Changing my blog theme won’t change my life, but applying for teaching jobs will.

My husband pointed out to me the other day, when he saw me trying out new WordPress themes, that changing my blog’s theme wouldn’t change my life– that if I wanted to change my life I needed to work on applying for teaching jobs. It’s true. I love trying out new designs (in fact, I did get a new theme for this blog), but what I really want is to teach interpreting in a university, and to do that, I have to spend my time on what matters. I did gather my concentration and apply to four different teaching positions. The idea of relocating is both scary and exciting. I’m ready for a change, and while I have some fear of the unknown, I have more hope than fear. Into the unknown might be just where I’m meant to go. And it might be my best location yet.

Meditations on master’s degree

I meditated this morning and remembered:

  • I’m getting my master’s degree so I can teach at a university. That’s my “dream.”
  • I teach because I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
  • I sometimes forget my dream and my homework feels like an obligation.

Last night, I watched GCB and they were talking about their dreams: what gets them up in the morning, gets them excited about life, makes them feel like they can make a difference, gets them through the day. I remembered that’s how getting my master’s degree should feel. We go into school thinking, “I want to do this!” and then, once we get there, we say, “I have to do this (homework, project, reading, writing, test, practicum, etc.).”

My affirmation now is that I am excited about my dream to teach interpreting in an advanced degree program that makes a difference in the lives of interpreters and the people who use interpreters. I am the one who chose to be in school; this is my choice, not an obligation. I am eager to get up every morning and prepare myself to fulfill my dream.

An old hobo schooled me on the train platform today

This morning, I ran for the one entrance on the train car that takes me to the seats where you can sit facing forward, because I don’t like swaying side to side or riding backward. As I ran up the the opening doors, I saw an old hobo who had apparently been standing there before I got there. I nodded to him and gestured for him to go first. He said, “No, you go ahead.” I said, “No, that’s okay.” Then he said, “You go first. You’re a working man. You get priority.” I wondered how long we would play this “After you,” “No, after you” game and if we would miss the train, so I just said, “Okay, but it’s fine, really,” and got on the train.

I wondered about what he had said. There was a little part of me that felt proud to be a working man and sorry that he seemed to be a homeless drunkard. But another part of me felt that the old man had sensed my impatience and was being a better man than I. It made me think about class, manners, and respect for the elderly— even if the elderly person in question looks drunk and smells bad. I mean, it wouldn’t have hurt me to insist that he go first. It wouldn’t have hurt me not to run up to the train car doors like it was so important that I board right then and there. There are moments when “working man” is just another term for an immature moneymaker who’s rushing around like his life is more important than everything else around him. I don’t want to be that guy. And that’s what they old hobo taught me today on the train platform.

How do you define success?

I wrote the other day Am I a winner… or a loser? I wasn’t really asking the world; I was asking myself.

Yesterday morning, I felt rather down about my lack of success in the corporate world, and I put out a call for positive strokes on Twitter and Facebook. They both said, “I’m feeling down, and I need to believe in myself today. Please tell me something you admire about me. I’ll do the same for you.” (Actually, the update on Facebook began, “Daniel is…’feeling down'” and the rest I kept in the first person.)

I really did feel the need for positive strokes, yet I also thought it would be an interesting experiment in comparing my current self-and-other presence on Twitter and Facebook. The result was that I got more responses on Facebook. This isn’t altogether surprising, since I have more friends on Facebook and it seems to be popular with a larger audience than the geek-and-early-adopter crowd on Twitter. Of course, there could be other reasons for this result that I can’t divine. Anyway, here’s what some of my supporters said: (more…)

Am I a winner… or a loser?

A recurring theme in my life has been that I feel like a loser. Then again, sometimes I feel like a winner. In order to get a grasp on this, and come clean about feeling like a loser, I am determined to sit down and write it out.

In some of my early childhood memories, I remember being cursed with a sort of social awkwardness that made me feel like a loser, or perhaps more correctly, I did things that people responded to by saying things that I interpreted as, “what a loser!”

There is no Mrs. Coffee

There was the first day of kindergarten, when I thought one of our teachers had identified herself as Mrs. Coffee. I don’t know remember what I wanted to ask her, but I remember raising my hand and saying, “Mrs. Coffee!” over and over again and getting no response, until finally a girl sitting near me glared at me with her precocious little five-year-old venom and said, “There is no ‘Mrs. Coffee.'” I felt like an idiot not only for mishearing the teacher’s name, but for sticking my neck out by raising my hand and calling it repeatedly.

You lost the game for us!

There was that time… (more…)