Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The beginning of 2012 has been very tumultuous time for my family. We had a great holiday and were feeling very optimistic about the coming year. At the school I was working at, there was an opportunity to work in the library and I was very excited about the possibility of doing something different. I felt very confident in my ability to do the job well and in my chances of getting the job.

On the day I was suppose to interview for the position, I got a huge surprise. First, my interview was delayed due to other meetings. Then I was informed that they had decided to not consider me for the position after all. I was floored by this, as we had discussed it Monday and they seemed to think it was exactly right for me and vice versa. I was asked to meet with the head of the school later that day as he couldn't attend the morning meeting. I thought this was a little odd, but figured he was going to explain why they had decided against giving me the job. The only thing mentioned was that I had misspelled his name (the only time I did that during my employment there). I couldn't meet him at 3, because I would be teaching science class, which surprised the principal. So, it was arranged that I'd meet him at 4:15 when my partner teacher could cover my bus duty.

Now, this all occurred on Friday the 13th, a day on which I usually have good luck. I come to find out that the meeting was not to explain why I didn't get the opportunity to work in the library, but to tell me that I am no longer employed with them. I was completely shocked. I will not go into details here, but it was not justified. They asked if I still wanted to stay on teaching Saturday school, and I agreed to do so. One, I had already committed to teach it and I keep my word. Two, my family and I would be needing the money. Three, I enjoy it.

Today, I sent them a letter of protest countering each of the stated reasons in my termination letter. I'm not sure how that will go over, but I felt that I needed some form of redress for the false claims against me.

After the initial shock and anger wore off, I began to view it as an opportunity to purpose the job I really wanted. I found a job opportunity immediately following my dismissal, sadly it did not go anywhere. I have returned to substitute teaching, trying to become familiar to nearby principals and teachers in an effort to increase my chances of finding a permanent position. Job hunting is exhausting and frustrating, but I will keep looking though I may end up in another field. I keep telling myself, "Just keep swimming.". That I will get a break, make it to the first interview.

In other news, I have decided to enter a cross-stitch design into the state fair. I love doing projects, and I've never entered a arts/crafts contest before. The design was chosen by my friends and family on Facebook and Google+ from a selection of pictures because I couldn't choose just one. The favorite was a Celtic knot stained glass window. I removed the trees in the background, and turned it into a pattern. The minimum size for a piece is 25 inches squared. The pattern is 48 pages. The finished product will have approximately 407,652 stitches.

I started sewing on January 8th, and my first night's progress is shown on the right. I chose to stitch the design 25 count fabric using 146 colors, this means there are 25 stitches per inch of fabric. I decided to incorporate a shiny blending filament for the glass parts, but to leave the blending filament out of the edging. I am hoping to show the same patience in my job search as I do in my cross-stitching. I admit that I feel much more pressure on the job front than the contest front as the stakes are much higher.

I have to submit my entry by April, the design must be completed in August so that I can drop it off at the fair. I'm hoping that I do well in the competition, though I expect that the ladies that have been participating for years will have the upper hand. Minnesota sweetened the prizes this year in honor of it being the 100th anniversary of the fair. They have increased all prizes by $100.

I have been working diligently on my design in the evenings and on Sundays.I feel I've made very good progress, despite the fact that I'm only about 1/3 of the way trough the first page of the design. The number of colors in the design means that there aren't many large blocks of one color, so I must change colors often. To the left is my progress as of yesterday, I have reach the left edge of the first page of the design. It is approximately 4 inches across at the widest point.

Somehow I will have to find a balance between this and reading. I want to read Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery in February. I am also trying to enroll in school to get my Media/Library Specialist degree and certification. It took a while to process my admittance and financial aid paperwork, so I'm late getting enrolled for the Spring semester and I'm not sure I'll be able to sign up for classes, but there is always the Summer semester. I am really glad January is over, and hope that the year improves greatly.

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