Thursday, November 21, 2013
One of the very stressful things about international teaching is the way you get a new job. For many people, this job is appealing because it offers you the opportunity to move periodically and experience a different part of the world. Some people find a place or a school that they love and stay put forever, but it is also common for people to move every 3-5 years. Sometimes the school isn't a great fit, sometimes it's the community, and sometimes you just get the wanderlust.
This is great for me, because I am a person who gets bored easily.
The downside is the job search. Basically, it's like a giant game of musical chairs. Most schools require you to re-sign your contract sometime in late November or early December. Some schools offer a bonus if you either re-sign, or resign by sometime in October. By December, most schools have a good idea of their hiring need, and post the jobs on their websites and with recruiting agencies. Then it becomes a mad free-for-all as people try to find a job they want. If you've been doing this for a while, you probably have connections at a few schools and hopefully you can parley those into an interview at the very least. Sometimes however, your connections are at schools where there is not job in your field, or for what every reason you don't want to be in that part of the world. My best friend from my last job is in Saudi, but she's married; it would be a far different experience for me to be there as a single woman.
I have some connections, and I have been using them, but it's not easy. I teach a subject that is pretty over-populated with teachers. If I taught physics, I would pretty much be assured of a job, but no one in their right mind would want me to teach physics.
Today I got my first rejection letter, from a school I interviewed with via Skype last week. It's a very good job, and I have friends at the school, but it wasn't a great fit; I could tell that during the interview. But I do hate the rejection.
Unfortunately, this means that I have to go to a job fair, which is crazy expensive and will require new clothes. On the plus side, it's in Bangkok, a city that I love.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I was in Portugal for a week. I've actually been back a few days, but caught a bad cold my last day there and took a rare day off of work to stay home and drink juice and wallow under my blankie.
Lisbon was a amazing. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery. I was there chaperoning students at a Model United Nations conference, and the kids did a great job. I, on the other hand, did not do a great job, at least not as far as eating was concerned. Portuguese cuisine is heavy on the olive oil, and the meat, and potatoes. It is not remotely heavy on the veggies. There were menus I saw which literally did not have veggies listed. They would laugh at you if you asked for a salad, and as soon as you get to the table they plop down a plate of olives, a whole cheese, and a loaf of bread. They do eat a lot of fish, but it is covered in olive oil. Or bacon.
And the pastries. The Portuguese diet seems to consist primarily of custard tarts and double espressos. If you are not having a custard tart, then you are having some sort of donut-like thing filled with custard. And a double espresso.
The trip would have been a complete disaster if we had not walked everywhere. I wore my Fitbit and one day we went over 12 miles and climbed 54 flights of stairs. My legs and feet ached at the end of every day, but at least we got some exercise in.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
This is me the day I started Spark, a little over 30 pounds ago.
And this is me today.
It's not a great picture, but Holy Cow, look at the difference!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The image is hard to read, so here's the link
Since I started on Spark, I have lost approximately the same amount of weight as the average American consumes in cheese each year. Since August 1st, I have lost approximately the same amount of weight as 10 dozen large eggs, or slightly more than the weight of a Bald Eagle.
And since my highest weight, I have lost the equivalent to an Irish Setter!
I'm only a newborn calf away from my goal!
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
I stepped on the scale today and was down another three pounds. That's 14 pounds since the beginning of August. That's crazy, isn't it? And I have not been the world's most perfect dieter either. I have had birthday cake and beer and bbq and a couple of days where I drank enough wine float a boat. And still I've lost. I've been in my calorie range most weeks, but not all, and I've worked out sometimes, but not as religiously as I have in the past.
I'm not sure why it's easy right now. It's fun to look at my little graph and see the line plummet down so quickly, but even while I enjoy it, I know it's not realistic. If I set the tracker for the past year instead of just a few months, I can see my weight bounce around a little, but mostly it's a flat line. If my weight loss graph was a heart monitor, I'd have been dead months ago.
I know that in a month or two I will be moaning about how hard it is, about how the scale never moves; so right now I am just going to enjoy it.
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