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I have never been very good at long-term planning. This will no doubt surprise jamestrainor and phoenixalpha somewhat, since they've been hearing me joke about my Cardboard Box Fund for about ten years now, but in reality I've never done well at improvisation or strategery. I'm a middle-range, operational kind of guy who can plan about a year ahead at best, and that's it. I think that's been part of my problem with this career change I've been working on. I've never set a deadline and said, "This is when I need to have all this done," so I haven't taken it really seriously. There have been a lot of times over the last few years when something else (for example AD and Convergence) has been a higher priority, which really is just stupid considering the amount of money I'm spending on this college thing. (More than $50,000, counting the money spent on the ill-fated MBA program at Cardinal Stritch.)

So I'm setting a deadline. Whether I have the MA finished or not, I want to have a teaching job in Virginia nailed down for the 2007-08 school year, whether that job is at TC Williams in Alexandria or at U/I Agricultural & Technical down on the North Carolina border or up in the mountains someplace. I want to have my Praxis II exams taken and all my methods courses done with, and all my decks cleared here so when the time comes I can just go. That means I'll be stepping back from a lot of things locally - not running for anything with ATC next spring, for example. My lease expires at the end of August next year, so that works out about as well as it possibly could. In the meantime, I need to live low, work my debt down, and take care of the academic business.

That means, among other things, that I'm going to lay off the Civicrack tonight, get some stuff up on eBay, and get some work done on those lesson plans that are due next week. Because if I don't pass that course and the Adolescent Psych course with at least a B, getting that teaching job is going to become a lot harder -there ain't no way St. Mary's is going to give me any kind of recommendation to teach anywhere if I flunk out of these.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
zippychik
Jul. 30th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC)
Good luck, Wombat. I'm impressed with the specificity of your plans. It sounds like you're on your way--finishing your degree, getting a new job in a new city and getting your health back on track. Go for it.

Right now, I just need to get my certificate finished, only three more classes to go. If I go straight through, I'll have it by this time next year. I'm staying on with the software company for as long as it pans out. It's a good gig and I'm learning a lot there -- more I do in school. If the job falls through before the certificate is finished, the head of my department offered me an assistantship. The only catch is if I decide to take the assitantship,I'll have to commit to the whole masters' program and that will mean 2 more years of school!

After school's over I have no definite plans. I suppose I'll go wherever the best job is. Hubby and I are already making plans to get the house ready for the market.
wombat_socho
Jul. 30th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Well, that's part of the problem, you see. Part of the MA/certificaion program is a student teaching requirement, and I can't really do that without taking time off work (which I can't afford) or finding a slot in an alternative learning center. There aren't that many ALCs around, and what with the teacher shortage in Virginia right now I think I'm actually better off just taking my Praxis II exams and getting a provisional license out there so I can do my student teaching on the job. I know I can teach (did plenty of it in the Reserves, God knows) so it's just a matter of getting my ticket punched by the education establishment out there.

The problem with the IT field in business as opposed to colleges is that the schools never quite keep up with what's happening in the industry. Hope you find something good jobwise, and that you can get a good price for the house!
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