Friday, July 29, 2016

Big Life Changes

Back in May, when UNLV's English Department told me I could teach three sections of Composition in the fall as a part-time instructor--enough sections to get health insurance--I was hugely relieved. It was a safe and smart plan B. I could spend the summer searching for more fulfilling work, and if I didn't find any, I would be, at the very least, not homeless.

May passed, then June, then most of July, with little to no word from prospective employers. And as I realized that my plan B was likely to become The Plan, I was filled with increasing existential dread. I don't like teaching. I don't want to be a teacher. It's not so much the part where I'm up in front of the students that I dislike, but rather the preparations and the grading--and preparations and grading is the majority of the job. I value what teachers do enormously, and I believe that teachers ought to care about what they do, for the students' sake. My plan B was certainly viable, certainly pragmatic, but also certain to make me unhappy.

Then, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I received an encouraging email from a company in Cleveland. I completed a project that will allow them to further evaluate my suitability for a position there, and I found the work to be engaging and enjoyable. They haven't contacted me since I turned it in a week ago, but I'm not worried about that--it was 20 pages long, and I'm presumably not the only candidate. These things take time. I'm confident about my work, though, and I'm hoping I'll score an interview. 

In the same week, my cousin asked me to move to Amsterdam with them and au pair for the kids for a few months while they settle in and search for more permanent childcare options. Almost as soon as I firmly established that she wasn't kidding, my mind was made up. I know that I'm by no means guaranteed a job at the aforementioned Cleveland company, but I think I'd love to work there, and if it turns out they're willing to hire me, then that's definitely what I'll do. If I don't get the job, though, I'll go to Amsterdam. Teaching in Vegas would add nothing to my resume that isn't already there, and it wouldn't help me make connections that are beneficial to my future career. If I'm just killing time, I may as well do it in Europe. I can search for jobs across the pond, and I'll be able to edit my novel. 

In the meantime, I'm moving back to Chicago. My reverse cross-country road trip will begin sometime in mid-August so that a new Vegas resident can move in before the start of the semester. Already have some bites from possible renters, which is good. Part of me hates to be the stereotypical millennial moving in with her parents, but it's only temporary. With any luck, I'll be in Cleveland before long, and if not Cleveland, then Amsterdam. Besides, I like my parents. Also, their dogs. 

I think this is the right decision for me.

***

In other news, the air conditioning has broken at my apartment. The high today is 109 degrees. Three cheers for friends who are willing to take in you, your roommate, and your roommate's dog. 

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