Well, as you might have guessed, the final 15 page paper did come to an end, officially closing the final chapter of year 1 of the PhD. It was a sweet ending to a rough and exhilirating year. I then proceeded to take a much needed vacation (namely for the last 1.5 weeks). My days have consisted of the following:
2. Socializing (in the form of picnics, baseball games, dinners, and end-of-the-year hooplah).
3. Extremely long walks (3-4 hours) around DC with the Swede.
4. Tons of cooking.
The transition from STRESS!!!! to relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax was difficult. I found myself continuing to wake up at 6 am wondering what I wasnt doing that I should be. But, after 3-4 days I was starting to feel my blood pressure ease back to normal. I was starting to sleep in, feel physically GOOD, calm down. I learned the fine art of relaxing during my years in Sweden. There, it is seen as an important aspect of overall wellness, something I could not agree with more. Contrary to popular belief in this ambitious world of ours, it is not only okay, but NECESSARY to rest. In Sweden, I learned to not only relax, but completely turn my head off, just BE (bara vara in Swedish). So, I put this skill to work as I smoothed into what I thought would be 4 weeks of relaxation (minus maybe a temp job or two intermittently) before Oberlin. Then I got an email:
Dear Miss Musings,
Blah, blah, blah, consolidation, blah, blah, blah, no Spanish School at Oberlin, blah, blah, blah, if this affects you, you’ll be hearing from your Director, blah, blah, blah, some compensation, blah, blah, blah.
In case that wasn’t crystal clear, the story, my dear friends is that they transitioned all of the Spanish Students to a school in South Carolina that shall go unnamed. They then made staff cuts to all of the new hires (ME!), and called me the next day. This was less than 1 month before my flight was set to depart from Cleveland. All of the sudden the relaxed, Zen-Ms.Musings is in a panic mode. Though the Swede had had a few temp gigs, we had nothing SET for the summer. Disappointment turned to frustration, frustration to sadness, sadness to anger. Who tells someone for 6 months that they have a job then just eliminates them when it’s too late for them to reasonably find another (again, less than 1 month before they are to fly out)? I email my director, I email the director of his director, I email the king of all directors, THE director. My flight will be reimbursed, plus 25/hour for all pre-teaching work. Okay, that puts me maybe at 700. One month rent for a STUDIO in DC is 1236… um, yeah. A little over half.
At this point, I’m starting to put my feelers out. I apply to teach Spanish a local university here in DC, via a tip-off from a colleague in the dept’. No response. I go back to the temp agency where I had gotten the original job, plus a 2 month offer to work with a diplomat on campus…. it’s been taken. I reach out to other temping agencies, looking for ‘longer’ term temp work, hopefully 2-3 months. I email friends, professors, colleagues. The Swede and I look into subletting for the months of July/August, move back to Ohio and live in my parents’ empty lake house. And just as my brain has been fully exhausted of ideas, I get an email from a colleauge in linguistics. There’s a company near downtown, solid pay, they need language textbooks to be digitally converted into flashcards for a Smartphone app, interview the next day, am I interested. YES. VERY. Did I mention I’m INTERESTED?
I got the job. It feels like deep and undulating ocean of blessings. Apparently, networking is everything, so don’t be embarrassed to occasionally put your life on blast on FB. It may just land you a job. Amongst the many benefits of this gig:
1. I can do it from anywhere, even home. (This includes OHIO (where I’ll still be flying on the 20th and staying for a week), my little studio apartment, the library, etc.
2. I set my own hours. There are no minimums or maximums. I can work 20/week or 80. It’s up to me.
3. It’s language work.
4. I wont’ have to work as a receptionist all summer.
5. I’ll get experience with multiple textbooks, which will be good training.
And that, my friends, has been the last 3 weeks in Musings-landia. Thanks for reading. I’m hoping things will calm down a bit now as I ease into the job and set my pace. Oh, and the Swede has a job interview today for a REAL job (40/week, good pay/benefits). Here’s to hoping our streak of luck continues!