The blog formerly known as “Front Towards Enemy”… at the time that I was transitioning to being an Army spouse the name felt appropriate. 2 years ago I really did feel ready to go off at the slightest little thing, but I have adjusted to my new life and no longer feel that referencing a Claymore mine is appropriate for me or representative of who I am as a person or a wife.
It’s been a long-standing joke with my husband (henceforth known as C) and my family that I have “Gypsy Feet”. I define it as that urge one gets every few years to travel, see new places, or just shake things up a bit. Whenever I have felt my life getting stale I start telling my loved ones that I’m getting my Gypsy Feet, and they know that something big is about to change for me. The last time I got Gypsy Feet I moved 1200 miles across the country to get married to a soldier. That’s the short version, anyway.
This is where stuff gets personal – I write about my life, my cooking, and my craft (I am an aspiring novelist). I have new incentive to take up my blogging where I left it, seeing that in less than 3 weeks I am going to be technically unemployed again. With our first PCS on the horizon I do believe I will have plenty to write about!
Mostly I just write about whatever’s on my mind but occasionally I will have:
Fat Kid Friday - AWW YEAH! I know this is why everyone is here, and I won’t let you down. Recipes, restaurant reviews, and mouth-watering photos await. Go on… you know you want to.
So welcome to my Army adventure! Hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do.
I have noticed an interesting phenomenon happening when I try to talk to people about our upcoming move to Hawaii. They say things like “Wow, tough break” or “Gosh, how terrible for you” or “Life must be So. Hard.” or my personal favorite “Can I stow away in your suitcase?”
It’s like there’s some breakdown between the words leaving my mouth and their ears, and all they hear is Hawaii.
They don’t hear the sadness in my voice when I talk about how I’m leaving the place that I have worked so hard to make home for the last two years and change.
They don’t hear the fear when I tell them that no, I don’t have a job lined up yet and I’m not really sure what my next career step will be.
They haven’t read the articles and forums that I have from other military families talking about the high cost of groceries in Hawaii, how the average yearly electric bill is $4400, or how tropical hurricanes and tsunamis are a very real threat.
In a nutshell, the concerns that I have about uprooting my life and moving it via boat and airplane to what might as well be another country are very real. I don’t deserve to be brushed off by someone else’s visions of palm trees and bikini-clad beautiful people on Waikiki Beach.
It occurred to me the other day that my experience of “moving to Spain” doesn’t really apply to this situation… a travel abroad experience, while it immerses you in another culture, is more like an extended vacation. You don’t have to worry about the logistics of moving furniture, or pets, or working. You just pack up a suitcase, book a plane ticket, and off you go.
C and I keep talking about how strange it feels to know that one week from today we will pack up my car and leave Tennessee for good. We’ve booked hotels for a few nights before we go so that we can clean the apartment, and I hope that helps with the transition of saying goodbye. There are real emotions here, and even knowing that we are moving someplace tropical doesn’t erase them.
So please, the next time you are talking to me (or any other military spouse that is going someplace that you imagine to be wonderful and problem free), don’t shut them down. Listen. Try to hear them. After all, palm trees aren’t made of fairy dust.
So far, the preparations for our PCS have been going smoothly. Mostly it’s been “hurry up and wait”, which anyone associated with military life will recognize as SOP. We found out this past spring that we would be transferred to Hawaii, and then I began to eagerly await orders.
And wait. And wait. And…
Finally last Monday the orders arrived. It made me laugh a little that there was absolutely NO fanfare. I got an email from Doc saying “Here they are!” and that was that. It was a nice little anniversary present! And boy, did I hit the ground the running. Monday afternoon I took myself and our precious papers over to the Transportation office, which is where all shipment of household goods is arranged. They gave me a little present too– we were set up for our briefing on my birthday!
It’s so odd that after months and months of waiting (and late orders), everything has happened all in the span of a few days. We have our shipment dates and are on the waitlist for housing. The only thing left to do was book our personal travel.
This, by the way, is the other shoe dropping. Now as I mentioned before, our arrangements have gone very smoothly, especially in comparison to some of the horror stories I have heard from other spouses– orders with no names, orders with wrong names, orders that changed halfway through the process, dogs that escaped on the tarmac en route to Germany– and that’s just the half of it. Everyone seems to have a nightmare tale to tell, most of which keep me up at night with worry. And I realize now in retrospect that I should have seen my own snafu coming.
I left my house this morning blithely, more copies of orders in hand, headed for post and dreaming of palm trees. On the way I called my Dad to make sure he could take us to the airport, and I rolled up to the Passenger Travel office ready to book our flights. The Army had other plans. For whatever reason, C had been operating under the assumption that we could travel from home to his new station, and pay the difference in the cost of the flight. I think this is because that is exactly what he did when he was coming to Campbell from AIT, so at least it was sort of logical. When I explained to the woman at the travel office what we were hoping to do, her response was, “Sorry, I can only fly you out of Nashville, St. Louis, or Atlanta.”
C had already submitted his leave packet and we were committed to going back home for several reasons, not the least of which is that we can’t ship my car to Hawaii and it has to go live at my parent’s house.
I left the office, trying to hold back tears (anyone else here a stress crier?), and called C immediately. We spent about 10 minutes bouncing ideas around, trying to come up with a solution, and finally we decided that the best course of action was to eat the cost of a one-way flight for us and the kitty between home and one of those three airports.
Great! So now I was off to find a computer and get researching. First stop, library– but their computers were down and I wouldn’t be able to get onto one without a CAC card (secure IDs that all the soldiers have). They directed me to the USO. We have a USO? Turns out that Fort Campbell is home to a pretty sweet USO, decorated with a Vietnam-era Huey in the main room. Literally. It takes up the whole floor.
There’s a bank of computers along the wall, and I took up residence at one. I was knee deep in research on Kayak when suddenly my computer went dead! I looked over at the girl next to me– hers was dead too. I was just about to get up and go to the front desk when said girl realized that she had kicked the plugs out of the wall. I smiled and we commiserated, but the poor thing was so embarrassed that she took off!
I quickly realized as I was searching for flights that they were all during the day. I circled the three best options, and went and called my Dad again. No go. As a school teacher just coming off vacation there’s no way he could have asked for more time to take us to the airport. I was starting to feel the panicky tears again when he said, “Why not call T?” T is my best friend, and I thought, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” Long story short (too late!) I convinced a different friend, H, to take us to the airport on her way to work the day we had to leave. **Quick shout out to H– you rock!** Thank God she works close enough to the airport and doesn’t mind getting up a little earlier than she already does to do it!
The funny thing is that H and her husband (also C) are going to be vacationing in Hawaii for two weeks at the end of October! I told her that I would pay her back in frilly umbrella drinks and gratitude.
I was about to call and book our flights when that little voice in my head said “Nope! Go back to passenger travel first!” Seemed like good advice, so I trekked back across post and back into the office. Luckily for me, the ladies who work in that office are superb. The woman I had seen first thing this morning picked up right where we left off, and assured me that I am not the first person to make repeat visits to her. I left with the assurance that our request was being processed and that we would have an itinerary soon.
So there it is. Our first hiccup, good sized, but not enough to really knock us down. Certainly not a nightmare story, although it felt a little frightening right in the middle of it! Now I just have to hurry up and wait for October.
I’ve decided that while I wait in limbo for C’s orders to come in that I could still be blogging about other useful things… like how to PCS with a pet. In our case, that pet is Hobbes, who adopted us a year ago August 15th.
I’ve always lived in a home with multiple pets, but after seeing the checklist for the Hawaii 5 Day or Less Program I am SO thankful that we only have one fur baby at the moment. I didn’t know until I started researching our move that the Hawaiian Islands are rabies free, and they are scrupulous about keeping them that way. For anyone planning to import a domestic animal that translates into the lengthy to-do list you’ll find by clicking the above link.
That checklist, by the way, is your Holy Grail for getting your animal to Hawaii without having to pay out the nose or leave them in quarantine for 120 days. Yeah, you read that right. Download it, carry it around, and make sure that your vet has a copy too.
Here’s what you will need to do to move your pet, in a nutshell:
Call your vet TODAY and schedule an appointment. Do this for two reasons: 1) To make sure that your pet is current on all vaccinations, and 2) to map out a game plan for the rest of the program. #1 is especially important for the rabies vaccine, because your pet needs to have had TWO rabies shots in its lifetime in order to qualify for the 5-Day-or-Less program. That means if you have a puppy or kitten younger than 6 months, you probably won’t be eligible for the program and will need to quarantine your pet.
The reason for the 2 rabies shots is that your pet will need to have blood drawn for what is known as a rabies titer. Long story short– your vet draws the blood and sends it to a special lab in Kansas. That lab will test the blood sample to determine if your pet has a high enough level of rabies antibodies to be eligible for direct release on the island. They will forward the results directly to the quarantine center in Honolulu, and they will also notify your vet of the results. Generally speaking, 4-6 weeks need to have passed since the second shot for these levels to be high enough in your pet. I gambled a little and we drew the rabies titer on Hobbes 2 weeks after his second shot, and his results came back fine. I would say consult your vet, but if you are short on time you will probably be okay.
Here’s the most important thing: Your pet’s 120 day quarantine begins from the day they receive the sample in Kansas. So if you are leaving next month, your fur baby may still have to spend some quality time in the quarantine center. Start budgeting now if that is the case, because they charge you for food and lodging while your pet is there. On the flip side, don’t do it more than 120 days before you intend to land at HNL, because it will invalidate the results and you will have wasted your time and money.
Another VERY important tip: Get your vet to sign (in blue ink) on your pet’s rabies certificates, and make sure you know where the tags are. The State of Hawaii will NOT accept your pet without those signatures in blue ink. Picky, but crucial.
Now, what you are probably really wondering is how much all this will cost, right? Prices will vary from place to place, of course, but for us each rabies vaccine cost about $30, and to have the blood drawn cost $122 (that included the office visit, blood collection, and an overnight shipping fee because the sample has to be sent cold). Remember what I said earlier about not having to pay out the nose? Guess the guide can’t really help with that. I estimate that by the time all is said and done and we are FOG with Hobbes in our hands we will have spent at least $500 just getting him to our new home. Multiply that by each pet you have, and then probably round up. The things we do for our animals…
I am lucky to have found a wonderful vet here in Clarksville (shout out to the Family Pet Hospital!), and my vet not only printed out the 5-Day-or-Less program, but helped me go through it and figure out when each step needed to happen. There’s a lot of “do this not more than x days and not less than x days” language in the requirements, so go over it with them and get it all in your calendar. One less thing to worry about.
If your pet is already fixed and microchipped, you can skip this next part. If not, read on!
If your pet is not already spayed/neutered, I HIGHLY recommend that you do that. Not only does it protect your pets health and prevent future litters of unwanted animals, it is the perfect time to microchip your pet since they will already be under anesthesia. The microchip is a REQUIREMENT of the 5-Day-or-Less program, and a good idea regardless. It is so much easier to return a fur baby with a microchip, because they cannot lose it or have it removed like external ID. After it is implanted be sure that your vet scans the chip in front of you to make sure that it’s working, and then you can go online and input all of your info so that if Fluffy makes a run for it, you have a better chance of getting him/her back. It cost us $165 to have Hobbes neutered and microchipped, and it was worth every penny.
Soapbox time over.
I know this is getting long, so I’m going to wrap it up here– I’ll be back soon to talk about pet crates and traveling by air with your animal. Please feel free to email or leave a comment if you have any questions!
**Mother-in-Law Spoiler Alert: I found it!**
Yesterday was a day for housework– I got rid of all the extra boxes in the garage, tidied the living room, and took care of the kitchen that has been sadly neglected during these last few weeks while I’ve been finishing up with school.
After doing the dishes I took off my rings because I wanted to dry them, and I tucked them in the pocket of my jeans. I do this often, by the way, because for whatever reason the feeling of wet metal wrapped around my knuckles drives me CRAZY. About a half an hour later I went to put them back on, which is when my hands derped and my wedding band went flying.
Naturally I am sentimental about this piece of jewelry, for many reasons. One, it belonged to C’s great-grandmother, Elsie. Two, it was given to me by C’s mom. I can still remember the day I got it, when she and my soon-to-be sister in law and my mother and I sat around my dining room table. I slipped on the ring and it just felt right. It wasn’t just the fact that it fit (which was delightful), but the way that it looked with my engagement ring, and the delicate engraving on the inside of the band. Since the day C put it on my finger and we said our vows it has not left my hand unless it was absolutely necessary.
I heard the thump of it landing on fabric somewhere, but I didn’t see it right away as I looked around at my feet. I searched the couches and under some bags but couldn’t find it. No big deal. I decided I wouldn’t panic yet– when C woke up he could help me lift up the couches, where it was surely hiding.
A few hours later he got up, and came down to help me look. We. Looked. Everywhere. Under the couches. Under the bags. IN the bags. In shoes, boots, the cat carrier, my rolled up jeans, and the crack where the carpet meets the wall. Nothing. I was perplexed to say the least. Our living room is a) not that big and b) the cleanest room in the house, just in case anyone stops by. This is when I started to cry. “Good job,” I berated myself… “Elsie had it for six decades… it only took me 2 years to lose it.” I may have spent awhile pouting on the porch as I tried to figure out what on earth could have happened to it.
C tried to be soothing, but really, what could he have said? He’s too smart to tell me “it’s not a big deal”, so he mostly just said nothing and rubbed my back. I tried not to think too much about it, but I put a moratorium on vacuuming until we found it.
Around 8 o’clock C decided to take a quick shower before bed, and I went back to the living room for one more scan. I rechecked all of the places I had looked before, and when I still turned up nothing I lay down on the floor and stared at the fridge. This was how C found me about 10 minutes later, and my poor husband just kissed me on the forehead and said, “Maybe we should give up for now and look again in the morning.” I nodded and he helped me to my feet. He hugged me close, and as I pulled away I was going to say something to him but before I could C got a crazy look on his face and just pointed at a spot behind me.
I turned and there, on the floor where I had been lying, was my wedding band. Stunned, I sat on the edge of the couch and just stared at it. “Has that been there this whole time?” C shook his head ‘no’, which made me feel better. And then we both started laughing. I picked up the ring and put it back where it belong.
The logical thing, of course, is to assume that the ring had landed somewhere on my person and then fallen back out onto the carpet while I was lying there. The other option is that I have leprechauns. You know… the ones who steal socks, and hide keys, and create science experiments in the fridge? They took my ring to play a trick on me and took pity when they saw how sad I was. Either way, I am delighted to have my ring back, and I hope my leprechauns are happy.
A few weeks ago C came home with an announcement.
“We didn’t get Germany,” he said. He has been in the process of reenlisting, 1) out of his deep sense of duty to our nation and 2) hoping the Army would send him someplace more fun than Afghanistan. Germany was high on our wish list, to the point that I was already dreaming about what little bakery in Kaiserslautern I would waste my days in when we got there.
I was crushed.
“Where did they say we could go?”
“Fort Hood,” he said. My heart sank. “Or Fort Bliss.”
I swear to you all… my jaw hit the floor like a cartoon character. And then I started laughing. We get to PCS to Hawai’i??
No way, I thought to myself over the next few days. No way was this happening to us! But C kept coming home with more news about how the paperwork was progressing, and that sure enough we would be getting Hawai’i (Oahu to be specific) for our next duty station. His report date is late in the fall, giving us only about 6 months left in Tennessee. Woo hoo!
We posted cheesy pictures of us with leis and coconut cups on Facebook… I started combing through travel sites looking at all the amazing things to do and see…
And then reality hit. Major move. Major disruption. Major headaches. Ahh… our first PCS.
A quick look at any milspouse blog will tell you that a PCS can either go smoothly or it can be the biggest waking nightmare you’ve ever had. So far things have been going smoothly, but we haven’t actually started moving yet.
I have now visited probably every resource that exists about executing a PCS move, and all I can say is that I’m more confused than ever. The fact that I work full-time doesn’t help, either. I have learned over and over this year that Army Life and Working Spouses do not mix. Want a doctor’s appointment? Day-of scheduling only and the clinic closes at 4. Want to be part of the FRG? Meetings are at noon on Thursdays. The upside is that about 3 weeks from now I will be technically unemployed, and able to launch into full “move us across the country” mode.
The day that I went in to tell my Principal that I would be leaving at the end of the year was the day it all became real to me. I sat in his office and cried, because even though Hawai’i is exciting and I am looking forward to the adventure I have LOVED this year of teaching.
Every day at my job has been a blessing, and I will miss my coworkers, students, and the satisfaction of doing what I love immensely.
I have no immediate plans to launch into a teaching career on Oahu, for lots of reasons. So I am trying to treasure these last few weeks of an experience that has been incredibly special for me. I’ve had a lot of jobs since I became old enough to work, but this is the first employment that I have had where I really felt like my skills and the demands of the position intersected perfectly. I have a GROOVE going on here! I’m not sure that I’m mentally prepared for being a housewife again, but I just keep reminding myself that when I married into the Army I knew that things like a PCS were a possibility.
I am overwhelmed by gratitude for the 2 years that I’ve had here in Middle Tennessee. In Clarksville I’ve found a community of friends that I will keep for the rest of my life, meaningful employment, an appreciation for a region that I’d had only stereotypical thoughts of before I moved here, and a deeper sense of what a neat country we live in. I got back into acting, I got back into writing, I adopted a cute little kitty… ok, he adopted us, but still. Tennessee has come to feel like home, and I will miss it when we’re gone.
In the next 6 months, in addition to getting ready to move, I will be going back to all the places that I have loved here. Starting with H&S Farms next week when those strawberries get ripe! Last year C and I picked 2 quarts of the most gorgeous berries I have ever seen in just minutes, and I am looking forward to a similar experience this year.
Other things on my Tennessee bucket list include:
- Seeing a Prairie Home Companion at the Ryman Theatre (next weekend!!)
- Seeing the Lion King at TPAC in June
- Going back to Land Between the Lakes to hike, visit the bison, and catch a show at the planetarium
- Eating at the Looking Glass (the restaurant where we got married) and having another slice of our wedding cake
- Walking on the Greenway
- Seeing another show at the Roxy
- Lunch at Silke’s bakery
There are other things, but maybe too many to list now. I am looking forward to the challenge of trying to both live in the moment and uproot at the same time. But, since I’m the type who likes to put down roots, I know that by the time the end of summer rolls around I will already have one foot on Oahu, and be just about ready to make the leap.
If I had known how easy it was going to be to make these…
But hindsight is 20/20, and there’s no use crying over unbaked crumpets.
Yesterday was baking day at my house. That meant sourdough bread this week because I’ve been neglecting my starter since the summer weather started, and it needed some care and feeding. I love my sourdough starter and the resulting bread, but I am always left with the dilemma of what to do with the cup of starter left over from the feeding. That problem was doubled yesterday, due to the fact that I had fed my starter twice for robustness. Two cups of starter– ee-gads!
One cup was taken care of by my old standby, sourdough pancakes. I have a lovely recipe that involves an overnight sponge and yields a slightly sour pancake that is fluffy yet toothsome, and perfect with any concoction I have come up with to top them, from strawberries and ricotta to good old maple “slurp”, as my family always called it. C devoured a good solid dozen of those pancakes for breakfast yesterday… how that boy is not the size of a house is completely beyond me, but I pray our future children get his metabolism!
That left me with a second cup, which sat patiently on the counter while I daydreamed about what it would be when it grew up. Pretzels? Eh… C is going to be in the field for the next four days, so who would eat them? Another batch of pancakes to freeze? One batch already makes an obscene amount of pancakes (2 1/2 dozen!) so my freezer didn’t really need that. Another loaf of bread? See comment about C in field above. What the heck was I going to do with it??
Then I remembered a conversation that C and I had awhile back in which I commented that I hadn’t eaten an English muffin in ages, and wouldn’t it be nice to have some for breakfast sometime soon? I wondered if sourdough starter could be used to make English muffins…
It is times like these when I am grateful for the existence of the internet, and more grateful still for the fine folks at King Arthur Flour, who have posted on their website a plethora of tested recipes, including one for… wait for it… Sourdough English Muffins! I could have kept looking for another recipe, but I had already found my Holy Grail. Oh. *groan*
Waiting to go on the heat
The recipe calls for dry milk, but I almost always ignore that and substitute fresh milk. I’m sure dry milk has its advantages, but I just prefer what I have on hand… dry powdered milk ain’t it. If you have a recipe that calls for dry milk and want to substitute liquid as I do, the ratio is 1:4. As in, a cup of dry milk powder will make 4 cups of milk when mixed. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of dry milk, so I know to substitute 2 cups of fresh milk and eliminate any water called for in the recipe (in this case, also two cups).
I love the way they puff up in the pan
The recipe, as I said at the beginning, is sooooo easy. It is not, however, quick. Especially if you want to develop the tangy flavor from the sourdough, which requires letting the dough chill out in the fridge for up to 24 hours after it’s mixed. I let mine rise on the counter for an hour an a half and then tucked in the icebox overnight for a total rise time of about 16 hours. So if you’re craving English muffins NOW this may not be your best option. But if you have a day and a half that you’re willing to devote to the process, I can assure you that the wait is well worth it. These muffins are delicious straight from the pan, and divine when split and toasted with a touch of butter and a dab of jelly.
It would be a better picture, but I was too impatient to finish my breakfast…
Sourdough English Muffins (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm milk
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or instant yeast
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 7 to 8 cups (1 pound, 13 3/4 ounces to 2 pounds 2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid), optional
- approximately 2 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina
*I used less flour than this, and I think you should too. I mixed the dough by hand, and started kneading it when it was still fairly “shaggy” looking and dry. I incorporated more flour while kneading, which resulted in a springy, elastic dough that was very soft and smooth. Use your judgement, and err on the side of less.
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm milk. Stir in and dissolve the yeast, and then mix in the sourdough starter and 1 cup of flour. Let this sit for a few minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble.
Add the butter, salt, sour salt (if you’re using it; it’s a nice flavor-booster) and a second cup of flour, and beat well. Add 5 to 6 cups of flour, one cup at a time, to form a dough that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I got C to hold the bowl so I could mix with both hands. If you don’t have an assistant, I suggest you use a stand mixer!
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and springy, but slightly on the slack side, about 8 minutes (5 minutes if using a mixer). Add flour only as necessary to prevent sticking. Clean out and grease your bowl and place the dough in the greased bowl, turning it so that a thin film of oil coats all sides. If you want muffins with just a hint of sourness, cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel, let it stand until it has doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, and proceed from * below. If you want muffins with a more pronounced sour flavor, be sure to add the sour salt to the dough for extra tang; then cover the finished dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit overnight, or up to 24 hours, in your refrigerator.
* When the dough has risen your chosen length of time, punch it down, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes (to relax the gluten). Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out separately to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds; re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal- or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets (12 or 13 rounds per sheet), sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise in a warm place until light and puffy, about 1 hour.
Carefully transfer the rounds (as many as a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium heat. Cook them for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F. Remove them from the pan and cool on a rack. If you find you’re having trouble getting the muffins to cook all the way through in the pan, cook on both sides as directed, then finish in a 350°F oven.
Yield: twenty-five 3-inch English muffins.
Yesterday I got the formal acceptance package from Teach Tennessee in my mailbox.
I had been waiting for it anxiously ever since my phone call from the Director of the program letting me know I was in, and I have C as witness that I did a happy dance when I pulled it out of the box and saw what it was.
Then I started reading it, and my excitement at being a part of this really cool program has been tempered somewhat by realizing what I have to do this summer: two separate weeks of the Institute (one over the 4th of July), with programming that goes from 8:30-5:30 every day covering everything from Standards to Classroom Management and then involves intensive homework. First week in Nashville, second week in Knoxville. I have homework before the Institute even begins, in the form of a book written by a former participant in Teach For America (the program on which this program is modeled), which I am to read and absorb before attending Week 1.
And all this before I even have a job!
The bright side is that C gets to come with me to Week 1… he’s going to play in Nashville while I’m in class because it happens to be one of the weeks we get Block Leave. Can anyone say Honeymoon (finally)? Yeah, it’s a working Honeymoon, but it’s better than nothing! You can bet that I will be booking a hotel with a pool ^_^
I’m a little nervous about all this just because it’s a fairly large financial commitment without any guarantee that I will get a job at the other end. C reminded me that even so, it’s still less expensive than going back to Grad school right now, and that’s true. I know I can always continue to Sub if I don’t find a classroom position right away, but I really have my heart set on being in my own classroom come August. I’m focusing on taking deep breaths and reminding myself to be patient; to remember that the job postings I’m seeing now (or lack thereof) are nothing compared to the flurry of hiring that happens right before school starts. My job at this moment is to put together the best package I can and then send it to EVERYONE.
I will be a teacher.