Yesterday I was offered not one, not two, but three house sitting opportunities. I said yes to all three and they actually lined up perfectly in terms of timing. One starts the day I get back from Toomanygames and the other two follow suit afterwards on that Saturday. It means that I’ll be ‘working’ during my week off, but it’s going to be a pretty lazy week overall. The following week we start summer school and since I’ll be house sitting in the same city, there won’t be a huge rush to go home. I’ll have one more week of driving after that and then I’ll be moving, no more hour commute!
The next few weeks/weekends will be a nice balance of fun and work. Next weekend I’ll be going to Toomanygames with one of my closest friends and we’re overwhelmed with excitement for it. There are several youtubers and podcast hosts there who I’ve been following for a few years. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing The Angry Video Game Nerd (James Rolfe), Mike Matei, Pat the NES Punk, Team Four Star and Clan of the Grey Wolf!
This week also marks my one month anniversary of becoming a fulltime teacher! I love being a teacher, but it’s definitely not an easy job. All those things they say about your first year of teaching is true—right down to the insane hours you put in after the kids leave. Most of what I’m doing now involves fixing up the classroom since they didn’t have a teacher (just a substitute) for six months. I do plan on putting in some time over break, mostly just to clean up the room and reorganize things, but again, it’s mostly going to be a week to relax.
This all said, with the exception of returning home after going to Pennyslvania, it doesn’t look like I’ll be back home for the following two weeks. I’ll be living out of a suitcase and backback (well and my laptop case) and it’ll be exciting. It’s really hard to complain about not commuting for two weeks, with a house to yourself and free internet (when you’re an introvert). It’s a dream come true!
What a week it’s been since last Sunday! I was waiting until the official announcement, but I was promoted from Teaching Assistant to Teacher at my school recently and started this past Monday. It’s going to take a while to get used to, but I’m off to a good start! I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of people to work with either. The next couple of weeks will be devoted to setting up my classroom, getting to know my students and learning the joy of paperwork in Special Education. It’s a process and one that I’m taking over gradually, but I love it!
(pretty much these days!)
It does mean extra time at work, but I haven’t minded the drive since I found a shortcut to work that’s cut my 90 minute commute to 60 minutes. Last post, I said that my commute was a killer, but it seems more doable now and I’ve decided to prolong it until August. I’ll be housesitting one week in July and off for a week in June and July, which makes things easier (plus I have vacation time if I get to my wits end OR I can stay with friends in the area or nearby). This plan also allows me to pay off a good chunk of debt and buy a few things I need/want in the next few months. Not stressing about money for the first time in my life is an amazing, wonderful feeling!
Life rattles aside, I’ve been reading a good bit this past week and lately I’ve been tackling this monster;
It’s a fantastic book and every Marvel comic lovers dream. Admitably I got into Marvel through the movies, but it got me into the comic book origins (but even those have different origins). It’s going to take a while to get through, but I’m savoring every character sheet. I’m also still making my way through a few novels on the side since this is more of a reference book.
Since it’s Memorial weekend here in the US, I have tomorrow off and I’m enjoying have an extra day off with no driving. Yesterday I volunteered at a nearby festival with a friend and attended a Veteran memorial dedication. Today I plan on taking it easy, though I may run a few shopping errands nearby this evening or tomorrow. It’s nice to have a short week and by Tuesday I should be rested enough for a 4 day work week!
What are your plans for the weekend?
This weekend I traveled back to my previous city for a 5K. While I was there I met up with several friends for board games and dinner, stayed with two friends, then caught up with several more yesterday morning. It’s been a month and a half since I last saw them. I knew that I missed them a lot, but I didn’t realize just how much until I was there. I wasn’t a fan of the city itself, but I loved the people who were in my life there-friends, colleagues and of course my previous students. Going back can be a tricky thing and it was hard to leave my friends there…again.
I did get to see one of my best friends and we exchanged birthday gifts. She got me the board game Pandemic and I can’t wait to play it! I’ve played it 2-3 times before and really enjoyed it. Last year I found the expansion, unused, at goodwill, but never got around to buying the game itself. Now I have a new board game to play—or at least one that’s not currently packed away until I move again.
Speaking of geekery, I bought my ticket to Toomanygames! Another friend will be going with me and we’ll be getting a hotel for Saturday night (staying just for Saturday and Sunday). There will be some amazing guests there and it’ll be an amazing time (based on what others have told me). Extra bonus, my summer vacation starts the following week! I do still need to order my advance ticket for Avengers: Age of Ultron this week. I’ll be going to an Alamo theater and their tickets tend to sell out the week before (if its a major movie).
Following up on a previous post about graduate school…I’ve decided not to go for it just yet. Instead, I’m working on adding my Special Education endorsement in Special Education Prek-12, which I should have by the end of next summer or by December. It varies by state, but in Virginia you have to complete special courses (some of my Elementary classes transfer), get proof of teaching for at least a year in a accredited school and pass the VCLA. I only need to take 8 classes, which I’ll be doing through an online program through a university here in Virginia.
Do you ever travel back to places you used to live?
It’s hard to believe that in less than a week I’ll be moved out and getting settled in my hometown. It’s a strange feeling to move back to an area you spent most of your life looking forward to getting out of. It’s only a temporary stay and it’ll probably wane on me that I’m in the middle of nowhere, but it’ll be wonderful to be around close friends and family for several months without having to drive 2+ hours to see them! Even once I move (May or June), I’ll be less than an hour away and living in an area that I’d consider getting a house in someday.
Amidst packing and general moving duties, I’ve been spending extra time with friends in the area. One of my best friends, also a teacher, has been taking courses through the local university to get her Special Education license/endorsement. The classes are very affordable and it’s online with no in person meetings. It’s designed for teachers who have an endorsement in another area. In our cases, we both work as Special Education teachers, but don’t have the endorsement–just the Prek-6 license. After hearing her positive words about it and getting the same from other teachers, I’ve decided to sign up for the first of three classes I’ll need. I’m in the process of giving them my transcripts and come May I’ll be in!
Teaching licenses in the United States vary state to state and can get confusing. I teach in a private school, so I don’t need an endorsement in Special Ed to teach it. However, in public schools you need a provisional (temporary) license or license in the specialty to teach in. The school I’ll be going to is like my current school, but they know I’m getting my endorsement in Special Education. Thankfully, once you get your license, adding endorsements is much easier. I had to take FIVE tests to get my Elementary Prek-6 license (around $120 a pop too). This go around, I won’t need to take any. Plus, a Special Education endorsement opens a lot of doors and gives me a pay boost.
The next chapter in my life is starting and I’m excited for what the future holds. I feel happier than I have been in years! Friends and family nearby, a city that I love, things to do, classes to take, new opportunities to make a difference…it’s a lot to take in and it still doesn’t feel real! This week will be an emotional one, but the direction I’m going in feels right. Even though this chapter is closing, I’ll never forget it or the wonderful people who have journeyed with me and will continue to in the next chapter. Perhaps Winnie the Pooh says it best;