Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rise of the Phoenix

It's all symbolic and junk.

Oh god, dear readers, I apologize.  I have left you all in the lurch, like an abominably cute feline hanging on a clothesline or jet fuselage, minus the pithy words and rushed lamination.

I am sure you have been on the edge of your seats, enduring sleepless nights and haunted days, wondering what is going on with little old me. 

Here is what I assume has been happening the past month, for at least five of you- the five who are classy enough to actually talk like this. 

And are living in 1912.

“No, I am sorry, my husband”, you probably purred sexily, “I cannot engage in relations with you tonight, for I am troubled.”

“Why fore, my wife?  Surely not the malady of the stomach, which has kept you confined as of late?”  He flicked off the phonograph and stood at attention, his hands firmly ensconced in the pockets of his waistcoat.

“Because, love, the proprietor of The Rage Cage has not found a situation yet.”

“Oh, posh.”  He took off his monocle, held  it up against the light, and wiped it slowly upon your bustle.  This was a gesture you had grown to resent.  You would surely bring it up at the next woman’s suffrage meeting.  “For gainful employment, he should attend upon an apprenticeship, perhaps down at Brown’s haberdashery.  Why, in this day and age, a man could be whatever he would like.  He could buy a motorcar.  He could take a train.  He could be an honest man . . . provided he isn't Irish, of course.”

Is that cholera in your pocket, or are you just . . . oh dear god, it is cholera.

“Well, of course, love.  Oh, perish the thought- an Irishman.”  You shudder and worry you might be coming down with consumption.  Whatever that is.  “But, at the employment fair, he did not find much success, and returned without a placement-”

“-Nothing to be found at the employment fair?  Shocking, my dear!” 

You nod while biting your tongue, fighting the urge to ask him not to repeat everything you've just said in the form of a question.

“Yes, dear.  He turned down gainful employment to pursue his dream of-”

“Turned down gainful employment?  Dreams?  What is this nonsense?  Is he a man, or an addict, sucking on the juice of the poppy like the  . . . like the dregs of the fifth quarter?”

“I know, dear.  But, forsooth!  Or something!  He has updated his blog.”  You begin feeding ticker tape into the large calculating machine which neither of you has noticed before.  You make a note to stop adding that elixir to the meeting for the Temperance Society.

“Updating?  Blog?  What is a blog?”  He examined his wife for signs of jaundice, surely caused by her temperance meeting.  Or gypsies.

“Like a newspaper, but on the internet.  Where you post pictures, videos, links, all of that.”

He clutched his hand to his heart and thought of England.

“Well, what does it say?”

Momentarily united in purpose, he looked over her shoulder to peer into the murky screen in front of them.  Your last thought before the author pulled the plug on this dubious literary experiment was that your husband’s breath smelled of shoe polish.  You make a mental note to hide the shoes in a more circumspect location.

Okay, so, what happened with me?

I have big news, dear, supportive, patient reader.

Bigger than that.

But not that.  Somewhere in the middle, I'd say.

Wait for it . . .

 . . . 

I have a job!

As discussed last time, I had turned down several teaching jobs in an attempt to get a chance at an admin position.  This was risky, for reasons outlined before.  Many well-meaning friends alternated between telling me to take whatever I could get or offering to get me work at their various places of employment.  While these kindnesses warmed my cynical heart, that wasn't the direction I wanted to go in, so I held out.

And kept holding.

Thankfully the world spun my way and I had the chance to do a series of interviews with a particular school.  They seemed very supportive and welcoming; for my part I think I came across pretty well.   Towards the end of February they offered me a position as a Middle School Assistant Principal, which was exactly what I wanted in the first place.

Ironically enough (maybe- irony is so tricky) one of the reasons given for my hiring was due to my experience teaching during “difficult” times (as explained in great detail here!).  They thought my positive attitude could help bring a sense of safety and support to the teachers, students, and parents at the school.  I am not inclined to disagree, so hopefully we are both right.  It will be a big adjustment for me, moving from the ranks of teaching to a more formalized leadership position.  There are moments when I worry I will make mistakes, when I worry I will lose the friendships I have made so easily with teachers over the years, and when I am afraid that, at crucial moments, I will make the wrong choices.  But I am eager for the opportunity and I think I have many good qualities to offer as a leader, not even including my one or two abs.

There is much rejoicing in The Rage Cage.

I spent a month stricken with doubt, not sure if, in turning down other positions, I had made a huge mistake (but not the funny Arrested Development kind).  In the end, however, it was worth it.  Since making the announcement I have gotten many words of congratulations, advice, and people who have never taught before asking me to get them teaching jobs for next year.  I am sincerely grateful for two out of those three things, but will allow you to pick which two.

So after two wonderful years in Congo, I am moving on.  To Cairo!  Land of pyramids, sand, hopefully beer, and definitely good times.   I have already been researching Egyptian heavy metal bands and have found some solid ones. 

All is well.

What is the lesson here?  What can you, enlightened reader, take away from this story?  Well, first of all, people should always listen to Hellhammer, because he has not, as of yet, steered me wrong.  And two, or three, or whatever number we’re on, it’s okay to hold out for what you want sometimes.  Even when it gets scary and you have multiple people telling you to settle.

Last time we ended with a quote from Hellhammer.  I thought it only fitting to present wise words from another great, unsung philosopher: