Wednesday, July 7, 2010

“I can’t believe it,” my mother said from the other end of the phone, “I simply can’t believe it.”
First you got into graduate school, and now this. Who would have thought a year ago that I would be hearing news like this!”
“I know” I explained from my end of the phone. “I’ll get to go shopping for new clothes and everything! And I will wear skirts over the waist more often.” I don’t think I remember the last time I walked inside a store that was not called “Goodwill” and bought brand new clothes that actually fit me. But it was time.
“It’s a big thing, my mother commented, it will change your whole life.”
“I know” I responded, “but the clock was ticking and it was time I did something about it.”
“Are you sure this is what you want?” my mother asked.
“It is too late to turn back now” I laughed. “I took the urine test this morning and everything says we are good to go.”
“I can’t wait to tell you sisters, they will be so proud of you!” my mother exclaimed.
“I won’t tell my friends yet, until I’m sure it sticks. But you can tell the rest of the family” I answered. “They are going to be so happy to find out that you are going to have” _ my mother paused and I could hear a sigh from her end of the phone, “a job!”
A real job.
I couldn’t believe it either. After I passed the first interview, the teaching assessment, and the drug screening, I got an offer to be a Spanish teacher at a Jewish private school in Manhattan today. I could hardly pass the offer up. My bosses seemed like very interesting people, my seventh and eight graders looked pretty harmless, and when I found out that I was going to get a stable salary I impatiently waited for the Rabbi to finish his sentence so that we could shake hands and get this over with.
In all honesty, this is a relief.
I have been working an extended series of odd jobs these past years (babysitting, cat sitting, unofficial backup dancer at Snug Harbor and other bars, emergency room Spanish interpreter, Spanish substitute teacher, house cleaner, graduate assistant, etc.) that paid my rent while I was a full-time college student and spared me enough left over money to, maybe, afford a box of frozen pizza.
The last steady job I held was as an insurance sales person selling policies on the phone from inside a cubicle. The other steady job I held was as a coffee shop supervisor. I worked for a lady from Venezuela who cursed loudly in Spanish and would come to work even if she were dying with swine flu. She, thus, expected us employees to be as obsessed with the job as she was.
My new job requires I teach Spanish to two classes of seventh graders, and two classes of eight graders. It will allow me to be creative with my lesson plans. It will allow me to pay my college debt. It will let me be the center of attention every once in a while. It will let me speak basic Spanish with students, and not have to worry about speaking in English.
Cheers to that.