Saturday, April 24, 2010

How's that for gratitude?

I dragged took my younger sister to a couple thrift stores today. While we were looking around, I found several things that I thought would be perfect for her--the culminations of her heart's every last desire, in short. She--ungrateful wretch--shot down all my ideas.

First, I absolutely knew beyond a doubt that she had been lusting for a jewelry box with a wooden mallard atop the lid. A wooden mallard--how cool is that? She didn't want it.

OK, fine, so she had a thing against ducks. Whatever. I found another box that could function as a jewelry box if she wanted, and it offered more generous space to boot. It was a cigar box that had been finished off with some sort of sealant and a painting of clowns on the top. Clowns with sad faces, red noses, and one with a receding hairline. It was only moderately creepy. Again, this was a no-go.

We quickly passed over the statue with the vacant eyes and wide smile, and there I saw what I was confident she would love. Right next to the '70s-era owl statue with the glaring green eyes, I found a statue of two people. They were locked in a kiss. Hey, passion's cool, and besides, it would lend instant class to whatever room it was put in, especially when your gaze drifts down from their faces to notice that the guy is totally groping the chick's boob.

Suffice it to say, she didn't want that one either. Sigh. At least I have a few more months to come up with a suitable birthday gift.

Now playing: Rise Against - Paper Wings
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keep slogging on

On a good day, I can send out job applications with something remarkably akin to optimism. Well, that's a rather strong word--guarded optimism, perhaps. On those days, when straggling rejection notices return to me, I laugh them off and gleefully talk about my upcoming wall art project. I may not have a wall worth of the fuckers yet, but the collection is growing.

Other days or times, like this morning, are not so great. Tired from poor sleep and trying to shake off some lingering moodiness, I opened my inbox to find a free and unsolicited shredding of everything wrong with my resume, courtesy of a job listing site. This was, I knew rationally, a set-up for the pitch at the end of the e-mail: "But if you pay us, we can write you an awesome one!!!1!" Still. It smarted. I'd be lying if part of me didn't think of bursting into frustrated tears.

I moped for a bit, though, and I stewed. I gave in to the worrisome fears: "What if I don't actually have anything worth offering to a company that will pay me a living wage? What if this attempt to leave academia also fails? What if I made a mistake in leaving? What if I have to go back in the fall with my tail between my legs and my pride bruised? Am I going to be stuck for the rest of my life teaching reluctant, under-prepared college freshmen things they should already know how to string coherent sentences and paragraphs together, without ever having stepped outside of academe?" Life looks pretty bleak on little sleep and no coffee yet.

And then I put on my big-girl panties and a pot of coffee and decided to try a couple resources for job searching/career changing advice. Score. I found Leaving Academia and numerous recommendations for a book specifically geared toward what I am trying to do. In picking up the book from the campus library, I also picked up several books on resumes and cover letters.

Incidentally, the advice in the books coincided to some extent with the contents of the e-mail that nearly undid me earlier in the morning. And here's the kicker--the criticism didn't hurt because I felt it was uncalled for; it hurt because it cut straight to the heart of some of my nagging fears. I hadn't yet constructed my resume in a way to emphasize my assets and make some of the idiosyncrasies of adjuncting less glaring. (For one thing, put in strict chronological order, my resume makes me look like a job-hopper--until you look closer at the dates to see that at any given point 2 or 3 of the positions were concurrent ones. I'm told HR folk don't look twice.) I had a mission.

And thus my meltdown was over. I opened up a new document and constructed my resume again and went back to square one with my cover letters. The search continues. It's getting a bit wearying, but I've lived the alternative and don't wish to go back, not without having at least seen what else is out there.

Now playing: ELUVEITIE - Omnos
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rumors of my demise, etc. etc.

In the absence of blogging, here's a smattering of what I've been up to:

  • making things with yarn
  • working as many hours as I can without going over allowed hours
  • watching Dr. Who
  • sending out job applications to other cities in a slowly widening radius
  • reading interesting books
  • planting flowers and herbs
  • getting back into evening walks
  • working consciously on correcting negative and self-defeating patterns of thinking
  • reconnecting with friends and acquaintances and being open to meeting new people
  • teaching an acquaintance's granddaughter how to crochet
  • catching up with my unread National Geographic magazine stack
Huh. Guess I've been busier than I thought.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

If I could just send this as a cover letter...

Dear So-and-So,

I may not be exactly what you thought you were looking for, but please, please, please take a chance on me. I can make it so worth your while if you'd just give me the opportunity.


The Twit

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I mentioned in my last post that I was expecting another package in the mail; it came a couple days ago. What was in it? Wanna find out? Of course you do.

Look at it, so mysterious and rectangular and brown and... boxy. Let's open it, hmm?

Gizmos and gadgetry! A newfangled device to enable synchronous communication at the touch of a few buttons!

Shinnnnnnnny.... Dunno why I held out so long, but this... this completes me in an intangible way. It feels so right in my hand, and I now have a whole world of information at my very fingers.