assigned seat
Friday, August 29, 2003
i woke up early in order to meet with the substitute who's been filling in until someone was hired. just wasn't happening. i eventually leave around 9 for the ss folks. i get a printout that says. yup. this guy's is who he says he is. i find it pretty funny. it's not like it'd be hard to fake - i guess the generic stamp is supposed to prevent that. i take it to the benefits people. despite their fellow office personnel being the ones who instructed me to get this paper, it's looked at with disdain, and i'm informed that i'll still need my card. i tell her that it should arrive in about a week. she makes this big public declaration that she's going to write this on the paper and does so with considerable flourish. i've had enough and leave. i realize later that i neglected to talk to the guy who hired me. as i'm lateral entry, i need to pay an $85 application fee. as previously noted, i'm broke. i'd talked to pops (he's out of the country. moms is up north as well). after some phone tag, he said i could use his mastercard and gave me the number. oh well. i guess i'll get around to it sometime.

i had a headache and went home. i wanted to head out to the school around when the school day was over to find out if i was teaching tuesay or doing orientation. i also wanted to set up the room, find out where the copiers, overhead projector, etc are located, bring home a few copies of the books, lesson plans, and other items in order to prepare. i lie down on the couch hoping to take a quick nap. 2 hours later, i wake up. i end up arriving at the school and the only car there is the principal's. she lets me in. i ask if i'm teaching tuesday or doing orientation. she laughs rather heartily. "you're teaching." she unlocks the door to my room and shows me where the breaker box is located. oh - the breaker box is not in the classroom. it's in the down the hallway. how convenient.

she mentions that labeling the breakers is a job for that weekend. there are no light switches in the rooms. if you want to turn off the, i don't know say you an overhead projector to teach, you need to flip the breaker. i need to find out if this shuts off the power to the computers as i suspect. i quickly determine that the air conditioning is not running. i ask about getting some more white boards (phrased it differently this time), she says that will be fine and that it'll take about a week. (we'll see.) there two overhead fans, but i soon realize they are not on the same breaker as the lights. i eventually get them powered. however as i'm moving desks, tables, filing cabinets, books, etc on a hot day without ac, i'm drenched. principal returns and says that she's leaving but will return later to set the alarm. i just need to close the doors behind me.

i continue arranging the room and digging through boxes and storage trying to find materials and arrange them. i was still feeling kinda sick so i started looking for a bathroom. i found a staff bathroom. i used it. i flushed. water poured out quite strongly. i started washing my hands. i realized it wasn't stopping. i'm the only one in the building. it's 5:24 pm on the friday of labor day weekend. i jiggle the handle. i continue doing so. to no avail. the principal mentioned that she'd return later that night to set the alarm. i keep checking. no change. she told me she was leaving to go to a retirement home. but i figured it can't hurt so i eventually look up her phone number (thanks google). i first talk to someone who sounded much older who repeatedly called for her a few minutes later she came on the line. after determining it was her - actually i asked if she was the principal and the person just said yes - i told her the situation. she said it'll do that now and then "especially if they're working on the lines" (i find this incredible - water was shooting out of the toilet) and if jiggling the handle doesn't work, it should shut off soon. she did mention that she'd call maintenance anyway. i left an hour later with no change to the situation. at the rate the water was flowing, thousands of gallons will be used before tuesday if nothing is fixed. i didn't have a key to a back room which is where i'd think a water cut off value was likely located.

i didn't see a water shut off valve, but i didn't look as hard as i could have and probably should have. as long as i really talked to the principal, i tend to think it's her responsibility now. if she does show up this weekend and nothing's changed, she'll at least be able to do something about it. i don't have any keys.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
my first day is tuesday.
i spent today getting hired and filling out forms. i'm sure they're tired of me since i at least attempted to read the forms. lady was like - this form says i did my job. in fact it had a list of things that i said i was informed about. that's protecting them - not me. i refused to sign it in advance. however i realized later i made a dumb mistake. it had a long list of things and she'd put checks next to everything she'd discussed. i reviewed it and i signed it. however i didn't mark out all the spaces next to items she had not discussed. there was nothing keeping her from filling in the rest of them. dumb.

i learn that i'm to receive 10 days of orientation/training. it's just not known when this will take place. the guy that hired me asked when i was starting. i didn't know. he said he'd check with the principal. he comes in when i'm meeting with benefits lady and says she says next week is fine. i say okay. he says monday will be your first day. i'm fine with that. benefits lady says, but that's labor day. i say so what. he's like, okay tuesday. i'm like, why not sunday? she gets snippy and says "i just heard him say tuesday so september 2." if it was sunday, my benefits and stuff would all kick in september 1 instead of october 1. i'm going to be rather pissed if i get sick in september or if they pro rate my salary since i didn't work october 1.

one of the forms required was for direct deposit. i did not want to direct deposit into my checking account (no interest and i'm likely going to close my account with that bank). i was considering this and discussing this with koala; he might have first mentioned the state employees' credit union. the credit union of course makes perfect sense. after reviewing the options, i was sold. i called to find out if i could sign up since i was just hired that day. i was told that'd be no problem; they could just call and verify this. i eventually get in an office and the credit union employee started the process. she started trying to get me signed up for savings and checking. i did not want checking. checking has a $1/month fee and a minimum $100 balance. savings is required to participate, and there's a $25 min balance with no fee. i have $33 in my checking account and like $15 in cash. i was not signing up for anything with a $100 min balance. i tell her i want savings and will use it for direct deposit. we're now getting somewhere. however when she goes to verify me, trouble starts. i'm not in the computer (of course not - i was just hired and have yet to turn in a couple of the direct deposit form). i realize the business cards of the person who hired me and the benefits person were not in my folder. i rush out to the car and do no find them. however as i'm returning, i see them laying on the sidewalk.

i return with the cards thinking i now have phone numbers of people who can say i'm an employee. first guy not there. second person (with whom i'd spent like 2 hours that day) transfers the call to someone else to verify employment. that person of course cannot. i tell the credit union lady to call her back and say my name and mention i was the person she'd spent 2 hours with that very day. she calls back but only mentions my name. after like a 5 minute wait, something happens and the credit union lady starts filling out a form and eventually hangs up. i ask her if the lady did not remember me. she did not. i found this quite odd. the guy who wouldn't sign all the forms without reading them, who reminded her of her boyfriend, who spent 2 hours with her that day...she does not remember.

so now i'm verified. she needs $25. i say i don't have it on me, but i can go to the bank next door and withdraw from my checking account. she says she'll start working on paperwork in the meantime. i'm back in like 3 mins. i'm fast.

i then head over to the social security administration building trying to get another ss card. despite my trip down memory lane, i never found it. they close at 4. i know old people have plenty of free time, but c'mon if you're in a service industry i'd think closing at 5:30 should be the earliest.
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
school b
well i heard from school b. i called to find out if they'd decided. i asked to speak to the principal but was told the principal wasn't available. i asked if they'd decided yet. i was told no and that the principal was still interviewing people. i really need to be employed and i was torn between the two schools. (they are quite different situations making it hard to compare or decide.) so i told them thanks but i was going to pick school a. i then called school a to tell the principal my decision. the principal wasn't there and the person on the phone said she didn't know when he'd be back or if he'd be back that day or if he'd check email, etc. i did not leave a message. soon thereafter i got a phone call. it was the secretary of school b asking if i'd told school a yet. i said no. i was then informed that school b had also recommended me for the position. there goes my easy decision.

i kept trying to figure it out. the principal of school b eventually called and wanted to know what i'd decided. i said i wasn't sure and that i'd call with the decision in the morn. i got a couple of phone numbers for teachers at the school to get their view on things. talked in depth with one new teacher. this morn - bright and early - i called principal b and asked if it'd be okay if i came and observed for the day. she was amenable.

so after an interesting day i went to check out. (my favorite little story was when i was looking around the room which would be mine and was trying to figure out how best to utilize it. it seemed clear that another white board could be useful. i turned to the "substitute" (she's been there 3 years in various positions) and asked "any chance for a white board?" she started to answer and then started laughing. quickly i guessed what she'd heard. she'd thought i said "any chance for a white boy?" she said she was about to respond "i hope so. they need you.") in the office i found out that the school district's hr department was looking for me. i called in but got a machine and left a message. there was a teachers' meeting and i my attendance was requested. i went. afterwards i got up with the hr department. i'm to show tomorrow with my social security card as well as the ss #s, addresses, names of two people who'd be my beneficiaries. this kinda seems like filling out a will.

i can't find my ss card. i've been digging through boxes of papers and kept items. i'm a bit of a pack rat, and this is a rather dangerous trip through memory lane. boarding passes, post cards, poems, pics, notes, bills, keepsakes, etc.

it seems my memory on some things isn't that great. i believe many of the memories recalled require something to prompt them. maybe i'm just repressing them.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
well, i never heard from school b.

gameplan - tomorrow morn call school b to find out their decision. if yes, decide which school (you'd think i'd do that now). call school a and let them know. then head to hr and get hired. then possibly to school a to "observe." i've been told it'd be unfair to have me take over thursday since other teachers had several weeks to prepare prior to classes. (current teacher leaves thurs.) however, i doubt this situation would last very long. i would think i'd observe the classes i'll be teaching while the teacher is still there. when he leaves, am i to observe a substitute teach my classes or am i to observe other classes while a substitute teaches mine? either way i expect to be teaching in about a week. i also have to start taking courses since i'm doing lateral entry.

i've yet to find out if i'd have my own classroom or i'd be a circuit teacher. i've also not yet found out what equipment/computers to which i'd have access. i could ask tomorrow, but i probably would say yes if they only gave me chalk and a chalkboard so i might as well find out after they commit to employing me.

so now i will have to wake up in the morn, change out of pajamas, keep clean, take classes, and teach classes. i think i'm going to need to find a watering hole.
Monday, August 25, 2003
one of the schools called to let me know they are recommending me for the position. still waiting on the other school. i should hear today. i guess i need to make a decision (and start getting dressed every day). either way, i should start being a productive member of society.

in the middle of the night i tend to be very creative in thinking about other opportunites. i started checking out alaska's dept of ed for teaching jobs. i came across the following listing on this site:

Position Number: 1550


Job Title:
Secondary Science/Generalist - Kipnuk

Open Until Filled


View the school districts in each zone.


Job Description:
Valid Alaska Type A Teaching certificate required. Housing available, running water.


2003/2004 School Year

Contact Information:
Lower Kuskokwim School District
PO Box 305
Bethel, AK 99559

Gary Baldwin
907 543-4886 Work Phone
907 543-4900 Fax
it makes me wonder if there's electricity.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
well, i have two separate meetings scheduled with principals tomorrow before 11. somehow i'll need to fall asleep tonight.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
ring ring
i sent off an email to the principal of one school. instead of a response, i get a lovely email from hotmail. tomorrow, dialogue will occur (even if i have to use a.g bell's dreaded instrument of torture. yes we have one that looks quite like that. ours was from pine plains, ny which was a test area for it's darn old.)
Friday, August 15, 2003
turned in app.
i believe i have a good shot at being a middle school math teacher. i need to call tomorrow to see if the hs positions are filled. there is one at a regular hs and one that's 6-12 and would be more individual instruction. this last one intrigues me. i doubt i'd be teaching calculus (or fractals), but it could be quite rewarding. income would also be good. i wants to visit some folks now that everyone is dispersing. (also i want to catch some acc football.) i'm also trying to get on the substitute list. i think i'd have a really good shot if i wanted to do middle school. for some reason, i've always thought high school and dismissed the middle school option. (i think i just know what's taught in hs and can't remember what one learns in ms.) i've pretty much thought only thought about teaching algebra and above. if they stuck me with advanced students, i'd be able to teach algebra; but i seriously doubt they'd give a newbie advanced students. watched the beginning of conan. he was sitting without makeup, guests or monologue. i wished he'd just have tried to kill time for the whole show by making fun of people. instead he cut to a rerun with marky mark. jimmy kimmel had the guy from friendster. dork. well, there's my life. enjoy it.

glasses still broken.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
local public schools need math teachers. no more blogging until i write a couple of essays to finish the application.

if you are starting to get bored, this site is much less pretentious.

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