Stream of Conscious Saturday: Enthuse

socs-badgeAs I work at trying to get back into some kind of regular blogging, Linda Gill’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is one I can’t really ignore. Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “enthuse.”  Add a prefix or suffix to it or leave it as it is and go to town with it! Enjoy!

Well, I’m leaving it as is. Enthuse is what I’m all about these days. But it’s a relatively recent development–one that happened over the last few weeks. As I finished my time in Taiwan, I was  looking for a full-time job here in the US. But it was quite challenging, when you are not physically in the place. Sure, technology is wonderful, but realistically, people aren’t too serious about checking into your possible fit for their position unless you are closer to their own back yard.

I found myself getting a little uptight about the lack of response to my employment attempts. To not hear a word on ANYTHING was quite disheartening. But two things happened to change my attitude during my last month in Taiwan, and those changes have made all the difference. I now feel “enthuse” in my life again. And the possibilities seem endless. A little background: As you may or may not know, my husband and I are in two different states right now. The “plan” was that we would both look for jobs where we are, while I continued to look for a full-time teaching position somewhere in the US. Dave and I would eventually end up in the same place when we found the best place for us to be financially.

The first trigger to my change in attitude was that the colleges near my parents’ home posted adjunct positions in sociology. To that point, there hadn’t been any such things going on. As anyone who does adjunct work knows, the pay is only really marginal and is a nice addition if you already have a job, but no one can make a real living doing adjunct work. Plus, it’s limited in how many courses you can teach because of faculty unions. Still, it solidified a thought I had been moving toward. Even if I only spent one or two semesters adjuncting AND being near my parents, I could help my mother with a few projects that she wanted to do while I looked for something that really fit me. The bonus is that when I’m at my parents’ house, I’m about 45 minutes from my grandson, Logan and about an hour and a half from my grandson-to-be (who will be joining us sometime VERY soon). His impending birth is doing a lot to enthuse me. But more on that in another post.  🙂

coffee with joeOnce I got to that point of letting go of finding a secure full-time job, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to realize that I was limiting myself by targeting what I already had done. After all, the reality is that the best jobs I’ve ever had have been those that I didn’t actively seek. With that realization, my last couple weeks in Taiwan were much less stressful — other than the “minor” moving stress.  😉

Within a week of landing in Michigan, it happened, and I have had a couple of lovely surprises.

  1. In spite of the disadvantages to teaching as an adjunct, I am delighted that I will be teaching two courses this fall. Interestingly, they are in a department I would not have chosen for myself. Not sociology, not English as a foreign language, but criminal justice. At SVSU, Criminal Justice is a separate department outside of the sociology department; however, I would not have thought to apply for that job had I not been recommended to teach research methods, a subject near and dear to my heart. When I got the email that I had been recommended, I watched for the announcement and applied during my last week in Taiwan. hey day after I landed in the US, I was called for an interview. I thought it was just for that course, but then I was asked about other courses. I said I’d teach an Intro to Criminal Justice if one were available. There were two sections, and one of them is on the same two days (Mon and Wed) that the Research Methods course is being held.
  2. I have been asked to be a weekly rehearsal accompanist at one of the three rehearsal sites or a state-wide choir in Michigan. It may work into a few piano students. I’ve also been given the job as their grant writer.

Not only are these opportunities total surprises, they are things that enthuse the building of my new life back in the US. Now I have two new projects that I can be totally enthusiastic about, while still allowing some time to start-up another project I’m passionate about. Security provides some level of certainty, but I’m glad I decided to be open to possibility.