Actively Looking

Well shoot, the last district in the Bay Area (and the last one I applied to) just started school yesterday.  They did not call me for an interview.  I must now hope that some district somewhere needs more teachers based on increased enrollment.

There really hasn’t been much in the way of open teacher positions this week so far so I updated my CA community college registry info and started applying directly to colleges.  This does not mean that there are open teacher positions for colleges either – there aren’t – but I thought I’d be more intentional with my job search.  Up to this point, I have only been scanning the college sites; now I have put my application info into their systems for pool and adjunct positions, even if they don’t yet exist.

I had a friend tell me about a potential opening at a private college prep Jr/Hi School yesterday.  I would love to teach at such a place, but they generally don’t pay well.  Still, I noticed two things when on their site: 1) I am in no way qualified to teach the open position (AP Physics); 2) The place doesn’t have an Art or Humanities department and they could use another history teacher as well… and maybe a Music person.  I can fit the bill for all those positions.  Perhaps I will get a call from this place after all.

My son has a job!

OK… my son got a job his first time trying.  He interviewed with Michael’s (a craft supply store) and got in!  I’m so proud of him.  Now I’m the only one without a job!  While we were out, we also set up his bank account (finally) so he can begin to receive those paychecks and so he can write checks.

No perminant job so far

For the week, I wound up working two days as a substitute “floater.”  It was not exciting, but I did see how the first week of school worked, I got some money and I got to see some of my kids from last year.  Seeing the kids again was the best part.  Towards the end of the week, I got another chip job as well.  It’s not going to take me long to complete (in fact, I may already be done), but it’s something.  Every day, I’ve been searching the job sites twice a day.  No new jobs have come in, but I’ll keep searching.  I have also started searching college sites.  Next week, I’ll update all my information for the California Community Colleges registry and see where that gets me.  I’m still hopeful that I can land a job in my home city.

First day sub

Well, I was going to turn in that application to the Fremont district today, but I got a sub job on the first day of school.  Who would have thought?  I mailed in the application instead.  I was slated to be at Russell Middle School for three days as a floater, but when I got there, I realized that my sub buddy Neil was also there as a three day floater.  They really didn’t need both of us and Neil always gets first dibs because his wife is the receptionist there and she calls in the sub jobs.  I get the feeling that I got the call for Neil’s job by mistake by the automated system.  Still, it was good to see my kids again, now all eighth graders.  They seemed happy to see me too.  During the day, I had a nice lunch with my wife, and I helped many seventh graders find their classrooms.  Towards the end of the day, I asked around the office to see if there was anything more to do.  They thought I had come in just to see what a first day of school looked like (and I would have done that for free), but they didn’t realize that I had been called in.  We both agreed that they would call me tomorrow if they needed me, but I wouldn’t come in on my own.  I want to be helpful, not in the way.

Last week before school

Our church office somehow didn’t get the memo that we were in a rush for Ghana money.  They had put their funds for the trip on the back burner, when in reality, they needed to push things through the board for approval.  I got things expedited.  By Wednesday, the money was in the account.

Tuesday, my family went to the river, maybe for the last time this year.  School starts next week.  Nothing got stolen this time.

On Saturday, I went with the Huss boys to Leguna Seca to look at cars.  I did not realize that they were also racing these cars.  It was a loud, fun time.  We watched a few races from the grandstand, then watched a few more from the “corkscrew” which is a quick set of turns that also has a 35’ drop within a few feet.  I would really like to drive on this course someday.  I know that if I join a Porsche club, I would get that chance, but I also don’t want to pay big bucks for the privilege.

An Art job came up late this week up in Fremont, so I dropped my application off on Friday.  On Saturday, two Social Studies “pool” positions opened up in the same district.  I should turn in that application on Monday.

Ghana weekend

This weekend was all about the upcoming Ghana trip for Ralph and Jeffrey.  To help them with funding, I created a powerpoint for the church.  I tried some new techniques and it turned out to be some of the best work I have ever done in powerpoint.  I’ll have to remember what I did!  I hope the visuals, plus mini-testimonials from both guys, really brings in some money.  The trip is super expensive this year because international travel has gone up and because they are going deep into the interior of the country so transportation costs are higher.  Any money not funded for Jeffrey means money I have to pay.  In theory, the deadline for funding for this trip ended yesterday.  I’m holding off on paying because the church has not yet sent their portion for this trip, and because donations keep trickling in.  Any money sent to the trip organizer after I pay in full does not come back to me, but gets donated to future trips – another reason why I’m delaying.  This one way policy of theirs is killing me, and will kill me financially if I pay right now.  I simply can’t afford to fund someone else’s future trip.

On Sunday, the three of us held another training session, this time with two other Ghana team members Skyped in from Connecticut.  They went to Ghana last year, so their information and advice was simply wonderful.  The training session itself was simply stellar this time around.  I didn’t put a great deal of effort into the preparation of it, but it just sort of came together beautifully.  I give all credit to God.  I was also reminded of some of my own past trips as we read sections from my trip journals that applied to the topic of the day (working together as a team & finding the good in the country and people you are visiting).  I don’t know if this is wrong or prideful – probably is – but I was really impressed with how well the journals were written and how well they conveyed my thoughts at the time.

I have a teaching credential!

Yeah, as of today, I am a graduate of NHU with teaching credentials in both Social Studies and Art.  Now I can also teach at the High School and Middle School level.  I’ll certainly look for jobs there as well as at the college level for Art History.


Twenty-four hours and we were still dealing with the repercussions of yesterday’s theft.  We dropped the van off at a glass repair place then headed down to DMV to get Barbara’s license replaced.  Those two things took all morning.  We drove to church just in time to see our children off on a four day houseboat trip.  In the afternoon, Barbara called all the gas stations where our thieves had attempted to use her credit card to see if her backpack was in a trash can or dumpster someplace.  It was not.  Good news though, one gal remembered the denied transaction and seemed to know the two thieves as regulars (caught on camera no less!).  They may get nabbed, and we might just get that backpack back… if the sheriff’s office is willing to view the video and track stuff down.  Based on their conversation with Barbara, this is unlikely to happen due to resource limitations.  We’ll have to pursue this ourselves.


The family went to the river park with a lot of teen-agers while I stayed home to do homework.  I got interrupted.  Someone had broken into our van while everyone was rafting, smashing a window and stealing a backpack, two iPhones, an iPad and Barbara’s wallet.  As soon as she called me, I began the work of cancelling all the credit cards and disabling the electronic devices.  This took three hours.  Barbara meanwhile, was dealing with the sheriff and with our auto policy.  About the time I finished killing any chance of the thieves profiting from what they had done, it was time for school.  When I got home, the family still wasn’t home.  When they got home, Barbara was understandably upset; not so much because of the expense of the whole thing but because the thieves had stolen all her clothes and a book she had been writing for the last three years – by hand.  Barbara did not sleep well that night.