The Scamp Whats and Ifs

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. I have been off for 6 weeks, and I am not sure that I am ready for the vacation to end. The last 6 weeks have been tough. Since I cut ties with the EDD program, I have been trying to figure out what is next for me. The community college Gods are smiling on me and there are an abundance of full time English positions opening for the fall of 2015. There are 250 people applying for each of these positions, but I am hopeful that my application will stick out to someone on one of the hiring committees at one of these community colleges.

Of course, talking to a lot of my friends who are also applying for these positions, I am starting to worry a bit. A lot of them have great relationships with  their professors and with the people that they teach for now. I do not have this. I have a very strained relationship with the college I last attended, and I am too new in my job for anyone to really know my name. I’d much rather that my application was judged based on my skills, qualifications, and relevant teaching experience, rather than what someone who I worked for a couple of years ago. This further showed me that I am not good at the game of politics that exists in the field of higher education. I just want to be in a room teaching students how to write and help them progress in their academic career. The application process, the way I have to “sell” myself is very hard for me.

This whole process, and the last 6 weeks has caused me to utter two words over and over: What if?

As Romcom Letters to Juliet notes:

“What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?”

what
(h)wət
pronoun
  1. 1.
    asking for information specifying something.
    “what is your name?”
  2. 2.
    the thing or things that (used in specifying something).
    “what we need is a commitment”
determiner
  1. 1.
    asking for information specifying something.
    “what time is it?”
  2. 2.
    (referring to the whole of an amount) whatever.
    “he had been robbed of what little money he had”
adverb
  1. 1.
    to what extent?
    “what does it matter?”
  2. 2.
    used to indicate an estimate or approximation.
    “see you, what, about four?”
if
if/
conjunction
  1. 1.
    introducing a conditional clause.
    synonyms: on (the) condition that,provided (that),providing (that),presuming (that),supposing (that),assuming (that),as long as,given that,in the event that

    “if the rain holds out, we can walk”
  2. 2.
    despite the possibility that; no matter whether.
    “if it takes me seven years, I shall do it”
 Noun
1.
a condition or supposition.
“there are so many ifs and buts in the policy”
What if I do not get one of the full time positions? What if I do not get a position in Scotland? What if I never get to finish my PhD? What if I do not make enough money each month to pay all my student loan payments? What if I can’t find full time work and have to live with my parents for the foreseeable future?
These what ifs are starting to stress me out. They are keeping me up at night, making me doubt myself, and keep me in the doom and gloom that I have been trying so hard to get myself out of for the last two years.
Tomorrow I get to go back to the job that I love. I’m excited that I get to spend another semester doing what I love, and once the papers start coming in, I know that it will keep me from all the crazy “what ifs?” that are floating around in my head.
One thing that I would like to note: I was able to take the countdown of my time in the program off of my phone. I feel like I’ve been released from prison, or that I have been rescued from a deserted island. Deleting that countdown from my phone allows me to put countdowns for fun things, like my upcoming trip to Boston and the summer trip to Spain.
Celebrating the little things.

The Scamp’s First Day as a Doctoral Student

Riddle: How many doctoral students does it take to create a study group?

Answer: too many.

 

More than thirty minutes of class time was dedicated to putting the groups together. Some of the groups were still not finalized at the end of that time. Don’t get me wrong, I am in a program with some very very intelligent people, but man did they make that process harder than it had to be. They started trying to sort us by the district we work for, then the times we wanted to meet, and finally, I just looked to the three people I knew who lived near me, asked them to be in my group, agreed on a time and place, and called it a day. There are only 22 of us, it really should not have been that hard.

Other than that, the first day went smoothly. I really like the group of people that I am working with. There are some really sharp, really funny people in the program. I like the unique perspectives, and even found a couple of people who are interested in basic skills and basic skills education. The unexpected bonus is having the pleasure of being in class with two individuals who know my mother. They are hard working, funny, and quickly agreed to let me form a study group and presentation group with them. I can already tell that I will get along with them just fine. I even went to school dressed like an adult so as to make a good impression.

 

Look mom, I'm wearing heels!

Look mom, I’m wearing heels!

 

I love that dress. It was the last thing I bought in Scotland, and I have been saving it for months for just the right occasion. The heels were not the smartest choice I have ever made, but they make the dress look better, so I toughed it out for the evening.

The day was filled with overviews and expectations for the classes, and included get to know you games (I had pick three words that best described me…I channeled my inner feisty philosophy teacher and wrote down take charge, snarky and sassy…..so much for professionalism). I hate get to know you activities, but I am glad that I have a better sense of the people I will be spending a lot of time with. I’m not really looking forward to the philosophy class (There is one of you who can expect a lot of questions coming your way…you know who you are), but I am going to enjoy the culture of high ed class. I feel like I have a better grasp on the materials in that class than any other. I also love the professor, so that helps a lot. She showed us this video last night, and I think it really speaks to her sense of humor:

 

 

I had a job interview today, and while they are making me jump through a lot of hoops, the people are really nice, and I am hoping that my year and some change long stint with being unemployed has finally come to an end. In the meantime, I have plenty of reading and a critical incident scenario that needs to be written……which really means I am going to read a crime novel or nap through the Angel game.

You may all start calling me Dr. Scamp now, just to get used to it when I graduate. I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you?

The Scamp and Fast Cars and Freedom

When the cat’s away, the mice will play….or at least that it my motto for the next 24 hours. My mom was nice enough to accompany my dad to the mountains to do a little work on the cabin (I like to think the world revolves around me, so her choice to go was to help me out). That’s right, this girl has the house to herself until tomorrow morning. That means I don’t have to wear my headphones to listen to music while I work, I won’t be distracted by the TV, or have to hide from baseball, and the best part of being alone overnight:

I don’t have to wear pants.

…and now a quick pause for my happy dance

I wish I could say that I am spending the day lounging by the pool or laying on the couch watching TV. Instead I am locked to my desk (well, the desk I have now claimed as mine) trying to write the introduction to my dissertation. I’m about 2,000 words in, and I have to say, I think it is complete rubbish. Luckily it does not have to be a perfect little gem right now. I have to say it is nice to be able to take a break from doing research and reading other people’s writing. I’ve been reading some crap studies lately. The only good thing about that is that it gives me hope that someone will actually want to publish my work. I currently have 3,000 words written, which means I am only 12,000 from my goal. I got a little distracted today with a trip to the gym, and currently Top Gear U.K. has my attention, so it might be time to call it a day on the writing.

I am going to spend the evening trying to rearrange my room and clean it up. Right now it is full of boxes, shoes and books on teaching, and that is making it hard for me to focus. Right now, I need all the focus I can get. I have been home for about a month and have yet to settle into a normal sleep schedule, and have yet to secure gainful employment. I’m starting to feel like this:

morning-coffee-20-1

 

I know this will change…in fact, I am hoping that it changes on Thursday. I finally managed to get an interview for an instructor position at Fullerton college. Hopefully they will be dazzled by my wits and my red pen and they will hire me on the spot. I have a lot of bills to pay, and would like to have some money coming in to pay those down. My mom told me the other day that she would like me to keep living with them until I pay off my loans, but since it will be at least 10 years before that happens, I can’t see that happening. I have no desire to stay in the U.S. after I graduate…..especially when New Zealand needs English teachers and I could supplement my income by working at a place like this:

http://www.sheepworldfarm.co.nz/

Really, that would be enough to cure my wanderlust for awhile.