Even though today is the first day of October and it’s been a chilly, rainy week and schools started at least a month ago, I still feel like I’ve been on summer vacation since May. This isn’t the nice beach vacation you have in mind though. It’s the forced vacation of being “funemployed.”
After what feels like a million unsuccessful interviews, I kind of had to accept the fact that for the types of jobs I wanted, I either should have applied for them while still in France, or I would have to wait until schools were starting up again, when theatre seasons were starting up again and therefore making new hires: August/September. Let me tell you, that made for a pretty depressing June and July.
(Sidenote: Is it really normal for employers to interview you twice and then never ever contact you again, even avoiding your multiple polite emails on the subject? I’m asking because this happened to me more than once, and it just seems extremely rude, not to mention inconvenient. I literally missed out on other work because I was waiting for potential employers to get back to me when they said they would! I understand not being contacted if I don’t make it past the first round: there’s just not enough time to contact every rejected candidate. But once I’ve not only spoken to you on the phone but also got dressed up to go meet you at your office…Is it really difficult to just send me an email telling me I wasn’t chosen??? I literally found out that I “officially” didn’t get one job through a social media post congratulating the woman who did. Can we all just agree to please stop doing this to people?!?!)
It’s strange how, when you have absolutely nothing to do, it becomes really difficult to do anything at all.
I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty motivated person with high-functioning executive skills, but I have never experienced this level of prolonged inaction, even on school breaks. My sleeping schedule got totally out of whack, and I couldn’t understand why I seemed incapable of staying organized and performing stupid easy tasks, like replying to emails. I was able to work a few weeks in June at a summer camp, and a few days a week after that babysitting, but spent many many many days staring at job applications, waiting for calls, struggling to build up enough motivation to get anything at all done. I have had about 5 blog posts queued up to be finished for about 2 months, but never could find the motivation to get them all done.
So, what’s changed? Well, I no longer have a lack of things to do keeping me from getting anything done! In fact, I feel like I am about to go from <0 to 18,583 in a matter of days. Two weeks ago, I literally went from being completely unemployed, to having 3 part-time jobs in one afternoon. For the past week, my days have been filled with orientations, tax forms, tuberculosis tests, background checks, and marginally successful attempts to readjust my sleep schedule.
So here’s what I’ll be up to this year!
I have already started teaching a one-hour drama after-school enrichment class at an elementary school in DC. Me and 12 kindergartners/first graders will spend every Wednesday afternoon this semester going on Ocean Adventures!! And, in a bizarre twist of fate, the school is actually the school my mom used to teach at, and they’ve randomly assigned me to lead this class in her old fifth grade classroom!! What are the odds?!
Following the theme of walking in my mom’s footsteps, tomorrow I begin as a substitute teacher in my mom’s current elementary school (and very possibly in her classroom, while she’s visiting my sister this weekend). The school is super cool: it is brand new (as in still technically under construction), and very creative. There are windows and fabulous natural light everywhere, and an indoor slide between the first and second floor, every child’s dream. I’m hoping they will hire me as a school-based sub (hooray $0.82 more per hour!), but even if not, I’m very excited about the flexibility this job will give me. I will hopefully even have the chance to sub in some drama or French classrooms, which I think would be really fun! I know that being a sub is not a super glamorous job….I remember how my classmates treated substitutes when I was a student….but I still think this is sort of an ideal position for me at this point of the game.
And finally, this weekend I’ll start a hysterical job at the National Building Museum leading their child birthday parties. I didn’t even know this was a thing, but I randomly saw the job posting on their website and decided to apply, because the Building Museum is one of my favorite spaces, and it’s seriously underrated. The birthday parties are mostly for the elementary set, and teach kids a little bit about very basic architecture/engineering/design, and then they can build with Legos, or create their own building out of recyclables. I think this will be a fun, kind of silly weekend gig, and I definitely won’t mind the extra pocket money! Plus, it will give me a chance to expand my photo collection of this beautiful building!!
So, now that I have so much to do again, I will hopefully be able to complete all of the posts that I have begun over the past 4 months. Of course the significance of today’s date isn’t lost on me…one year ago today was the first day of my assistant contract in France! Is it a coincidence that it’s also the jumpstart date of my first jobs in the US??
We have all been incredibly nostalgic this week, sharing old photos and flashback memories, and it just makes me so happy that we’ve all kept in touch despite the time and distance: I chat with Hannah and Julia daily. Practically hourly (although now that I’m finally working and Julia’s starting uni again soon, we’ll have to see how we do). Julia and I have been painstakingly cultivating a Snapchat streak that is currently at 35 days. My Italian group of friends (most of whom ended up back in France, the lucky ducks) is planning a big Skype conference for this weekend, which will probably be ridiculous!
I couldn’t be happier for this extended summer “vacation” to be over! Time to get my groove back, and start having fun again! ❂