Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Break or A-Week-of-Productivity

This year, I spent my spring break being rather productive. While I’ve always gone home for spring break, my productivity levels have usually decreased significantly while I am at home, and I really use the week off as a break.

However, I decided to use the break to my advantage this year, and I was able to not only do some of my homework, but I also spent a lot of time applying for jobs.

Over break, I read On the Road by Jack Kerouac in
preparation for one of my final papers. 
In the coming weeks, I’m attending several job fairs, so I want to make sure that I have all my ducks in a row (so to speak) so that when I attend the job fairs, I’ve already applied to the school districts I will be speaking with.

I’m really looking forward to each job fair I will be attending, and I’m hoping to apply to even more school districts over the course of the next few weeks. I’m glad that I had spring break to finally get started on the process, however, as I was finding it difficult to work on applications in between homework assignments at school.

While I did use some of my spring break for fun, I’m glad that I was able to write a few papers and read some books so that I can really enjoy the last month and a half of my college career at Miami. The more work I can get done ahead of time, the more free time I will have to spend with my friends (and work on job applications).

Despite how helpful spring break might have been in terms of getting everything in order, I’m looking forward to heading back to classes next week and finishing out the rest of the semester.

As clichĂ© as it may be, this semester really has flown by already, and I know that the next month and a half will go by even faster. I just want to be able to enjoy the few weeks I have left at Miami before I graduate and move on to the next step. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Finding Certainty in the Uncertain

This week, I worked on coding
my dataset so that I can write
my rhetorical analysis. To do this,
I printed out the information I
needed, and then taped it all
to my mirror and used different
colored pens and markers to code
for the information I needed.
It is spring break, and I’ll be spending the majority of my break with family, but the rest of my break will be full of gearing up for my final projects in hopes that I can get ahead and enjoy the last month of my Miami experience.

In most of my classes this week, my professors decided to introduce the final paper I will need to write for each of their classes. While most of these projects are fairly straightforward and similar to papers that I have written in the past, there is one project in particular that is like nothing else that I have written.

In my Writing and Rhetoric capstone (ENG 495: Rhetorics of Participatory Culture), I am working on writing a rhetorical analysis of how people are responding to (thereby, participating) BeyoncĂ©’s music video that accompanies her song “Formation.”

I’m really excited about where this project is headed, but I’m also rather uncertain about what exactly I’m doing. In the past, I’ve done papers on case studies, as well as other rhetorical analyses, and I’ve come to the realization that this paper falls somewhere in between, but I’m still daunted by the task.

This week I’ve been working on the rhetorical analysis portion of the paper, and as much as I would like to say it’s going well, I have my doubts.

The dataset I am looking at is quite expansive, so I’m struggling to put it all together because I have so much to look at and so much to examine.

I know that in the end, I’ll end up with an interesting paper, but because of my perfectionist tendencies, this is hard to recognize that when I feel so uncertain about where my paper is currently.

I’m learning to find certainty in the uncertain.

I’m recognizing this same sort of feeling with my future, too. It’s all up in the air for now, and I’m finally at a point where I can reconcile the uncertain feeling by realizing that someway, somehow, I will end up employed.

It may not happen as quickly as I would like, but one way or another, I’m certain that everything will work out.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mock Interview

Photo of the outfit I wore to my
mock interview.
Earlier this week, Career Services had a mock interview event strictly for teacher candidates. To help with the interviewing process, Career Services brought in individuals from nearby school districts.

I decided to sign up for an interview, but I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of how helpful I would find it.

The night before my interview, I perused the Career Services website and found a list of potential interview questions for teacher candidates. I read through the list and answered the questions, realizing that I readily had an answer for each question. Before I even set foot in the Career Services office, I felt confident about the interview.

The mock interview process itself was definitely a huge confidence booster as well.

The woman who interviewed me made the whole process very easy, and we got started right off the bat.

It started with the basic tell me about yourself questions, and from there, we moved on to more situational based questions where I was able to draw on my student teaching experience.

After each question, she would ask me how I felt I answered, and then we would discuss what I did well, and where I could possibly improve.

At the end of the interview, she even asked what questions I would have for a potential employer, which was also very helpful in terms of making sure that the possible questions I may have were valid.

However, the most helpful piece of feedback I received was that I am interview-ready. While I’ve always been fairly confident in my interview abilities, there’s something about interviewing for a teaching position that scares me more than interviewing for a company.

While I was unsure about how helpful the mock interview would be, I’m definitely glad that I had the opportunity to go through the process, especially now that I’m starting to apply to schools.

Friday, March 4, 2016

70 Days Until Graduation

Photo of me speaking at my high school graduation 4 years
ago. I'm excited to don Miami's red cap and gown in just
a few months.
It just hit me this week that I'm graduating in 70 days.

This means that I have 70 more days to check off the remainder of my senior year bucket list, 70 more days to work on my classes, 70 more days to hang out with my friends in Oxford, and 70 more days to (hopefully) find a job.

It may sound silly that I just now noticed that I will be graduating, but until this week, it didn't feel any different. It felt like a normal semester (albeit, a very busy one), but one that would end in May so I could return to Miami in August, just as I have for the past few years.

But that's not the case this time.

This time, I'll be getting my diploma. I'll be finishing my collegiate career and (hopefully) begin teaching in my own classroom.

I'll admit it: I'm scared.

Not scared in the sense that something feels wrong or off, but scared in the sense that I'm not sure where I'm going to be in just a few months. I'm not sure if I'll be employed. And if I am employed, I'm not sure where I'll be living. There are a lot of unanswered questions swirling around life after graduation.

While it is common for school districts to wait until April (and even beyond) to post job openings, I started my search this week. I've signed up for a mock interview with Career Services on Miami's campus and I've also signed up for a few teacher job fairs. Additionally, I've submitted one application for a position, and over spring break, I hope to submit even more.

I feel somewhat more at ease because of these small, but significant, steps.

I'm looking forward to my future with eager anticipation, but with all the unknowns surfacing, I started to become nervous. I'm excited to start the next phase of my life, but I'm also afraid to leave what is familiar and known.

In 70 days, the real adventure begins.