difficult. My best hope is that this nanny thing pulls through in a couple of weeks or a month. I really hope that happens. I would love to work with small children, and it would pay enough. I will keep praying and hope it happens!

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22nd

So here is what I did today. Overall it was a good day. I went to bed too late, so I only got about five hours of sleep before I had to wake up at 7:15. Today was meet the teacher day at my daughter's school, and for her last name and grade level, it was at 7:45am. So we went and met her homeroom teacher, who will be her ELAR teacher, and dropped off her school supplies. MY GOD, that was a nightmare this year. My mom had bought most of her stuff - like paper and binders, etc - that she KNEW Elizabeth would need, but then I went back to get the stuff that hadn't yet been purchased. I have NEVER had to rely on someone else for help with school supplies, or had to limit Elizabeth to what supplies she got. I believe that giving children a positive view of forced education starts with making back-to-school shopping fun. But this year, it was "what's on the list, no you can't have that..." It still cost me $60. And we don't have her band supply list yet.

So then, we came home and took a nap. Elizabeth played Nintendo while I went up to my sister's classroom to help her decorate for the first day of school tomorrow. My sister (Michelle) said she was going to talk to her principal *again* about offering ANY position to me. That was #1 job thing today.

I then came home and started getting ready for my job interview at 4:30pm. I was calling to check on the status of my food stamps (now called SNAP!). I applied last Monday. I know, it's rather shameful when you cannot support your own family well enough to feed them, but it has been one of the ways I have gotten my monthly bills down to $1175, whereas before I was bringing home $3100 each month, and spending it all. I don't know feel a sense of entitlement for them, except for the fact that I have been a tax-paying American citizen for the past 14 years, and I am calling on my government in my time of need. I feel I deserve them more than those people who have never paid taxes, have been on them for years, and are not looking for work or any other way to get out of their situation. I know this is just temporary for me, and its one of the many reasons I proudly pay my taxes. But it still sucks that I cannot support my own family. So this was job thing #2.

Then I called this lady about this wonderful job in midtown Houston. It would be for a woman's half-way house kind of place that helps women remove themselves from substance abuse. I would LOVE a job like that. Yes, I need income, so I need ANY job, but a job like that would have fulfillment! Which is a huge perk. And I could do it! She didn't answer, but I left a message. Did you get my resume, here's my number, blah, blah, blah. #3.

Then I went to my interview. It is at a tutoring place, and this is my second interview there. It was a test case where I helped a little boy with his reading and writing skills while I was being monitored. I went in, did the best I could, felt mildly successful. She said she would let me know tomorrow. I feel good about it, and all, but it would just be a baby part time job. But I would have some influx of money, to pay some bills. If I can just get a check my the end of the next month, I would have a little money. #4.

Also, this morning, while I was waiting for Elizabeth to get dressed, I was checking HISD for a job my friend told me about at her school as the computer aide. She said it was posted, but I found her school's available postings, and that job wasn't there. Maybe it is BEING posted today and will be there tomorrow. I will check again, and probably call her this evening. #5.

One more thing, this weekend, I was talking to my step-mom and she was telling me how she works for the Texas WorkForce Commission. You know I am going to utilize the crap out of that resource. She told me today that she got into my account and tweaked my job stuff to make me more eligible, and gave me pointers on things I need to change myself. And she told me tomorrow to go and talk to someone at my Branch in Houston for additional help. #6

Here's the thing about today. It's just like every other day. I hope and pray and talk to God all day. I fill out applications, call connections, check for updates with things, etc. But here it is at 6:30pm, after business hours, and I am still exactly where I started. Jobless with $855 in my checking account. The hours stretch on endlessly, I stare at my phone, and make lists of things to check up on. I try not to think of Chinese food, and other things I want to eat. I try not to plan vacations in my head, because I don't have the money to go anywhere. So I read, I play Nintendo, I play on Facebook, all the while I am actually trying to figure out ONE more place to apply for a job.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jobs I have applied to

School Districts

1) English teacher at Spring ISD
2) ESL teacher at Spring ISD
3) Librarian at Spring ISD
4) English teacher at Channelview ISD
5) English teacher at Goose Creek CISD
6) English teacher at Aldine ISD
7) English teacher at Clear Creek ISD
8) Librarian at Clear Creek ISD - I had an interview for that one - it was canceled because the principal was forced to hire within the district
9) English teacher at Crosby ISD
10) English teacher at Deer Park ISD
11) Librarian at Friendswood ISD
12) Librarian at Galena Park ISD - I had an interview for that one - it was very promising. I felt so sure I got the job. I wonder if its because he called my former principal.
13) Multiple positions at HISD - yes, I know - HISD. I have NEVER put in an application with HISD. That tells you just how desperate I am for a job!
14) English teacher at Lamar CISD
15) multiple positions at Pasadena ISD - my home district - but I never even got an interview, and they ALWAYS try to hire from within. I think that is almost proof that I have been blacklisted.
16) Two English positions and an ESL position with Pearland ISD, still no interviews!
17) Cleveland ISD - English position

Other teaching jobs
18) paraprofessional in a elementary school for a private Catholic school - I am so not Catholic!
19) Sylvan Learning Center - Okay, so I had that interview this past Monday, and today they called me to see if I could come in and do a mock tutorial. I'm thinking she wants to hire me and just check to make sure and all... I really want the job. Because 1) I really want the job, 2) I really want ANY job, 3) I really need some form of income.
20) An ESL position through a non-profit organization in Pearland
21) San Jac Comm. College - applied for several teaching positions. No word yet.

Library jobs
21) HCPL Branch Supervisor - I had an interview for that too - they said it could take four weeks! That was last week.
22) Research Assistant with HCPL - there were actually two postings for that one. I was PERFECT and never even got an interview!
23) Clerical Assistant - This I just mailed the application this evening; we'll see

Other jobs with promise
24) Chase Bank - Okay, so this was a little unique. I was getting my bank statement and the banker asked me I had ever considered a job at Chase, and I said the only thing I was qualified to do was to be a teller, and all the postings on the Chase website were for bilingual. But she said she would submit my resume, so I sent it to her, and some one in HR filled out the application for me, and then all I had to do was do all the final touches.
25) medical thing - I don't know the name of the company, but a friend asked if I might want to work coding insurance for purchases, and I said sure - so I applied for that position. Still haven't heard anything
26) ANICO. My friend said I was a shoo in. He works there and said he might be able to help. The problem is that I couldn't even understand the job description for the job he said I was qualified to do. We'll see.

Other jobs
27) United Way of Houston. Last night I found this job as an office manager of a women's shelter. Sounds really promising, sounds perfect for me, and pays enough. I sent an email telling her that is a job I can truly stand behind. The problem with all this is that as much as I need a job for NOW, I want a job I can believe in. One that makes a difference in the world. This is that job. Just saying.
28) The Rose - several positions.
29) HHSC - doling out food stamps. I'm qualified and I could do it.
30) USA - several positions here. Like five or so
31) Work in - can't even begin to tell you how many jobs I applied to here. Between 15-20
32) Burnett Staffing - This is a head hunter agency. No luck yet. The woman even told me not to keep my fingers crossed. Apparently, I have no experience for clerical work. Except that teachers do all their own clerical work, and I have done that for the past seven years. Believe me, I have done actual clerical work, and the administrative junk I do for my classroom and students is way more complex than "clerical work."
33) Some job at Goodwill. Can't remember it
34) Enterprise. Did you know you have to have a Bachelor's degree to loan out cars?

Will keep posting


So I worked at resident camp this summer. I was a business manager, which is fancy talk for I walked around with a camera and took pictures of the campers in between helping out where ever I was needed. It was a blast, but I wonder if it hindered my job hunt. I knew since February that it was going to be very challenging to find a job for this school year. The internet at camp, um, sucked. There's no other word for it. The office had two computers for seven people. So when I got a computer, it was only a 50/50 shot that I would have working internet at my disposal. Then, to top it off, the internet was so slow, that I couldn't send or open attachments with my yahoo email account, only my Gmail. I don't know why Gmail worked better than Yahoo, but there you have it. And I'm not talking pictures and video; I'm talking word documents. As in my resume. As in I couldn't upload my resume to websites. As in I couldn't apply for jobs this summer, except during the one day per week I was at home - which is the same day that I had to do laundry, visit my family and friends, do any other errands, shopping, etc, that I needed to do. So I got very little job hunting done. I would spend at least six hours, closer to ten, each Saturday perusing the internet, looking for available jobs. But it wasn't enough. Since I got home on Saturday, August 7th, I have spent anywhere from two to ten hours per day searching for jobs and filling out applications. I have like four different resumes, prepared and ready to go, depending on the type of position to which I am applying.

Job Status

So I quit my job. I know what you are thinking. In this economy, that is pretty much suicide. I have never quit a job before. It was unavoidable. There was so much stress and hostile tension in that building, I couldn't function. She was such a blithering idiot. She would get all up in my face and cram her anger down my throat, and do everything besides call me an outright idiot. That's one thing, but she was clearly falling protocol to get a teacher removed - and with it the teacher's certifications. That's why it was unavoidable. If I stayed there another year, I would not be able to be a teacher any more. I LOVE teaching - it's my passion. So now, I decided to pick up my blogging again. I have said in interviews that I blog. Well, that was fairly not true. I have blogged. I have my blog all set up, and I want to blog, but I hadn't blogged. My blog was last updated in August of 2009. That means that my present tense verbiage is not entirely accurate. I would say during the interviews that it's not something I do very often. Well now I am going to do it so I can say its something I keep up with. Its a valuable Web 2.0 tool that I want to say I do. So I am going to blog about my job hunt.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thing #23


1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
I enjoyed finding all these resources for things I never knew I always wanted to do, and some I even wanted to do, but didn’t know how, like making the video.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
I hope to maintain learning about new innovations on technology. Thing #19 that pretty much summarized all the new web 2.0 things seems like a good way to keep going. It will be updated all the time because it is an award program.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? It really was fun (mostly) and that was highly unexpected.

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
nothing that I can think of. I liked the links. Maybe if you set the links to automatically open in a new window from the Thing page because I kept having to go back and find my page every time I forgot to right click. But that's me, not the Thing.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
Yes, but unfortunately, time being what it is, I would have to ensure pd hours for it before promising myself to all this time.

How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?
Pick one.

Now go and comment on some of the other Players' blogs - did that.