Writing among other things

I haven’t written in so long that I feel like I’ve forgotten how.  I know that isn’t true for I’ve been writing a lot of fan fiction lately.  It seems like my time goes into writing that instead of more productive things.  I used to post a separate blog on one of my fanfic stories, but it’s being moved to fanfiction.net.  {Pen name MirandaBasilisk if you are curious.}  I’ve actually got three stories on there, one is being moved from my alternate blog, another is a new story, and the last is called a one-shot, where it’s only one scene.

Other than that, it’s just the usual.  Still some saga about my Dad’s estate, namely his car, and I don’t know what to do about it.  He still hasn’t gotten his glasses replaced so he can’t read and he’s really bored.  His hearing aids are missing too.  Some things just never end.

The job situation is still a joke.  My bestie implied I wasn’t trying to find a job, which really hurt.  That was yesterday.  Yesterday, my coffee maker broke and the dog killed a bird.  Not a good day. 😦

On the positive side of things, I am signed up to take my certification exams in order to teach high school.  I have a lot of studying to do and about a month to do it in.  I’ve already started, but I didn’t do any yesterday – I just felt so rotten.  I was seriously contemplating drinking – yes, drinking with my Klonopin.  I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to not feel for a while.  All our alcohol is on top of the kitchen cabinets and my husband wouldn’t get it for me.  I don’t know where the step stool went either.  In retrospect, maybe that’s a good thing.

I switched therapists.  That was a nightmare.  I never wrote it out and I should have.  I should have followed through by talking to my old therapist’s (intern) mentor.  She deserved to know why I left.  Now I pay for therapy, but this lady is so much better.  She is older (maybe early sixties) and she understands bipolar because she IS bipolar!  My pdoc recommended her – in fact, she used to be a patient of my pdoc.

OK, I’m sitting here listening to Nickelback and getting distracted.  I’m looking for a song I heard on the radio yesterday (ok, 2 good songs on the radio – yesterday’s high points).  I’m pretty sure it’s a Nickelback song, but apparently not on the album I own.  See how I old I am?  I used the word album.  GROAN!

Feeling Worthless

I’m feeling pretty worthless and full of regret. Regret does no one any good but still it seems instilled in me – when you feel like crap make sure to make it worse because it can always be worse. That sounds like a rambling bit of bullshit, doesn’t it?

The job search thing is going poorly. I am trying to apply to places but I don’t have what it takes to get a job, it seems. No callbacks, nothing. How can I be so smart and yet so useless? I emailed a friend of mine last week for help but she has been busy and hasn’t been able to get back to me. I talked to her tonight but she is swamped trying to get a proposal uploaded before the deadline. She didn’t hear me but I was near to tears when we got off the phone. Oh, it’s nothing she did, it’s just knowing that these are the things that she and I used to do together when I worked there. Things that I should be doing, had I not gotten kicked out of academia for being female.

I feel like crying and yet not crying. I want my old teaching job back. I even want the hell of a job I had here back. I wouldn’t let them make me crazy this time. It would be different, I swear. That’s probably just a lie I am telling myself. I’m still crazy, it’s just a matter of which level.

I’m having a hard time being a scientist, or thinking of myself as a scientist. I need a better research proposal for my job applications so DH suggested I research carbon nanotubes. There are thousands of papers on carbon nanotubes. Probably hundreds published every month. How am I supposed to come up with a novel idea centered around carbon nanotubes when there is so much out there and no foreseeable path? If this were a dream, I would be trapped, wading through a forest of carbon nanotubes finding no end and no beginning. No water, no light, naught but an endless forest. That’s how it feels right now. I feel hopeless.

They say there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I don’t see any light. It’s dark as pitch and I can’t feel my way. My mind is blank – devoid of anything useful. All my senses are gone – defunct in this quest for survival. All I want is to teach, to be a university professor, but apparently so does everyone else. The competition is fierce and overwhelming. My four years of experience teaching seem to be a waste of time as I don’t even get callbacks for phone interviews. Why has my life gone awry?

I no longer recommend going to college. I especially don’t recommend going into science. And whatever you do, don’t waste your time on a PhD. It’s fun while it lasts, but eventually it will mean nothing more than you aren’t employable.

Every Student Deserves a Chance

I was substitute teaching today and something happened in my last hour class that upset me. I had just enough papers for all the students but no extras. There was a teacher’s assistant in the room and she wanted to know what they were working on. I offered her the teacher’s copy but she declined. Instead she walked over and took a student’s paper. I thought she would give it right back but she didn’t. After about 10 minutes the student looked at me imploringly. So I took the teacher’s copy over to her and asked if we could trade. She looked at me and said, “[student] never does his work. He just sits there. That’s why I took his paper.” I gave the paper back to the student. Wouldn’t you know, he did the work! I was angry afterwards but it’s not my place to say anything. She had access to the teacher’s copy so why take a student’s? Every student deserves a chance to learn.

Me? A Good Sub?

OK, this has come up twice now, so I thought I should blog about it. Last week a student at the end of class said, “You’re a good sub.” He was a very nice kid as he helped with attendance and then put up most of the chairs in the room (last class of the day for that teacher). I said thank you and told him he was a good student. As for internalizing the compliment… well, it was all disbelief. Why would he say that I was a good sub? The class was average, my attitude was average (for me) and by average, I mean I had to raise my voice but I didn’t send anyone to the principal’s office. So why me? I discussed this in therapy today. My therapist asked why would he tell you that if he didn’t mean it? I’m sort of stumped on that one.

Then there was today. For my last class, a girl came up to me at the beginning and said, “Ms. Monday, you are my favorite sub. Can I have a hug?” I was shocked (again) and I gave her a hug. It wasn’t until later, when I was telling my husband about it, that he pointed out that maybe I wasn’t supposed to hug her. Maybe it is against school rules. Now I am going to worry about that all weekend. So I was having a great day until that little worry came up. Now I don’t know what to think. Hopefully it won’t be a problem, otherwise I’m out of another job.

Oh well. I’ve still been complimented on being a good sub twice now in the past few weeks. A few more times, and I might believe it. Maybe I was meant to teach secondary school after all.

MP3 Players are Lollipops

I learned something while subbing today. For a teenager, the right to listen to your mp3 player, or more likely, your phone, is like giving a little kid a lollipop for being good. That’s right, teenagers respond to bribery just like anyone else, and that bribery is music. You might desperately want to tell them to sit down and shut up, but you can’t, so you say the next best thing, which is please sit down and be quiet but that really doesn’t get you anywhere. However, threaten to take away their music, and they will quiet down.

I also got some supportive chats from the nearby teachers. One of them said the most important button on your phone is this one, and he pointed to the office. He said, it’s like John Wayne toilet paper. It’s rough, it’s tough, and it doesn’t take crap. He told me to use that button whenever they give me trouble and send them down to talk to the principal. Right now I feel fired up enough to send the whole class down there, but everyone assures me that it doesn’t take the whole class, just a few students. Man, I have to get up the courage to do that.

I have another day of subbing tomorrow. Wish me luck!


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Substitute Teaching

I’ve done five substitute teaching assignments so far, and I have mixed feelings about it.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad, some of it is…well, babysitting.

My first assignment was with the alternative school.  I thought I could make a difference but instead I got run over by the students. I should have sent some of them to the principal’s office. I don’t think I want to teach that again.  I’ve pretty much been run over by the students in most of the classes I’ve taught.  One of them even snuck out of class on me and she was called down to the principal’s office.  This was the last time I taught.  I managed to keep a hold of the remainder of the classes (just barely) and I was feeling so stressed when I got home that I took a Klonopin.

In my last therapy session, I talked about substitute teaching.  My therapist said I glow when I talk about teaching.  So why am I sucking down benzos in order to deal with it?  Why do I feel so stressed out?  I thought I liked teaching?  I do like teaching college.  That’s what I want – a college teaching position.  But tonight, even the thought of teaching college stresses me out.

Hopefully this will pass.  I have to get back on the horse again, but I don’t think attempting the alternative school is the right horse to ride.  Can’t I have a nice English or Social Studies class?  Well, I could have but I didn’t click the assignments quick enough – someone else got to them before me.  (It’s a computerized system. If I don’t accept the job online, then I’ll get a call in the morning if there are openings.)  All I can do is keep checking the website for openings, and turn my phone on in the morning.

As for now, I think I will call it a night.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Unhelpful Employment Office

I shouldn’t be too hard on the lady, she really is trying to help.  Maybe there is a grain of truth to things, which is making me feel uncomfortable.  Let me start over.

I’ve been working with this nice lady from the employment office, who I will call Carol.  She is very perceptive and a bit of a counselor.  Her job is to help people find jobs.  She teaches a class on job hunting (it was a requirement for me to take it) and one of the things they talk about is going door to door with a resume in hand meeting receptionists and finding out about the company, then leaving your resume with them.  There’s a story about an IT guy who lost his job and found a new one within three weeks by going door to door. (So to speak.)  She’s telling me to do this too.  Right.  When I have a very specialized background?  She also said that I need to focus my job search in order to focus my resume.  She’s not going to help me with my resume until I can determine what fields I want to focus on.  I feel helpless.  If I knew what the hell I wanted to do, wouldn’t I be doing it?

Research: yes, I enjoy it, but do I love it?  No, love is too strong a word.  Am I any good at it? Yes and no.  I’ve always been good at some aspects of it but poor at other aspects of it.  I’m not a good organizer and sometimes I have trouble thinking outside the box.  Yes, seriously, a bipolar who can’t think outside the box.  I get curious about things, but then my curiosity fades and I’m bored.  (I am so easily bored.)  I don’t know if I am really any good at research or not.  I love analyzing data and looking for trends, which then lead to answers.  Is that research?  Yes, but you need to have an idea to explore in the first place.

College Teaching: yes, I enjoy it, but I don’t always have the answers.  Students expect that you always have the answer for things.  It took me years to make my intro courses into something I could be proud of, but my upper division courses were always a mess.  I couldn’t even follow things in the textbook – it was worse than being a student the first time through.  How did I get my PhD in the first place?  It must have been a miracle.  I’m doubting my teaching skill as well.  I went to Rate My Professor .com and looked up my scores.  Pretty sad. 😦  Well, sad for someone who really cares about what they are doing.  I got an overage average score of 2.5/5.

I’m not going to find a job teaching now, we’re well into the fall, so that’s irrelevant.  I thought about high school and Carol asked me why I hadn’t applied for my teaching certification.  She pointed out that there must be a reason.  I didn’t tell her this, but yes, there is a reason.  I’m terrified.  I’m afraid I will do it and get the job and discover that I hate working with children/young adults.  She suggested that I try substitute teaching.  It’s $60 for the background check and fingerprinting.  It pays $50/day.  So two days worth of work and I have paid for the background check.  I guess it’s worth applying.  It would at least tell me if it’s a job I would enjoy, tolerate, or utterly loathe.

I mentioned putting on weight.  She said “you know the solution to that, don’t you?”  Get up early, go for a walk, etc.  It will help with the depression, give you more energy, blah, blah, blah.  Like my problems with depression are going to be solved with a walk every morning?  If that were the case, I wouldn’t be on Paxil, Lamictal and Geodon.  And even then I’m still struggling.  No, she doesn’t know the details.  And bipolar is one big detail.

I know she’s trying to be helpful, but telling me about her life and how she tries not to let her impending divorce get her down doesn’t make me feel any better.  I feel worse.  She has a full-time job, kids to raise, etc.  I have none of that and I still can’t get it together.  Tomorrow is another day was her message.  What I hear (emotionally) is that she can do so much more in her day than I can do in mine.  Just writing this post has taken me nearly an hour and I haven’t even started editing yet!  I’m so slow at everything, which is why I don’t work well in a fast-paced environment.  (Although, believe it or not, I do type relatively fast and with two hands!)

So why am I writing all this tonight?  It’s not to bash the nice lady at the employment office.  She means well.  And I think door to door resume submissions might work for some people, but won’t work for me.  I don’t want any of the jobs I’ve already had.  I don’t know what I want.  Maybe it’s time to start my own business, except I don’t think I could handle that either.  What I do know is that my last job was a mistake (except financially) and I should listen to my instincts in the future.  Unfortunately, my instincts aren’t talking right now.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.