Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am not wholly an unemployed bum. Still have a very part-time, very low-pay tutoring job on campus. Still no leads on full-time work, and in that void, some ideas have arisen.

1. Look in other cities for work. I could go to Big City Across the State, or to my dream place, City by the Mountains with the Cool Hippie Vibe. Pros: New start, new possibilities, possibility of a better job market. Cons: New start, new acquaintances to have to make.

2. Stick it out here, and keep sending out applications and resumes. Pros: Sensible, bound to pay off eventually, stay in familiar territory. Cons: Depressing, job market's not great.

3. Shelve the job search for a short bit and finally see Europe. Pros: Always meant to do it, have realized I can afford it with what I have saved, takes me completely out of my comfort zone and will likely force me out of my introverted shell. Cons: Costs money, will leave a gap in my resume, maybe it won't be that world-altering after all--kind of a cliche, that "backpack Europe" bit.

So those are my options. Number 2 is the one most likely to happen, Number 1 is runner up, but, oh, Number 3 ignited the dreams again. I'm only young once...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie reviews

It's been a while since I went through with mini movie reviews, so hey, insta-blog post.

Into the Wild - I'm late to the party on this one, but man, it was good. I've always wanted to just leave everything behind and live in the wilderness, but practicality has always held me back. Not so much for Christopher McCandless. The movie tells of how he left everything behind and took to the road with a combination of idealism and naivete, leading up to a gut-wrenching and heart-breaking ending. (Not spoiling much; this much is revealed in the plot summary of the book the movie is based on.) Few movies leave me sitting there stunned, but this one did. You may not agree with the protagonist, and frankly, some of his decisions are selfish and stupid, but you come to care about him.

Repo! The Genetic Opera - Re-watch. Loved this the first time I watched it; loved it this time as well. It's a rocking and downright bloody musical, and it makes my inner goth girl squee with delight. Love the style (comic-book-style panels for exposition), the costuming, the morbid humor (the villain's kids are just so disturbingly dysfunctional). Heads-up for an appearance from Paris Hilton as a plastic-surgery addicted pop singer...

Huh. I guess this is all I can recall. I don't generally watch many movies.

Now playing: Dark Tranquillity - My Friend of Misery
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, January 17, 2010


On a whim, I offered to make a friend a mix CD. I have an overall theme. I know some of the songs I want on there... and then I run into questions.

See, I haven't made many for friends before. In fact, I think I've only made one other one, and frankly, I had these same questions then:

1. How do I balance between songs I love and songs I don't know if the other person will necessarily like?

2. My tastes are a little, um, all over the place. If I have stuff from really disparate genres, is that OK?

I guess that's pretty much the extent of my concerns. Silly questions, perhaps. I admit to a tendency toward over-analysis of stupid things.

Now playing: The Gaslight Anthem - Here's Looking at You, Kid
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Academia is an odd duck...

So I've been keeping myself occupied with applying for jobs. Fun times, trying to sell one's self to a potential company. A (now former) colleague asked if I was OK with my decision. "About 75% of the time, I am," said I. And I think that's about right. Granted, the 25% of the time I'm not is a miserable spell, but it generally passes.

Most of the jobs have been non-academic. If anything comes through, it'll be a first for me, not to work in academia. A couple have been in an academic setting, albeit in a non-teaching capacity. A new listing I am interested in asks for my transcript, though, and I have a few thoughts on that.

First, where else but academia and possibly an entry-level job does one's GPA matter? Seriously?

Second, I "get" that a GPA is at least something of an indicator of who the person is and what that person is capable of. That said, it's not necessarily an indicator of effort or work ethic. My 3.8 GPAs in undergrad and grad school had much more to do with grade inflation and a friend's (rightful) accusation of my "riding the tide of mediocrity" than any amount of work or even dedication. I had degrees to earn, and I earned them. Done.

Grumblingly, I will shell out the money to send on my transcripts (a racket, says I, but that's a matter for another post). It can only help me, I suppose, and I am at the mercy of the job application requirements. Still. Bah humbug.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I've done so before, but here I go again: I quit teaching.

While I am not unconditionally saying I will never teach again, the truth is, I can't afford it right now. I need a "real" job, one that won't wait six weeks into the semester to pay or tell me at the last minute that I can't have enough classes to earn a living wage on. Bitter? Me? Not much. Mostly frustrated, honestly.

I have several resolutions for the year, but they can be lumped under one broad heading:
This is the year I stop putting my life on hold or just "get by" on the path of least resistance.