Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Why not dream big?

I have been wondering lately why my dreams, I mean real dreams, have been so small. I have had daydreams that were nowhere rooted in reality at all, but since I applied for The Job, I've been dreaming bigger and bigger. Real dreams. About my actual life.

Why not? Why would I think, for one minute, that I was restrained from achieving whatever I wanted? And I'm not talking about abstract concepts of "success," either. I'm talking about:
  • Owning a million-dollar (or more) home. That I had built. To my specifications. With a blue tiled pool. Surrounded by a forest.
  • Owning a nice car.
  • Running my own successful business. Having too much business to handle, so that I have to hire someone.
  • Making so much money, I don't even have to think about whether or not I have enough.
  • Taking yearly vacations to the Atlantis resort on Paraside Island, in the Bahamas.
  • Or perhaps to Edinburgh.
  • Having a home office that looks like this (click "view in room")
  • Buying you this for a birthday gift.
  • Or perhaps this.
  • Or, maybe even this. Just for kicks. Just because I can. Just because I want to.
  • I would dress like this.
  • I would eat the best food.
  • I would drink the best drinks.
My life, in a nutshell, would be the best it's ever been.
So, Postiving Thinking Helps To Create The Reality People, am I being specific enough?

I suppose it would be, if I changed all the "woulds" to "is." Hmm.

Apparently, He's Evil, Too

Tom Cruise Kills Oprah.

Film at eleven. Or whenever your computer loads the thing. It takes a while, but it's worth it, I think.

But I am unnaturally obsessed with knocking Tom Cruise down to size.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Getting to me.

I know most of the known world only gets one week of vacation per year, if that, but teachers really look forward to their summers. We are loathe to give them up.

Recently, I've asked myself why, oh, why did I give this one up?

My work has taken over my summer, and I don't like it anymore. Well, I never really liked it, but now I find it rather annoying. I have to prepare curriculum for the class I'm teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays, and it takes a lot of time. I also have to attend and teach said class, which runs 5 hours at a shot. That's a lot of work.

And then there's the soap. Now, that is a bit more "enjoyable," but it is still done for money, and I sell it at a farmer's market, so that wipes me out. It's supposed to be cloudy tomorrow, though, so maybe it won't be too bad. If it's another 100 degree day, I may collapse.

Speaking of which, I think I should go load the trunk of my car, so I don't have to do it in the morning. When I load it in the morning, I inevitably forget something. Also, I'm not "running out" of soap per se, but "running low" might be a better description. I need to make more soap. That's a good sign, but doesn't bode well for my relaxation.

I've utterly given up my summer! My class ends Aug. 1, but after that I still have to finish grades, etc. Hmmph. That will leave me about 1 week before I have to go "back to work."


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fabulous day.

You must ask my friend E. about her new bracelet. It was purchased at a hip, chic, unique store on South Gaylord Street in Denver. It's beaded and bangly, and makes a very satisfying rattle. It was one of the highlights of our day.

I NEVER get to have days like today, and it wasn't even a day, it was about 3.5 hours. E. came down from Boulder, and we had lunch at a fabulous pastry-and-tea shop called Devil's Food. Our Arnold Palmers were refreshing, our salads were the perfect size, and the Flourless Hazelnut Chocolate Cake was too big, but we each finished ours. We should have shared.

After that, we strolled Gaylord street, stopping in the aforementioned chic shop where E. found her bracelet. After that, we found a stencil shop. I had no idea there were so many stencils in the world. Some people live for trompe l'oeil, apparently. The stencils were amazing. I fell in love with some very elegant fairies. Maybe for another day, though. Busy, busy.

By that time I was thirsty, so we stopped into a soda shop where I bought a bottle of Stewart's Orange Creme soda. We sat on the couch and chatted, recovering from the heat. Divine.

It was just so nice to stroll along, and have no appointments, no worries whatsoever. Absolutely stellar.

I can't wait until August 2, when I'm meeting my friend L. By that time, I'll be finished with teaching, and on vacation for REAL. That's gonna be another fun time.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Out of the comfort zone

A wise person once said, "How do you know what great things you may be able to do, if you don't try something that seems impossible?"

Who said that? Well, I did. I said it to myself, just the other day. I'm sure someone else has said something similar, at some point. I'm sure that someone was famous. I probably read it on a greeting card, once.

In any case, I was saying this to myself to keep from vomiting. My viscera were rumbling because I had done something that was decidedly out of my comfort zone.

A little history:

For those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning, it will come as no surprise to know that I have been unhappy with my current financial and career position as of late. I'm actually happy with the actions my career entails, but because I am paid so very little, not even enough to support my family, I've become decidedly unhappy with that, and have been taking steps to change it. So far, so good. I started writing my book, which is a good one, and will help teachers. I teach at the University part-time, for extra money and fodder for my book. I make and sell soap for pocket money.

And then it happened: my school district hired a lawyer to be the new superintendent.

I thought about it, and thought about it, and it came to me the other day: This is just the thing that we disillusioned, disenfranchised teachers have been talking about. Two of the candidates had education backgrounds, and strong credentials. Who did the school board pick? The dude with no education experience whatsoever. Just another example of how education backgrounds aren't valued in our society.

And then I thought some more. With our last superintendent, I emailed him with reports of my personal anguish regarding my financial situation. I thought to myself, "Self, email him. Let him know what he's in for."

Okay. So I did. In my email, fully expecting no response whatsoever, I nominated myself as Chief Academic Officer for our school district. This is the job that is immediate advisor to the superintendent. One of two Head Honchos. I wrote an email to him, nominating myself for this position. The email I wrote was sincere and straightforward, asking that I be considered for the job, and outlined my credentials and personality traits that make me a good candidate.

Now, I did this to prove a point. My point, in my head, was this: If they can hire someone with no education experience whatsoever to run a school district, then they damn well better hire an educator for Chief Academic Officer. And if they rejected me, as I fully expected them to, they had better have a reason better than "lack of experience."

So I sent the email, fully expecting no response whatsoever. The new superintendent had been at work for all of, oh, say, 3 days. I guessed at what his email address would be, knowing the format for our district emails. I sent it off, and thought to myself, "Good job, self. Now, get back to all that work you do."

Which I did. For exactly 33 minutes. Which is when my email rang.

Yep. It was the superintendent. I blinked. I couldn't believe it. He actually read my email. Furthermore, he actually seemed to take it seriously. He informed me that the job had been posted online with a job description, and if I was still interested, he HOPED I would apply.

He hoped? Hoped I would apply? Did that mean he actually read my email? Did that mean he actually thought my argument had merit, counsel?

At this point, I realized what I'd gotten myself into. If he took it seriously, which he must have if he wrote me back, then that meant I would have to take it seriously.

So I thought and thought. And thought some more.

And that's when I thought about my comfort zone, and why it might be a good idea to push out of it. How great people have always taken some sort of risk. How I hate hypocrisy, and how I should carry through with this, if I started it. I also thought about the transfer process last spring, and how disheartening it was to have thoughtless jerks dismiss me out-of-hand and not even read my resumé, because they saw I taught Special Education. I thought that, maybe, with the transfer process, I was shooting too low.

So I did it. I applied for the job, for real, online. My cover letter was the email I sent to the dude initially, with modifications outlining my agenda.

Who knew I have an agenda?

Apparently, I do. And apparently, after thinking and thinking about this, I've realized something about myself:

I would be INCREDIBLE at that job.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'm NOT the only one!

Please note my previous post, "Am I The Only One?" Apparently, I'm not.

Thank you to the people who created the above site. Thank you for validating me.