Why I Worked: Part 2

Thursday, July 3, 2014

For Part 1, click here

So here I was in college, getting the very practical degree I wanted, on a beautiful campus, with awesome people around me.

I did a lot of really important things, like dress up like a ninja and febreze the boys' rooms on our hall:

Dress up in crazy outfits for our weekly "Hump Day" dance parties in a friend's dorm room:

Audition for American Idol with my sister (we didn't make it):

And just generally have a fun college experience that didn't involve getting drunk or doing drugs or any of those "typical" college experiences.

Along the way I still knew that this was definitely the major for me, and definitely the career for me - every experience I had teaching cemented that, which made life a lot easier!  Meanwhile, Andrew added a history major and decided that maybe singing wasn't the way he wanted to make his living...  So it started looking like maybe I *wouldn't* need to work forever, and he might end up with a promising career making loads of money doing...  Something?

He graduated and took a year to work.  I returned to school for my Junior year with an engagement ring on my finger!

He decided to apply to law school, and ended up at William and Mary in Virginia.  I started researching jobs in the area and realized that there really weren't a ton of schools around there...  But I was going to HAVE to get a job, because we couldn't just live off of student loans and love!

I started sending out applications in January of 2008, planning our wedding and planning for my graduation in the process.

Not a single bite.  Teaching certification and a degree from one of the best universities in the country, and nobody wanted me.  Nobody was hiring music teachers ANYWHERE!

Meanwhile, friends were getting job offers left and right.  People who weren't constrained by location could go ANYWHERE and get a teaching job!  People like me who were limited to one geographical area that wasn't heavily populated?  Not so much.

I graduated.  Still no job.

We got married.  Still no job.

We went on our honeymoon in Jamaica and I got a call from the local school district asking me for a phone interview!  They suggested it for the day that we were driving all my stuff from Chicago to Virginia, but I figured I'd stop at a rest stop for the interview.

Meanwhile, we paid like $70 in roaming charges so that I could set up the interview...
I had my interview (while driving somewhere in Ohio, because I waited at a rest stop for an hour and they never called, so we got back on the road) and it went really well - they called me in for an in-person interview!

I had the interview, and it went really well.  The principal loved me, and talked about all the ways that they'd be able to help me get ready for the upcoming school year, and I impressed him with all my philosophical knowledge of music education.  The department chair seemed unimpressed and unfriendly, but honestly?  He was a high school band director.  I didn't take it personally ;)

Weeks went by.  No call.  I finally called to find out if there had been any decision, and they were shocked that HR hadn't informed me the position had been filled.  Don't you love it when they just leave you in the dark like that?

So we got ready for Andrew's upcoming school year and I kept filling out applications for school districts that were farther and farther away...  I had a few interviews, but nothing panned out.  And suddenly the school year was starting and I was still jobless.  

I filled out a profile on an online babysitting website and immediately had job offers.  I started working two babysitting jobs, and added a job at a local tutoring center on top of that.  Andrew and I decided that he probably needed to keep his church job in Washington, D.C. because that money would *really* help pay the bills, and they offered me a spot in the choir too.  So we commuted to DC every weekend and I still had NOTHING to show for my very, very expensive teaching degree.  

Talk about depressing.

Then, after 4 months of marriage and some very half-hearted NFP practicing, we found out we were pregnant.

And we were terrified.

No insurance, no actual job (or job prospects), and a baby on the way.

To be continued... (Part III here)

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