As of 6:40 am on Wednesday the the 4th (that's 1:40 p.m. Tuesday the 3rd, CST), I will have been in New Zealand for more than 7 months. It'll have been 30 weeks. 210 days. Or, to be MORE exact, 5,040 minutes. Which of course is 302,400 seconds.
Life hasn't changed much since my last update. I am still teaching during the day and working at SP at night. School holidays start next week, which will be nice for a break, but not for funds, as I have to work for three hours at SP to make what I do in one hour at school.
As for what's happening next, I just don't know. Well, actually I do. Kinda.
Last week, I had a phone interview with the American School in Milan. The interview went great, but I am now finding out that the position may no longer be available due to re-structuring of the lower school. For now, I'll keep on waiting for further details regarding that position.
I have also been offered interviews for schools in both India and Liberia, but have passed both up, as neither suits me geographically. I am having a hard time finding the excitement to commit to 2 years of teaching in either of these locations.
I continue to apply, though not as rigorously, at international schools in Europe, but also a few in Egypt, Mexico, and South Africa. Not being at the international recruiting fairs puts me at a gross disadvantage to other candidates, but I am doing the best I can to be thorough and persistent online and via e-mail. I am keeping my options open, trying to be flexible, and hoping for a position, most likely during a last-minute hiring frenzy this summer.
I will wait it out until August or early September, as my visa in New Zealand doesn't expire until then, and I figure that if I'm not teaching internationally somewhere else, I might as well be working and living here as long as I can for the experience that I'll never get again.
My backup plan, if no teaching job opens, is to come home in September and start grad school in the spring. The 5 schools who have a program that suits what I want to study are are at Tufts (MA), Penn, Columbia (NYC), Elliot-Pearson (Chicago), and Iowa. All five programs are very different, and I still need to research which one suits what I want to learn the best. I'm sure Mom wouldn't mind the deferment of my student loans as well... There'd be plenty of perks to being Stateside again, as prompted in my last entry. I'd love to be closer to family again, and would really enjoy having the opportunity to watch my favorite t.v. shows live. For free.
Doing that will mean taking another year off of teaching in order to come home, move, apply, and get started. I have researched US schools online and tried to search out positions in school districts near the institutions that I am looking at, but haven't found anything open. It's also a bit hard to comit to that job when I am waiting on overseas ones as well. I'd kick myself if I took a job in Massachusetts and were then offered a job in Germany. So, I can continue to be a sub, which I like doing, while getting settled.
Now of course, my my publicist requires me to add a disclaimer that any of this can change at any time...
Excitingly, I've just found out that one of my best Waukee teaching friends, Danielle, and her husband Eric, are expecting their first child at the end of this year. Just as exciting was finding out that my longtime friend and one time partner in crime, Jen Farrell, became engaged to her boyfriend Kyle, under the Eiffel Tower, during a trip to Europe in March. (boy - that paragraph had a lot of commas, huh?)
I have great friends and family at home who continue to send me care packages in the mail, which is always welcome and makes me smile. Both my mom and my friend Tera, after reading the horrifying story of the Girl Guide cookies, sent me boxes of Girl Scout cookies, which I am slowly rationing on a daily basis. My auntie sent me $20 this week, which was really neat to open up (and so foreign to look at!). Instead of spending it, I'm saving it - it's tacked to my wall. Coolest item in any package to date? My mom, who had all of the Super Bowl commercials put on a DVD for me (narrowly edging out the bacon that Aunt Barb's tried to send me last October - it was confiscated by customs, which is worth the story in itself).
During this 'in between' time, I am taking every day in New Zealand as it comes, and loving every moment of it. I have become more confident, and more cheeky (much to the dismay and smiles of my flatties), and am very proud to consider myself more worldly and accomplished. Each day I marvel on my coming here, and how effortlessly I have grown into the routine of living and working in a foreign country. It's very empowering, and I'm loving every minute of it.