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It's All Good

What a swell couple of weeks.

  • My car broke down. Numerous times. Towed twice. Four separate shops. About a thousand dollars total. I dunno, maybe it's fixed now.


  • Kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • My uncle, my dad's sister's husband, passed away. Not a close family member, I haven't seen him in many years, and he was quite elderly, but still. My dad and his wife called to pass this information along; simultaneously, one of their best friends was hit by a car while jogging and badly injured. He'll be okay, more or less, but both of his feet were broken.


  • Kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • High surf and no sand build-up over the summer months have meant serious erosion problems in the front yard. The first significant swell of the season took out one of the coconut trees completely. The trees are tall, old trees, probably fifty or more years old. Two of the remaining three are secured by ropes, and despite having been winched into place once, are again leaning precariously. The high tide surf line is now maybe twenty feet from the front porch. Unless there's a significant change in the ocean currents, I'd estimate this house, which has been here for nearly fifty years, is headed for the briny deep in the next three or four seasons. Sooner if we have monster surf this winter.


  • Kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • I've been sick with a wretched, lingering cold. Work -- student teaching, but still, it's my current "job" -- has been miserable because of it.


  • Kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • I failed my hiring interview with the Department of Education. Everybody else from my classes has been acing this interview with no problem. One woman said her cell phone even rang during the interview, and it didn't affect her score.

    I had the distinct impression from the first handshake that my interviewer took an instant dislike to me. He did not smile at all, and he was barely civil. This is not "sour grapes" talking, I've thought about this a lot. After the first five questions (out of 22), I almost asked him, "is this interview over? You're not even listening to my answers." The guy didn't even look at me after about the first three questions. His eyes were wandering all around the room. He was just waiting for me to finish talking so he could ask the next question. At the end, he told me immediately that "I won't be recommending you for addition to the list of qualified applicants," or something like that. I asked him if he could give me any indication as to why. He was evasive, saying something about my answers not being "student-centric" enough, and implying that my score fell far short of the requirements.

    Nobody else has had even the remotest problem with the interview, even though they've been nervous going in. Everyone has had a different interviewer.

    I'm going back and forth, feeling alternately furious at myself for failing the "easy" part that everybody is passing without incident (not that I went in expecting it to be "easy," or taking it lightly; quite the contrary, I conducted myself seriously, avoiding my usual more "casual" approach laced with jokes, asides, and commentary), and feeling angry at the DOE, and this interviewer in particular, for being jerks.

    My plan is to talk to my school principal to see what advice she has. I have not heard anything back from my university observer after I emailed her my weekly report, in which I asked for her input on this situation. Her silence, too, disturbs me. I'm suspecting that after this, she won't pass me for my student teaching. After all, she's a former DOE employee.

    Supposedly there's "usually" a "second chance" to interview in these situations. I'm supposed to wait for a letter from the DOE explaining my options... which my interviewer did not mention -- I got this information from another of the DOE interviewers on site, who seemed to have a completely different attitude than the guy I talked to.

    I really have no idea what I did wrong. As in any interview situation, I can, in retrospect, think of a few minor things I might say differently, but I can think of no major errors or mistakes.

    Maybe I'm just not cut out for DOE employment. It would have been nice to get the feedback, like, A YEAR AGO from the university or the various schools in which I've been working!


  • Still, it kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • When leaving the school interview site, I was stopped in traffic a few blocks away, and suddenly I noticed a woman pounding on the side of my car and shouting at me through the window. I lowered the window a bit, thinking she might need some assistance. "You almost hit me back there!" she screamed. "I what?" I intelligently replied, completely at a loss as to what she was talking about. Was she a pedestrian darting out between cars, or what? "You almost hit my car, back there by the school!" She yelled. "You have no business talking on a cell phone while you're driving!" "Sorry," I said, shrugging, and rolling up the window. I still have no idea what she was going on about. I was driving extremely carefully, as this was down town where I rarely go and where traffic is too congested for my comfort. I had traveled three blocks from the school, and had made two right turns, slowly, with the light in my favor, before being stopped in a straight line of cars. This woman had emerged from the car behind mine, stomped up to me, pounded on the side of my car, and gone off. I would think that if I'd nearly hit her car that I would have noticed, seeing as how I'd been driving only fifteen to twenty miles per hour; and if I'd nearly hit her, on straight roads with two corners protected by lights, it seems that her car would have been ahead of mine rather than behind me. But hey, I also don't understand how I failed the school interview, so maybe I'm having epileptic seizures or something and blacking out? Whatever.


  • Kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • It rained yesterday. All day. And all last night. Not just sprinkling: rain. Flash flood advisories in effect. Everything is soaking wet, gray, and dismal. It's raining again tonight. Downpour. Deluge. Like in The Unicorn Song.


  • But that's nothing compared to: 655,000.


  • A relative from the mainland phoned. He was calling to say his wife had kicked him out of the house and wants to file for divorce. They've been married about two years, and have a 9-month old baby girl.


  • Still, this kind of pales in comparison to: 655,000.


  • There was an EARTHQUAKE here this morning! No damage at all on Oahu, but two definite tremors. The whole house shook. It's the kind of thing California people would laugh about; here, the Governor, always looking for an angle to acquire more federal funds, declared a statewide disaster. The power was shut off on Oahu all day long... even though there was no damage here at all; power in Kailua-Kona, the epicenter of the quake, was restored within two or three hours. I suspect the power shut-down is part of the disaster relief ploy -- the state can claim that hundreds of thousands of households were without electricity: which is true, because the power company shut off the system by choice.

    So, after everything else this week: an earthquake!


  • A thought with which to close: the United States is a "representative democracy." That means the actions of our government directly represent the will of the American people. What, then, are the implications of: 655,000.

    Yay, democracy!


  • But remember: it's all good.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
pastilla
Oct. 16th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
WHAT???????????????????The DOE situation is SO bogus. I am speechless.

No, I'm not. I'm furious on your behalf.

What the hell is a student-centric answer? What garbage. There is no way you are not a student-centric instructor . . .

Something is wrong. As a student teacher, do you have any standing with the union? When you are finished punching a hole in the wall, it's time to file a grievance.

As for everything else this is "all good," this is definitely a crappy astrological collection of stars or something.

So sorry you have to jump over this last stupid hurdle . . . but you WILL jump over it and leave that stupid interviewer with egg all over his face.

It's NOT YOU. IT'S THEM . . .

More later . . .
pastilla
Oct. 16th, 2006 10:56 am (UTC)
Did not mean to sound glib about the astrology remark . . . seriously, let's hope that there is just some freak conjunction of stars or planets which will pass . . .

So much crap to deal with in such a short time, however. FWIW, sparkly light sent your way . . .

:: sprinkles over car ::

:: sprinkles over erosion ::

:: sprinkles over life ::

davidd
Oct. 19th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Nothing glib about it... I was thinking the same thing about planetary alignments.
pastilla
Oct. 16th, 2006 10:30 am (UTC)
re: 655, 000
It kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it, how much more apathy the American people are going to show towards this?
Could there be a national strike --- one day off work --- to show disapproval of the US' foreign policies? Does the spirit of The Boston Tea Party still exist in this country?
pastilla
Oct. 16th, 2006 10:47 am (UTC)
re: health

Battling a virus just makes everything more miserable . . . I'm assuming it's the same one that is currently flattening the west coast . . . three weeks later, I am still taking cough syrup with codeine to keep the hacking at bay. I've never had a cold that's hung on like this one before.

phunction
Oct. 17th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
this whining, the both of us... there must be something in the water.

i hope this week is starting off better for you.
davidd
Oct. 19th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
Yeah, there's something in the water... my front yard!

So far, so good on this week. Keepin' my fingers XX'd for all of us!
pastilla
Oct. 17th, 2006 10:27 am (UTC)
last comment . . . (maybe)
Please don't give up. It's clear you are a great teacher . . . STAY ON THE SIDEWALK. SOMEBODY ELSE IS GOING TO HAVE TO MOVE THIS TIME :)

From your vast experience with old-sci fi and monster movies, you know there is always the classic "last unexpected attack." Everyone thinks the chaos is over . . .and then . . .The Creature opens one bloodshot eye and grabs someone.

It's happened.

You're going to need lots of mental stamina here, Major Matt.

You probably have a lot of support in town, but let me know if you are in need of practical advice how to prepare your last attack.

I will be happy to help in any way I can to brainstorm ideas how best to complete this last leg of the mission. I specialize in being attacked inches from the finish line and finding ways to get myself dragged past the ribbon in a lump of singed and exhausted flesh.
davidd
Oct. 19th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: last comment . . . (maybe)
The wisdom of Miss Mannequin never ceases to amaze... or amuse... me. Leave it to Pastilla to actually make me laugh over this! The analogy is perfect... and is enough to keep me going! Thank you, and thank you for the offer of further input.

I am fortunate that the staff at my current assignment are very supportive. The principal has offered to "coach" me once a second interview is scheduled. She also talked to the interviewer to find out what his concerns were (despite what he told her, I still don't understand how he could have come to the conclusion he did... but maybe that's why I need coaching... and a different interviewer!).

Again, thanks for making me laugh about this. I've been pretty... irritable... since last Saturday. I think now I can finally mellow out!

(re: sidewalk. Maybe I'm better off when I'm invisible; when people actually see me, they don't like what they're seeing! Of course, Monty Python illustrated the hazards associated with Not Being Seen. Can't win either way, I guess.)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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