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Archive for April, 2011

Heard from the Mission School!

April 30th, 2011 at 01:07 am

My tutoring student today for the 10th time in two weeks told me he had to work with his father, so I just dropped him off. (Very frustrating because he is getting behind in his English classwork - very behind.)

But today it turned out to be a very good thing - for me at least. Shortly after dropping him off, I received a phone call from the person in charge of the mission school in New Mexico I'd applied for a while back. Any Catholics here, could you please tell me what the abbreviation Sr. stands for? Maybe Mother Superior?? (its a woman).

Anyway, the Sr. and I talked for a good ten or fifteen minutes. She is sending me some more application materials and reference forms to hand out - then the next step would be they'd fly me out there for 3 days so I can get a feel of the place, and they can get a feel for me.

So ... I'm a step closer to having my first real school librarian job!!!

She told me if I get it, I'd be living in a mobile home and would be provided with a bed, a washer and dryer, and a table. There is no internet access, but ATT does work there - so at home I could use my 3g on the iPhone and anything I'd need a full fledged computer for, do at school. Or, I could look into doing the tethering thing ...

She was emphasizing to me how little there is to do in the town where they are, etc. I think I surprised her when I told her that I'd done some research on the area, and had seen that there was a town 30 miles away with a separate library just for children, etc. In other words, I let her know that I understood what I was applying for! Big Grin

If I do go out there for the "look and see" trip, it would most likely be in mid-June.

I guess this goes to show, never give up!

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ETA - Is anyone else not getting notices of replies to blogs?

Happy Dance!

April 28th, 2011 at 07:43 pm

Nearly 3 weeks late, the list of qualifying students for the Spring 2011 Beta Phi Mu Honor Society has been released. Beta Phi Mu is the library and information sciences honor society -- so it encompasses all the different library science disciplines (school, academic, medical, music ... etc.)

And, drum roll please .....

I am on it! Big Grin

I knew I qualified for it with my GPA, but they only choose 25% of the graduating class. So, if there are 100 people graduating, and 30 of them meet the qualifications (3.75 GPA and pass Capstone) then somehow they have to choose 25 people. I only recognize maybe 4 or 5 names on the list besides mine. There's a couple names I'm *really* surprised to not see on there.

I am just so happy to be SO close to being done, and to have been selected for this!!

This is one I'm willing to put out the money for the joining fee. Big Grin It's a one-time fee (I think $70) for lifetime membership. But even better, it means I get to march with honor cords. It's a long story ... but in college I ended up with a 3.51 ... but at graduation time they had me at a 3.49. One class I took through self-study gave me a B, even though I'd completed all the work and met (or exceeded) expectations. After a bit of fussing, we found out that they gave an automatic B for that class when done as a self-study. They changed the grade, but it was too late for me to march with my cords.

So ... anyway, I feel slightly vindicated right now. Big Grin

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I'm moving this Sunday. I haven't done much in the way of packing, etc. Mostly I've been trying to eat my pantry/food supplies so I won't have so much to move.

No news as far as jobs go ....

Water for Elephants, Job Poss

April 25th, 2011 at 12:10 am

This afternoon I went with my mom to see Water for Elephants to use up the two Groupons I bought a few months ago. It was simply fantastic. It is a movie I might want to own. Wow.

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Saturday after church while J and L and I were counting the money, I mentioned about the work at home job opportunity. After a little bit of discussion, we figured out that it is the same company that L is working for (as her second job) and that she knows the person who I had called on Thursday!! So I know that it isn't a scam, and I also have a pretty good in to the company.

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I still haven't heard from the oil and gas company my mom's now ex-bf works at. I'm honestly not all that worried anymore. Different job possibilities seem to be popping up all over the place ... eventually one of them will work out.

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I finished watching all the streaming episodes available for Secret Life of the American Teenager. Wow. It's one of those types of shows that are so bad you just can't stop watching it till it's over (or till you run out of streaming only episodes ...)

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Right now I have a 76% in my last class. I only need an 80% to graduate, and there still is at least one big assignment yet to be graded. I could practically just stop doing any work in it right now and have a B. Smile But of course I won't do that. Big Grin

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One of my teeth is bothering me. I'm hoping if I ignore it long enough that it will go away... really don't want to go to the dentist anytime soon.

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Weird weather we're having here. It was so windy last night the power went out 4 or 5 times for short spurts. The wind is picking up again right now, and it is dark and ominous. Buddy was very nervous with all the noises last night, and right now is getting nervous again.

We need the rain here, badly.

An old boyfriend of mine who I happened to run across on a dating website a few months ago messaged me on Facebook about a week ago wanting to make sure I was okay. He lives in PA and had heard about the wildfires sweeping TX, and especially the ones nearby Fort Worth. I thought that was really sweet of him, but told him that we couldn't even smell smoke in the air where we are. I'm hoping that the rain we've had the past few days have helped the fire situation.

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I got an email from Irazoo a few days ago with my $10 in Amazon Gift Cards. I'm a little over 1600 points on Zoombucks, so probably another 6 weeks or so to get my first card from there. (SLOW!) I only managed to redeem one $5 AGC from Swagbucks in April, but may get a second one - just need about 30 more points. I supposed I could sit down and do that with SwagTV if I really wanted to ...

Life Coach, Interview news, etc

April 21st, 2011 at 08:11 pm

This morning I got up bright and early (for me at least) and made it to see the Life Coach for an hour session on interviewing skills. (graduation gift from mom) It was really pretty interesting, and I got quite a bit of good feedback from the lady. I think my "two-minute spiel" about who I am will be much much more polished now. Smile

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Yesterday morning I had an interview of sorts with the owner of a tutoring center at Starbucks. It went well enough - she offered to add me to her list of people she calls on for different clients. I'm not calling it a job until I actually get a client through her, but it is at least one new source which may be very helpful during the summer especially.

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Yesterday afternoon I was talking with one of my students parents about various things. In the course of our discussion, she mentioned this work at home job she is looking into where you work a min of 20 hours a week plus 4 hours on the weekend processing insurance claims. It pays $10/hr and is a W-2 job! She gave me the name and number of the person she was in contact with - apparently right now they are hiring as many as they can because of high demand. There is a 3 night training class where they give you tests and you have to pass the tests each night with a 70% or more to move on.

This could be very interesting. It would give me a base of at least $920/mo (before taxes) to work off of, then I could continue to do my tutoring. In the summer when my tutoring is slow, I could work up to 32 hours a week at this.

I've put in a phone call to the lady .. now just waiting to hear back.

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My brother will be here in about 3 weeks (May 11)! I can hardly wait!!!

Beezag, Another Interview, Netflix, Moving

April 20th, 2011 at 01:06 pm

Hi everyone. Sorry I've been missing in action for a bit here. I got busy doing a milion and one things... and then got sucked back into Netflix the past few days. Namely watching streaming episodes of The Secret Life of the Teenager - I'm up to number 20. Smile I'd put my account on hold a few months back, and have to put it back off for a month so I don't lose my quee.

Anyway, one reason I wanted to check in here was to let any Beezaggers know that they seem to be running an Easter promotion starting today. When I logged on this a.m. there were two 250 point videos as well as several other ones.

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This morning I have an interview with a lady who may be able to direct a few more tutoring clients my way. I'd be getting paid less per hour than I am now, but it'd be worth it to not have to be the one looking for students! Especially this summer ...

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a life coach to work on interviewing skills. This is my moms graduation gift to me. Should be interesting, and I hope it turns out to be actually helpful - either in the short term or the long term.

No news yet on the oil and gas company my mom's friend works at. If anything happens, the wheels of a big company turn slowly.

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I am moving out on May 1. It isn't really what I want, but it is what it is. The lady's house I'm moving into is quite far from all my tutoring students - at least an hour in good traffic. So ... I'll be consolidating as much as possible, and getting the chance to listen to lots of audiobooks and maybe work on my Spanish a little.

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I hope to have time to catch up on everyone's blogs here soon. TTYL!

Still Applying .. Great Educational Website for little ones

April 11th, 2011 at 12:57 am

Wow, did I ever have a hard time getting going this morning ...

I had this assignment that is due tomorrow which I'd been putting off all week. I'd promised myself that I'd get it done today. Well ... I didn't actually get started on it til about 2 p.m. today. Luckily it didn't take long to do. Smile

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I'd posted on a librarian listserve about wanting ideas on how to put together a good program with outdated resources and minimal funds. A couple people responded - but one of them sent me probably 20 different emails/resources. One of which was a link to a jobs website which I hadn't previously found.

Going through all those resources took a good bit of time - great stuff! Then of course I had to check out the jobs website. Smile

There were quite a few jobs on there I hadn't seen before. One of them (which I sent an application for!) is a Catholic Mission School on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. It is low pay, BUT it offers free housing and two free meals a day (although I probably wouldn't be able to eat most of it, being vegetarian ...) AND health insurance!! Better yet though, it would be a way of being a missionary right here in the US AND getting (paid!) experience. My family lived in Albuquerque when I was in elementary school, so I know a little bit about what the area is like.

I also applied for a courthouse researcher position on Craigslist - the hours are in the morning, so I could continue with the tutoring. One of the guys mom is dating works for a fairly good size oil and gas company and suggested I check their website for jobs - and that he'd put a good word in for me. I did, and there were two jobs that sounded quite similar to what I did before. So, I went ahead and applied to them as well.

Who knows if anything will come of any of this ... but it doesn't hurt to keep on trying.

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One of the things I did while procrastinating this morning was exploring this website I found out about through inbox dollars. Abcmouse.com

What a fantastic learning resource for kids age 2 - 7!! In fact, I'm thinking of signing up for it to use with my 5 year old I tutor.

It teaches the alphabet, phonics, music, shapes, numbers, and on and on. Currently they have it divided into three age levels (3-4;Pre-k,K) and each of those divided into skill levels. I was reading on their Facebook page that they are planning on expanding to higher grade levels.

I'd like to get this for the church school - they offer it free to public schools right now, but I need to see if they'd do the same for a private school.

For parents though, it is $7.95/mo or $79.99/yr for up to 3 children. It is really, really worth it though.

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I was going to use one of my groupons tonight that I bought a few months ago. It expires on the 30th. It is for a first-run movie at a Movie Tavern and a large popcorn. With the groupon dollars I had, I bought two of them for $2. I just couldn't get myself out the door to go and use it. Ugh!

I was thinking about maybe seeing The Lincoln Lawyer. Anyone see that one?

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I now have 7 people in my Beezag network! That is so cool! Beezag is such a fun way to earn a little extra money. So far I have cashed out a total of 4 times (the money is in my Paypal account!)

On the other hand, I will not be doing Sidetick anymore. They keep changing the rules on how you can earn money. I'm so glad I managed to get to my first cash out before all the changes!!

Happy Birthday Buddy! Interview :( My Plan

April 8th, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Today Buddy is 1 year old (as best as we can figure.) He's no longer a puppy. Smile

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This morning I mailed out a thank you card to my interviewer. I didn't email a thank you note because she'd said they wouldn't be deciding till next week. Apparently someone better qualified than me interviewed today. Frown Frown Unlike with the school library job though, they had the decency to let me know right away that they'd chosen someone else.

Sigh.

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So ... my plan.

I called the lady I count money with each Sabbath who had casually mentioned her 3rd bedroom. I asked her if she and her daughter had been serious. She said that they were. We talked a bit more, and I told her what I thought I could afford. Then I asked her to talk with her daughter and just make sure that whatever the expectations are, are known up front. She's going to do that, and then in the next few weeks I'm going to go over to their house and we'll all sit down together to hammer out an agreement.

I think besides the problem of other states not wanting to bother with someone with out of state certification, my other big problem is my lack of actual experience as a school librarian.

So, this is what I am thinking. I am going to continue to tutor and bring in as much as I can that way - only during the school year, keep it from 3 p.m. forward. In order to gain experience as a school librarian, I am going to offer my local church school my unpaid services. I'm thinking M, T, TH from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and Fr from 9 - 5. Our school currently has 21 kids from pre-school through 7th grade and two teachers. I can do storytime, book talks, technology/research classes. I can put together a library website and maybe use the open source software program Koha to set up an assessable catalog. As far as databases, I can have the kids sign in under my library card to do searches, and check out extra books on my own card to supplement units (I know, I'd have to be *very* careful with this ...) Maybe I can set up a book fair too ...

I'd then keep track of everything I do in a digital portfolio - take pictures of kids projects, record outcomes of information literacy skills pre and post, etc. Then I'd have something concrete to put on my resume. It'd also be a tremendous boost to our school.

I'm also thinking that this summer I am going to offer technology/research classes. It'd be to a limited number of students and would include instruction on typing skills, MS Word, PowerPoint, video editing software, etc. I'd also take them through an involved research project, teaching them the needed skills step by step and the final project would be their choice of a written essay, powerpoint presentation, video (youtube, etc) or maybe an Xtranormal presentation. I'm thinking it would last 7 weeks, 3 days a week for 3 hours and cost $950 per child. So ... 63 hours of instruction at about $15/hr. It would be limited to age ten and older, and no more than 8 students - unless I had an assistant, then I could maybe take 4 more.

There are obviously a lot of details to be worked out .. such as where would this take place ... where would I get the computers/software (have each student provide their own???) etc. As far as parents willing to pay that much ... I think it is quite likely. It would offer their kids both invaluable skills for school and life, but also give them something to keep them occupied during the summer. I know several of my students parents would probably go for this idea.

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What do y'all think?

Far fetched? Reaching? Maybe possible??

Interview ... Hmm...

April 7th, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Wow, tried again today and I'm able to connect via Wifi. How weird is that. Anyway, I'm glad. Smile

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My interview today I think went *really* well. It was about 30 minutes long, but for this type of a job, I think it probably is normal. I was *prepared* for the question asking me to tell about myself. Big Grin I said that I have a personal motto -- do what I can to help make other peoples lives better/easier. Then I explained what I meant. It was about 90 seconds total.

What was so perfect about it is that later on when I asked about why the position was open, I found out that the last person they'd had was NOT a team player - i.e. not willing to do what needed to be done around the office, or willing to go an extra mile.

This is important because ... drumroll please ... the whole company consists of 4 people plus me (hopefully!) So sometimes I might need to take the garbage out ... oh well. Just don't ask me to vacuum. Big Grin (just kidding!)

3 of the 4 people were part of the interview -- all the family members. Mainly it was the daughter who did the talking (mistake on my part, in my email responses I called her Mr. - not many female petroleum engineers!!!) They appeared to be impressed with my experience and my Excel test results - in fact they told me that I had the highest score of anyone. (Um ... didn't mention I had a book next to me the whole time. I could have done most of it without a book in 2003, but in 2007 everything was moved around!)

Pay was not discussed, but I was told that there are no benefits offered (other than two-weeks paid vacation and the every other Friday off).

Overall I think this could be quite a fun place to work and my days would never be the same. They are self-financed and have no debt -- and from what I gathered, they are very adverse to debt. Which fact is quite comforting to me, because where my former company got into trouble was when they tried to expand too much too quickly --- by taking on debt.

They are still interviewing a few more people, but said they'd let me know one way or the other by next Thursday. Around about the same time I should be finding out whether or not I got into the specialized honor society for librarians. Big Grin

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I stopped by Kroger to get some dog treats -- and was complimented on my suit. Smile That is the second compliment I received on it - one per interview day. So everyone who helped me decide ... you did good! Big Grin

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Wondering ... is it normal now for places to not have you fill out applications? First the school didn't, and now today this place didn't. They did take my references ... (without me offering them first)

Strange.

Site access problems, interview, seriously??

April 6th, 2011 at 07:25 pm

I have not been able to access this site via wifi since April 1. At first I thought it was a joke, but it is now downright annoying. I can access any other website - just not this one. I have cleared cookies, etc. For now, will have to get here via my phone.

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Tomorrow is my oil and gas interview. I have found nothing on the company other than it's operator number. So I checked out a book on the oil and gas business in simple terms. I'm hoping it'll give me enough of a refresh so I'll sound halfway intelligent. Smile

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At church this weekend I found out that when the Kinder leaders cleaned out our shared closet that my attendance chart was thrown out. One of the ladies offered to replace it, but I told her not to worry about it. Today however I found out that the bag of costumes which were also missing, had likewise been thrown away!!!! Ok, the chart was getting ragged. I can vaguely understand why that might be thrown out. But a bag of costumes??? Seriously? Why didn't they put them to the side, or call me and ask??? They have also been offered to be replaced - which I accepted. My assistant is the one who made them.

In case you're wondering why I wasn't there helping - that Sabbath morning I woke up with terrible stomach cramps. At 4:30 am. I barely made it through Sabbath School - there was no way I'd last through church. My assistant was out of town.

Argh!!

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I may have a possible solution to my housing problem. The lady who I count money with every Sabbath and her daughter have a third bedroom. They have offered it to me. If I don't get the oil and gas job, I think this may be a very good solution. I like both of them and I think we'd get along well. Then I'd keep on with my tutoring, but next year start volunteering three or four mornings a week at our church school as a librarian. That would then give me real librarian experience to put on my resume, as well as really helping the school.

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I apologize for errors - can't see what I'm typing. Smile