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.

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