Saturday, December 1, 2012
So Long November
It's been a long month. The month started with a very tough decision. The decision to stay at my school or to head home. This was not something that I was looking forward to. However, by about the mid-point of the month I knew that I would have to leave. It's not because I think my chances or finding work in the US are better now than they were before. It basically came after advising some friends that they cannot be afraid of change. I realized that I was giving advice that I was not in turn following myself. The easy decision would have been to stay here, stay safe, stay employed. I knew that leaving for the US meant that I would be looking for work in one of the worst job markets ever. I knew that it meant a world that was entirely unpredictable and a giant leap of faith. In all the choice to leave everything that I have built and done here was exceptionally tough, but I really had no choice. I have to take the chance that I might fail instead of playing it safe.
Once I finally reached my decision I decided to hold off a bit on telling my school to ensure that it was really what I wanted to do. I started looking for job programs and teaching programs that would allow me to teach while earning my credential. Basically I am looking for jobs that will pay me to earn my credential. The other option is to try and live a year without work while I do my credential. Given the amount of money that I have saved I can do this provided that a few things happen. First I find a decently cheap place to live, second, I don't splurge to hard on whatever vehicle I buy, and third, that I live cheaply. That isn't really a problem as I know how to cut costs and my social life back home doesn't really revolve around going to bars and spending lots of money. Unfortunately this week I received some bad news. SDSU no longer offers a 6 month intensive program. This was my primary option if I was going to earn my credential by going to school. It was a great primary option because I could easily do 6 months without work and after I received my credential I could substitute teach while looking for work in San Diego. Substitute teaching isn't ideal, but it is still money earned. However this is no longer available and a year long credential just seems to be a hard slog when I know I'm already more than capable of teaching.
The past couple of weeks have consisted of job hunting from afar. I have been looking at programs in multiple states and have begun the process of contacting them and filling out applications. I have multiple applications out and I am hoping that one of them will come back with a positive reply before I leave Korea. Unfortunately there are almost zero working options available for me in San Diego where I want to eventually end up. I have to follow the work wherever it takes me, but I would love it if it took me back to San Diego.
When you add all of the job uncertainty with a normal month it makes for a long month. However, this was no normal month. This year saw my yearly attempt at a Thanksgiving dinner. This year, we decided to go big, and big we went. At first I thought we'd only get about 20 people who were interested in showing up. I was wrong, we ended up with over 40 people. Luckily, a majority of the food was done pot luck style. However several of the primary holiday fixings were provided by myself and a couple of other people who I know can cook. In total we managed to get the entire meal out almost on time (only about an hour later than I planned but people didn't show up with their ovens until an hour after I told them) and feed over 40 people. By all measures it was a smashing success and something that I am hoping to never have to do again. I have a newfound respect for chefs and people who do this nightly on a far larger scale. Granted they signed up for it and have access to much better equipment than I do. However, it is still exceptionally difficult to get a meal hot and ready for 40 people in only a few hours even with people brining food to share.
All in all this month has been quite stressful, but it is a month that I will hopefully look back on in the coming years and realize that all the stress and all the work were worthwhile. From here on all I can do is step forward into the unknown and hope that everything works out in some semblance of what I hope for. Who knows, but forward is the only way to go.