The Dream Keeper
Bring me all of your dreams,
Bring me all of your
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.
- Langston Hughes
The other day, I said, “I had a hard day.”
I heard a snort as the other person quipped, “What did you do?”
I don’t work in the summer. I’m a substitute teacher, which means I don’t get paid in the summer. This weighs on me (like Eve says in The Mist Chasers), like a pile of Hummers. I’ve applied to the few teaching positions that have popped up, but have heard NOTHING. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I get a polite e-mail that a position has been filled. I plan to spend the last two weeks trying to reinvent myself… again. I will apply for anything education/writing related that I could find.
There’s nobody more disappointed in me than me. I know how the economy is. I know I have never had my own classroom. I know there’s a gap since I student taught. I know.
That same day, the hard day, I spent a few hours with a friend. Her father has Parkinson’s and is dying of cancer. She’s going all the way home to Malaysia, possibly to see him for the last time. But she’s going alone. Her husband and children can’t come this time because they can’t afford it. Her MIT PhD husband was laid off a year ago and can’t find a new job. He’s looked in a variety of related fields. She was a stay-at-home mom, but now has a part-time job that covers a few expenses. This woman hopes something happens soon because his unemployment ends soon.
By the way, she has a PhD from MIT too. She’s gone back to school in the hope that it will help her get a job in a different field.
I told my friend I’d resigned myself to taking a class in Special Education, hoping that would make me more employable. While I told her my woes over work and going back to school and needing more money to get a bigger place, she offered advice. Our commiseration only slightly lessened the reality of the places we where we find ourselves stuck.
The day began when I opened my e-mail and had received a rejection from an agent. Each rejection stings. And the stinging lingers depending on my mood, how much I liked the agent, and how many rejections I’ve received on a particular manuscript.
You are welcome to view the query here: http://theresamilstein2.blogspot.com/2010/08/mist-chasers-query.html
My daughter left to stay a few days with my in-laws the day before. She was all hugs and tears before she left. But after I got a call from a happy girl in New York, she hadn’t called again. Not even for tuck-in time. I was relieved she was having fun but I missed her.
I sent out another query. I participated in http://WriteOnCon.com. I did laundry. I ran the dishwasher. I read. I fed my son and his friend who had slept over breakfast. I had lunch with my son.
I went through the motions, the whole time thinking about being stuck.
I hate wasting the gifts of summer days worrying.
But I can’t help it.
A couple of weeks ago I was so down, I considered applying for a car insurance job. When I mentioned it to my husband, he said, “There must be a middle ground between teaching and working in insurance.”
At this point, I feel like it’s about sacrifice. I need to do what is good for the family. It’s been too long to do what I want to do when it’s not happening. But then I thought about the two or three weeks of vacation I’d get a year. I’d have to save them all for sick days, children’s school activities, and general things that came up. And next summer I’d be without them. Whose sacrifice would it be to have a desk job?
Perhaps a Special Education assistant job would be worth checking out, if there are any more positions available. It would be steady, full-time income, and I’d be paid in summer. Sure, they could put me in any class, in any school in Cambridge, and move me any time, and my job could be to shadow one child, or to help in a classroom full of children on individualized education plans. But this job (if I can obtain one) combined with Special Ed. classes may make me more marketable.
It’s a little late for this semester, but I could adjunct. The pay is appalling but it would get me out of subbing a few days a week. That is, if these positions are any less competitive as middle and high school ones.
Anyone want to pay me to write on a regular basis? On-line? Newspapers? Magazines?
I don’t know what to do.
So I write, query, job search, apply, and wait. Rinse, repeat.
When I return home on Sunday, I will spend most of my time doing all I can to apply to everything that makes sense as a job prospect.
Then what will my blog title be?
Special Education Aide’s Saga?
Insurance Adjuster’s Issues?
Overwrought Adjunct’s Odyssey?
Freelance Writer’s Foibles?
But secretly I hope it will be:
Published Author’s Publications (Okay, that’s redundant.)
YA Author’s Yarns (Yeah, that sounds cool.)
Social Studies Teacher’s Saga
Which will I choose or which will be chosen for me?
Yesterday, my sister-in-law said I hadn't peaked yet. I hope she's right.
After today, I won’t have much access to the Internet. But I’ll catch up with all of you when I return from my trip. I’m attending a wedding in Virginia. Have a wonderful week!