26 June 2006

I (heart) Chicken Kiev

If nothing else good ever came out of Ukraine, I'm okay with that, because there is Chicken Kiev in my life.

I just finished TWO SERVINGS of it for supper and I have to say, "YUM!"

What's there not to like about chicken, garlic, parsley, BUTTER, and bread crumbs.

A good Chicken Kiev will be nice and runny in the middle and satisfyingly crispy on the outside.

I've never eaten it with fries (as pictured). I just had it with a mound of asparagus just now. It goes well with just about any side dish, although I admit to never having tried it with rice.

Three cheers for Chicken Kiev (I suppose, to be politically correct, it should now be referred to as Chicken "Kyiv". Kiev is the Russian spelling and I understand that Ukraine has been trying to push the original spelling, Kyiv, since their independence from the Soviet Union).

On another note, I ate a quart of local strawberries in less than 24 hours. Plain (washed), without sugar or other accoutrements (whipped cream, etc.). I feel gross. I think I'll do without for a while.

22 June 2006

Time for a short story

I did indeed go on said job hunt, and I was pleased with the results overall.

I visited 17 schools in one day. I started about 2 minutes from the condo and ended up out by my parents' house, so I covered a lot of ground.

The first school I went to was P-9 (P=Primary, for those foreigners among you :P). The secretary apparently doubles as a bouncer and said that the principal doesn't meet with prospective teachers. I left my resume, and she said she'd pass it along.

Feeling discouraged (but thinking it might turn out to be a short day after all), I went to the nearby high school. The secretary there was much more friendly and open and said she'd check which of the principal or THREE vice principals (yikes) was available. The first one to she his head happened to be the art teacher at my own high school, back in the day. He recognized me visually, and remembered me better when I said my name. He invited me into his office to chat and I had a bit of an impromptu interview. This is what I'd been hoping for more of.

He was really impressed with my "specialty" in drama. As a fine arts teacher himself, he's familiar with lots of teachers who have an interest in a fine arts' discipline who turn out to be disasters in the classroom. I also told him I'd be willing to teach just about anything -- except math. He said that lots of strange combinations of subjects get cobbled together into a job.

In the end, it was very enlightening, and I had to curse myself the stupidity of not bringing a list of my references. I told him that two were from my alma mater, and I'm hoping he was interested enough to give them a call.

The rest of the day varied between uplifting and demoralizing. Depending on what school I went to and who I talked to, the responses were either, "Yeah, right," or "Yeah, great!" High schools were more interested in my drama experience, and junior highs were, by and large, more impressed with the core French. One JH principal told me to call so-and-so at the school board and tell him about my French immediately so I could go to the internal job fair at the end of the month. I sort of kept forgetting, and now said job fair is less than 48 hours away, so I think I'm too late.

I finished the day with a principal telling me that if the school board would stay out of it, she'd have had her hiring done 2 months ago and she'd have hired me on the spot. Very, very flattering, but a little contradictory.... She said nice things about the quality of my work (it's one of the mere two schools I've ever subbed at), and told me she'd call me if they were posting anything I'd be even remotely interested in.

A lot of administrators said nice things about my approach; that it was the exact right time of year to be showing my face; they liked the materials I used to supplement my resume and were mostly glad I dropped by. There were a couple who I felt were annoyed by my presence, and that brought me down a little.

But at the very least, I'm pretty sure I made enough inroads to keep my sub schedule busy next year. I've decided that if I don't get that elusive term position, I'm going to leave my current job at the end of September (take the rest of my vacation days and launch full-force after Thanksgiving). If I want to become a teacher, I can't spend all my time in the corporate world. The longer I'm out of the classroom, the harder it'll be to get back in (except for that upcoming "severe" teacher shortage). I no longer feel panicky about my finances if I were to become a full-time sub, and I heard enough good news to think that there's a term out there somewhere; I'll just have to be super-diligent about checking the job postings when they start later in the summer.

In conclusion (not such a short story after all), it was a good day.

20 June 2006

I feel sick

This is the most upsetting thing I've read in a while. I've had some horrible boyfriends who weren't nice to me in lots of ways, but I don't think I've ever felt sheer terror like this woman would have.

She makes some apologies for telling the story from a standpoint of "I should have known better", but I didn't feel that when I read it. I don't question why she did what she did at the time, because I know that we don't think reasonably when we're hurt, being hurt, afraid of hurting someone else or (worse) don't have the confidence that we're not responsible for what's happening to us.

It's an incredible story. Not because it's great, but because it's true.

14 June 2006

Start your engines

The dissatisfaction with my job continues.

As such, today the job hunt begins in earnest. I have taken the day off work and I will be visiting up to 26 schools to meet principals and/vice principals and/or drop off my resumé+intro sheet+"business card".

The goal is not to secure an actual job; it's to let people know who I am and that I'm looking and will be applying when they get posted.

Let the games begin.