Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If They Don't Scream, They Will Squirm

On Monday, I volunteered with my niece's kindergarten class on a trip to the aquarium, but why? Why did I say yes to so many little voices saying things to me that I didn't care to hear? Why to a bus ride where my legs were cramped? Why to sticky hands wanting to touch me? Why to teachers wanting me to take some initiative and tell children with no direct link to me what to do? I'm not sure why I agreed to a day of wondering around in clammy rooms filled with exoctic fish and turtles in tanks (of all different sizes) with little people (who were filled with how-come questions) tugging on my pants, but I did. I did say, "Come on lets go this way" to a little girl who wanted to be the tour guide and boss. Yes, to being patient and not pushing when soccer moms refused to move their asses. Yes, to a ot of walking. Yes to lunch in a seagull infested area. Yes to more noise (screams, yells, and other things) on the bus ride home.

Even today, I said yes to a morning of yells and cries and "Can you fix this?" as I waited in a baby seat, in a colorful room to join the class on a walking field trip to the fire station. Today wasn't as bad because while I wasn't doing my job and making sure no little people slid under the fire engine, I could steal some glances at some middle-aged, but very hunky firefighters. That was fun. Also, this might make me seem a bit dumber than usual, but I didn't know that there were both a fire truck and fire engine. Until 10:00a this morning, I was certain that there was only a fire truck equipped with both hoses and a ladder, but with the help of fireman Joe I learned that both the truck and engine work together as a team (along with fireman of course) to battle fires. I guess you do learn something everyday.

So after these two days of hanging out with shorties and snot, I learned that the teachers of these little people are either godsent or constantly in a serious mood to control children by yelling. My doubts about teaching grammar school was affirmed because even though not much was required of me there were times when I little voice in my head said, "Can we go home now?" Another thing that has become clear is that children are very funny and interesting in a i'm-not-sure-I-like-you-yelling-so-much-but-okay kind of way.

Anyway, for those who care--yes, I am still jobless.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tulips Are Roses Too

Okay, I wasn't going to post anything new until I had some new and exciting news to share. Though seeing as I don't, I guess I better write something anyway. Time in Chicago has been very interesting. Even though I've been away for so long it's like I'm really bored here. I'm not in a big rush to do any entertaining things either (I really don't know where I'm going with this sentence).

Other Stuff. Yesterday I spoke with the Senior Editor for Recruitment at the Tribune, and she basically gave me the low-down on journalism jobs. It seems as though no large or small presses will look my way because I don't have any journalism experience. I'm not sure if I have journalist blood pumping through my veins, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to give this avenue a try. Yesterday I learned the harsh realities of "you need experience even though no one is going to give you the chance to gain any, you need it anyway." The Trib editor explained that even though I might have a gift for the written word that it's totally different in the field of reporting the news. And as I sat on the other end of the phone listening to her speak I contemplated the idea of "Do I want to report the news anyway?" The Trib editor said to contact some non-profit agencies and volunteer. The Trib editor said to spend some money that you don't have and come to a convention for African American Journalists and make some connections (connections with people who won't hire me anyway because I'm not a member of their club). The Trib editor said you need to figure out what it is you want to do after telling me that no large presses are hiring anyway, and if they were I wouldn't be considered over a person who wrote for their college newspaper. So yesterday after I hung up the phone and replayed the conversation in my head, I started to feel like the biggest loser. Like why did I go to grad school only to come home and be treated like I didn't graduate high school. This entire employment situation sucks major balls because it seems as though there are no teaching jobs, there are no jobs dealing with writing, and I will eventually have to follow the yellow brick road back to the Hard Rock Hotel and answer ringing phones.

Almost Good News. Today I visited some of my old stomping grounds at the University of Chicago and almost had some good news. In high school I was a participant in an college enrichment program called the Office of Special Programs (OSP for short). So I go in and talk with the director only to find out that yesterday they hired an English teacher for the summer. She was bummed and I was too that I missed the position by one day. I hadn't thought of working for the program before today when I discovered my friend had given birth just down the street on U of C's campus. It would have been exciting to work with teens in this program because I was once one of those kids who had Saturday school and had to spend their summer vacations on campus going to school. On the upside, the director said she would talk to some of her friends and figure out if anyone knew of something I would be interested in.

So now I'm at a day in my life where I'm trying to figure out what the hell it is that I want to do. In what way will I leave my fingerprint on this earth or at least a couple of people I know?
On the upside, one of my best friends just had a baby boy and that makes me smile.
I know that something will give, but right now I just want to roll my eyes.

Listening to: The security officer in the library repeat "Single file line," like the kids on the other side didn't hear him the first twenty times. Some people.