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22 April 2005

Another Year


My birthday is Tuesday, April 26. I remember how I excited I used to get when I was a kid, for my birthday signaled that the end of the school year was fast approaching and spring was fully sprung. Things are no different now, but those signals don't fill me with the same pleasure anymore. The end of the school year means a whole bunch of grading and tallying of grades. It means being inside when it's just beginning to warm up outside (grading outside doesn't work - I've tried it). For me, the end of the semester means the end of regular paychecks and the mad scramble to find a summer job. In case you hadn't noticed, the economy stinks. There are few good jobs. I didn't get any summer school classes from either UAF or SMCC, so I'm applying for every clerical position in Southern Maine. Nothing has come through yet, and I'm beginning to wonder about unemployment. Am I eligible if I can't find work? Does it affect my credit rating? I know nothing about going on the dole, except what a friend said, "You'll get $250 a week until you find something." Basically I could pay rent and some utilities and that's it, so this is not a satisfactory option. I have to find something, but I'm so overwhelmed with grading right now that my time for job searching is short.

I teach on the night of my birthday. I'm giving my students a final exam, but it's an interactive exam based on the game show, Jeopardy. Everyone is supposed to bring a dish to share to celebrate the end of the semester. They've worked really hard all semester, so I want them to have a fun exam. Despite the fact I don't love grading (does any teacher love grading?), I love teaching, and I'm sad the semester is ending. I have been lucky enough to have four great classes with no problem students. Most everyone worked to the best of his/her ability, and I can't ask for more than that!

Despite the stress and anxiety that I'm feeling right now, my birthday is approaching. I don't mind getting older; I'll be 36 on Tuesday, but someone last week told me he thought I looked 26. I was pleased, of course, but I wouldn't want to be 26 again. I know more now. I'm wiser than I was, so I'm happy to be 35 going on 36. Sometimes I get down on myself that I'm 35 and I still don't have a permanent position somewhere, that my writing hasn't taken off as I'd hoped, that I don't own a house, but these are things I'm still striving towards. I'm taking steps every day. I applied for a full time faculty position at SMCC, and I'm getting better at sending my writing out to different places. Having a house means having some money, and the money will come or it won't. It's certainly not here now, but everything happens in its own time. We celebrate birthdays to mark the passing of another year. This year brought many hurdles (R was in Germany for 4 months with her sick father, she hasn't found a job yet, and teaching doesn't pay well, so we're broke as broke can be), but I'd rather focus on the good stuff. I started teaching at SMCC; I wrote a novel in November (It's horrible, but so what? I've written 3 novels to date); my play was produced and received great reviews; I have some new writing projects underway; I've made some good friends in Portland; I had three terrific visits with my parents (never in the last 10 years have I been able to visit my parents so much); I was able to spend some time with my extended family in Massachusetts; I visited my good friends in NYC twice; my animals are all healthy; I made my one year anniversary with my Bikram yoga practice, and my body feels strong and healthy; and most importantly, I have learned this past year that no matter what happens, nothing can keep me down because I can handle anything. Even turning 36.


Blogger Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

Happy Birthday!!!


12:33 pm  

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