Thursday, April 30, 2009

And Now For An Over-Used Reference...

Generally I try to avoid turning this space into a blog about myself. When it is about me there's great care taken to remove any distinguishing 'I'. However, in a fit of Spring fever (which may be the source of newly discovered allergies for me) here's a break from the usual and a personal update.

I am fucked.

Like so many others, I need a job. Problem is, I don't know where to get said job. Everyone gives the same advice, namely to just get one anywhere. I then tell them the possibilities (New Orleans?) and they advise me against places. This has me worried.

Since I'm young and in transition the US is open. Of all the states I think there are roughly 16 I'd be happy to live in: Hawaii, California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Baltimore, Delaware, Virginia and Washington D.C. The rest have too much snow. I could stand to live in: Colorado, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Tennessee, Wyoming, Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois. Absolutely unacceptable: Michigan, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana or Minnesota, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama, Idaho, Wisconsin and Alaska.

The problem is that these states aren't simple. The cost-effective states don't have jobs. The jobs are in my forbidden states. My friends and family are in neither. I'm afflicted with that old dilemma, we've all had it, where I simultaneously have too many choices to decide and not enough options.

This is compacted by three things: certification, recommendation, and a portfolio. Certification is different state to state. It's similar for most, but there's paper work and waiting periods and such for all of them. Recommendations, increasingly, are asked to be submitted with cover letter and resume. This is obnoxious since those gracious enough to do a cover letter haven't agreed to send me umpteen copies. That means open letter instead of closed, and that means I'll only be able to send out a very limited number of apps in the first place. Finally, although not directly job related, I'm working on my Masters teaching portfolio, which is very long and time consuming, and due in two weeks.

I am, as a suspension cable would say, stressed.

* * *

I am good.

Life is going pretty darn well for me at the moment, for a number of reasons. Unlike many others, I have guaranteed shelter for the next few months. I have food. I have warm clothes as I hear the rain drench my vehicle outside. My security is assured.

My standard of living and comfort are far superior to many other places. It's slightly better than: Saudi Arabia, France, South Korea, Austria, Canada, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Oman, Singapore, Spain and Brunei. It is far better than: Brazil, China, Mexico, Cameroon, Bahamas, Chile, Lithuania, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Jamaica, Namibia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, Uzbekistan and Syria. My life would be utterly novel in: Liberia, Guinea, Sudan, Senegal, Uganda, Mali, Angola, Haiti, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, Yemen, Rwanda, Mozambique and Vanuatu.

The advantages are that I'm an American, middle class, educated, healthy, and intelligent. For more spurious but unfortunately valid appraisal, I'm also male, attractive, heterosexual and white. These latter qualities aren't actual qualities, just characteristics. But to many, they are 'quality' characteristics.

Chances for success in life are three-fold: international status, upbringing, and motivation. My international status is the fact that I'm an American, and we are still, for all fears, the number one country in the world. The upbringing is that list of features, part which I was born with and part which I acquired up to this point, that prepare me for power, money and success. Motivation, which doesn't properly fit into the latter, is the knowledge that I will do well, and have safety nets of loving caring people to help me should I stumble and fall.

I am, as St. Paul would say, blessed.

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