Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Job at Last:)

Hi! Life has been crazy these past two weeks! After accepting the part-time job offer at FC Elementary that I was going to take and long-term sub on the other days, I was called by the principal at the high school I was told an opening might occur but had decided against trying for it, to come an interview the next day. After speaking with the head of counseling at Chesterfield and many of my friends for advice, I decided to interview and see how I felt about the school and people. I made up my mind before going in that I would take the job if I got it (I just couldn't pass up a full-time gig) and felt good about the school and people. Well, I interviewed at 10:30 the following day (it went very well- but at this point, I had been on so many interviews- ahem, 11- that most had started going well because I knew all the questions) and got called with an offer around 1:30. I immediately took it.

I had to start work that Monday (last Monday), so three short days later I showed up at Meadowbrook High School brand new and with no clue about what I was supposed to to! I set up my AMAZING office (I'll post a picture later) and met everyone, who were all nice, and got right into the swing of the BUSY and crazy world of a high school counseling department! I had a great first week- it was overwhelming and I worked long hours, but it was always fun. I am excited to go back tomorrow for teacher work week to meet more people and get myself even more organized. Not to mention work on a TON of course conflicts. It will be a busy week (I am also moving Wednesday...yes, perfect timing) but I am loving it so far and especially the fact that I get paid for it! When I get my first paycheck, I may have a small heart attack- this is more money than I have ever seen, much less made!

Everyone was telling me all along that everything would work itself out, and while I did not want to hear that during the long and emotional months of interviewing, I fully believe that is true. I went into counseling to be a high school counselor and always wanted to work in Chesterfield to be close to family and friends. I never was as excited about elementary counseling but felt I had to settle for what I was given because of the job market. I love middle school and still would love to one day work at that level, but right now I feel I will learn the most and have the most fun at the high school level, especially a diverse high school where I will have to be aware and involved in many different options and organizations around the community. I am young and energetic, so I want to use these years to really refine my craft and learn as much as I can. Also, the people are just so wonderful at the school that I have a great support system (two other counselors are just one & two years out of VCU) and the students really NEED me, which is what counseling is all about. I will not just be used to help them take the hardest classes, but to actually graduate or get their GED and help them with the tough issues they experience at home. I truly believe that this is where I am meant to be- I just wish I had known everything would work out much sooner:).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August Rush

I have been negating my blog duties! Well, it has been a whirlwind lately, with apartment searching, thinking I've found an apartment until I find a better deal, interviewing, getting jobs, deciding not to take jobs, quitting jobs, cleaning out my room, packing ect....whew!

In a nutshell here is the scoop on two major areas of my life:

1. Apartment: So my grad school friend Alyson and I decided to live together during our last year of grad school. We both had the same price range and the desire to live in the same general area. We just wanted a third roommate to cut costs. My friend Jane, who I have known since I was about 7 and went to my same high school, also wanted to move out this summer. I figured we all would be good matches, because we all were looking for the same kind of place. We found a place in Midlothian we liked (The Enclave) about 3 weeks ago. We all agreed on it, but didn't see the actual model we were getting- just the floor 2 bedroom model. Jane and I applied because you only need to put down $50 per person to reserve a place and they were going fast. It took about another week until we could see our model, so when we went in Alyson and I thought it was great, but Jane was worried about space due to her working out of her house.

During this time, Jane was training me to work for her pet company. We were keeping a look out for houses for rent, and found two nice ones in the Charter Colony/Grove area. Our mutual friend Megan, who hadn't planned on moving out, now wanted to and wanted to live with Jane. So we decided to see if we could work everything out without anyone's feelings being hurt or being left out. We looked at one house that was very nice, but a little too much house for us and more money than we would like to spend (not to mention it got taken right before we looked at it by a military family, but we didn't know that). The next day Jane and I looked at a townhome in the Grove that was 4 bedrooms 3.5 baths. It was a mess (the current tenants obviously were not the most clean) but the size and price was perfect for us (actually, quite cheap- cheaper than our 3 bedroom apartment!). We quickly got everyone to look at it. There was one catch though- one very small bedroom. Everyone agreed they didn't want it, and me being the pleaser who just couldn't stand seeing us not get this house, agreed to take the room. I figured I could save some money and get cheap rent and they all allowed me to put my desk in the dining room downstairs that had an extra alcove space. We applied and even though we weren't the only people applying for it, had a good feeling we would get it. Three days later....we got it!!

We sign the lease tomorrow and move in September 1st. Now Jane or I need to let the Enclave know we won't be signing a lease.... I am already excited about the townhouse and even though I have a small room, I have space saving ways to make it work. The rest of the house is so spacious and great that it shouldn't bother me. I prefer small spaces to bigger ones anyways and I love buying new things for a new house:) Also, Romo will have two new step-siblings. Though I am sad about leaving Milo behind, but he wouldn't do well with a new space AND 2 new cats. He is old and set in his ways.

2. Jobs: I had two interviews last week. After the debacle that was Fairfax County (and being told I had a job when I didn't get it), I was not optimistic about my Chesterfield interviews. One was for a one-day a week position at Falling Creek Elementary (which I obviously couldn't do alone) and the other was for a testing coordinator position at Meadowbrook High School. Before these interviews I was offered a long-term sub counseling position at Bird High School for 10-weeks starting August 23rd. I had a lot to think about. The FC interview went ok, but I wasn't feeling well that day so I didn't think I did my best and I was concerned about a one day a week position. The day before the TC interview I asked for advice about the testing position. Everyone told me not to take it. They said I should long-term sub and get counseling skills over doing a job that isn't what I got my degree for and isn't very fun or appreciated. The day of my interview I found out I got the elementary job. I emailed the head of counseling in Chesterfield and she said she would work with me so I could long-term sub and do the one-day a week job. I went to my interview that afternoon and did well, but knew I wasn't going to take it. That night the head of Chesterfield counseling called me and she told me that the elementary school loved me and hoped I would take it even though it was only a day, because it would be a full-time position next year (the counselor there now is retiring) and that Meadowbrook loved me. She also mentioned that there may be a full-time counseling position opening at that high school, but it wasn't official yet, and whoever got it would have to be there 3 years (and it wasn't guaranteed to me either). Whereas if I took the part-time job and long-term subbed, I would have my choice next year as to where I wanted to be and would make great connections this year. She said to think about it over the weekend.

I thought about it, and decided I did not want to full-time job at a rough school that I would be stuck at for 3 years, when I could have a more flexible schedule this year that would give me great opportunities to learn, network and figure out where I want to be next year. It also allows me to long-term sub for an indefinite amount of time if a counselor on maternity leave decided not to come back...(fingers crossed). I don't know if I will be at Bird or Thomas Dale for the beginning of the year, but I should find out this week and there should be 2-3 more long-term sub jobs I can get (they always come up). I also am going to work at the St. James nursery on Sunday mornings and for Jane at the pet company to get extra cash to help me when I'm not working full time, so even if I have periods where I am not subbing, I will have income. Also, my cheap rent does help me save lots of money!

So today I put in my two-weeks notice at Brio. I really hope everything works out so I don't have to go back to waiting tables. I have been doing it for over 2 years (not to mention how long I worked in food service before) and it is time to be done. It has made me great money, but I hope my random extra jobs will keep me going for a while during breaks and holidays, because eve in education, I still want to work in the summer.

I'm officially becoming an adult at 24! Hopefully it doesn't suck...

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Day in the Life

...of my 2010 summer.

9:00- Get up
9:05- Eat a bowl of cereal and either watch "Today" or "Saved by the Bell" reruns
9:30- Get dressed
9:35-10:30- Workout at the YMCA
10:35-11:00- Shower and get online (check email, facebook, twitter,, and cnn)
11:00-1:00- Watch "Beverly Hills, 90210" on SOAPnet.
11:05- Curse myself for not being older when 90210 was big in the 90's.
11:30- Wonder why they casted such old people to play high schoolers.
11:52- Debate who I think is the most attractive and if Tori Spelling can actually act.
12:00- Eat a lunch of honey wheat pretzels dipped in honey peanut butter and yogurt. Yummmm.
1:00-4:00- Do some sore of errand, apply for jobs, read or catch up with friends (Starbucks has become a big hit for some Iced Chai Tea)
4:00-4:45- Get online again to see what I have missed since 11 am
4:45-5:15- Eat an early dinner and get ready for work
5:15-10:00- Make some $$$$$$.
10:00-11:35- Clean up, check online again to see what I've missed since 5 pm and watch some TV
11:35- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Not the most exciting life, but, hey, it's summer, I'm unemployed (waitressing isn't a real job), and I live at home. Thank god for SOAPnet- it has changed my life with all the 90210 eps I have never seen!