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Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Vacation Day 61

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OK, guys this is going to be a long post and the wifi here is sketchy so I hope I can get everything posted that I want to tell you.

I've been keeping a secret from you.  That's right.  ME!  The one you thought told you every boring detail about her life has been keeping a secret.

Before I go any further, let me tell you this.   So far, as I've discussed and/or revealed my secret the first question I get is, "What about Orange Croc Guy?"  Seriously,  I'm starting to think that you guys love him more than you love me.

So, let's get this straight right now.....OCG is a grown ass man and he is going to be just fine.  He plays a huge roll in my secret and the story I need to tell you now, but this is ALL ABOUT ME. Don't ask about him!  If he wants to make it about him.....he can get his own blog!  LOL!

Here's my secret.....

I.....we.....am.....are.....moving to Memphis. 

Moving to Memphis.....as in, right now.  We're half way there.  We would have been all the way there, but that's where the story part of my secret comes into play.

This really is a long story!  I should start by telling you that I've only kept it a secret because I wasn't sure I was going.  I've moved plenty of times in my life and with each of those moves I knew it was the right thing to do.  I had no doubts or hesitation.

This move feels different.  It's almost like I'm leaving something unfinished, but I don't know what that something is so I can't finish it and I don't know if I should move forward or stay and try face this unknown thing that is causing my doubts.

You remember last year when I was looking to make a change?  Part of that search lead me to Memphis and a teacher recruiting fair and some job interviews.  It's no secret that I love Tennessee, right?  Well, I didn't want my vacation place to become my work place so I decided to stay away from East Tennessee.  One of my friends, told me to, "Come to Memphis!  With your experience in Miami, they will hire you on the spot!"

So, we came to Memphis.  We spent several weeks here.  Mostly we had fun and did touristy things and it was great.  But, I also went to a teacher recruitment fair.  I talked to lots of principals.  Some of them I liked.  Some of them I didn't.  Some of them liked me and some of them didn't.  There were a couple who LOVED me!

I talked to teachers from one school that pulled me to the side and interviewed me for 30 minutes.  They asked me to tell them about the student that had most changed me as a teacher.  I told them about Sebastian.  They said I HAD to talk to their principal!  She wasn't there, but they were going to tell her that I was their number one choice.  I thanked them and said I looked forward to hearing from them.

I then noticed a school that I hadn't spoken to yet because they had been swamped with teachers all day had an empty table, so I walked over handed them my resume and made a few jokes before walking away and calling it a day.

You see, I figured this must be a pretty good school because EVERYONE wanted to talk to them.  But, I decided to play the odds and instead of wasting my time waiting to talk to one school I handed out my resume to ALL the schools.  Then when everyone else was running around trying to pass out a few more resumes, I was free to make the last and most important impression on the "popular" school.

My plan worked to, because before I even make it out to the parking lot they called and asked me to come in the next day for an interview.

I met up with OCG for drinks and as we were sitting in one of the many bars we visited on Beale Street, my phone started going crazy!  I'm not kidding!  It was almost scary!  I checked it and I was getting email notifications thanking me for applying for positions that I wasn't applying for because I was sitting in a bar getting my drink on.

I asked OCG if I was really drunk and if I had applied without even realizing it.  He answered that yes, I was really drunk but that he really didn't think I had been applying for teaching jobs from the bar.

I check voicemail and have a message from the principal at the first school saying her teachers really wanted her to hire me and for me to please go into the system and apply for the open position at her school.  Well, apparently I wasn't moving fast enough for this lady because she somehow went into the system and applied for me over and over and over and....

And then, I was getting messages from the HR department asking me to please go online and accept the job that I never actually applied for.

I ignored the principals calls for the next few days, then finally called and left a message with her sectary saying that I had decided to take another position.

In the meantime, I go to the "popular"  and interview with a group of teachers.  It went really well and I was invited back to meet with the principal.  I get there and it's the VP because the principal was tied up somewhere else.  This was a nice guy, but he liked to talk.  He went on and on and on about each individual teacher and what their talents were and what they do for the school and then he looked at me and said, "So, what can you contribute?"

Without skipping a beat, I said, "I'll bring the chocolate!"

The guy didn't find me funny at all!  He went through his speech again and then asked me the very same question again.  Again, I told him I would bring the chocolate and then I added in something that was more educationally appropriate.  I don't remember exactly what I said, but I'm sure it was awesome!

This time, I got a little stare and an abbreviated version of his speech before he once again asked me the very same question for the third time.  I realize that this guy just doesn't like what I'm saying, but I've got nothing else for him so I decided to sabotage the rest of the interview.  Seriously!  I ended the interview.  I thanked him for his time and then I got up and walked out.

Believe it or not, I spent the next couple of days avoiding his phone calls.  LOL!  He finally left a message asking me to please come in on a certain day at a certain time.  I didn't want to go!  I didn't want to be asked that very same question for the fourth time.  I obviously didn't know the answer!  

I ended up calling him on the morning that he had asked me to come in to say that I wasn't going to be able to make it.  I was hoping that he would just write me off, but instead he rescheduled.  For some weird reason, I agreed to the new date.  

Then I called him that morning and said that I had decided to take another job.  He was a little pissed!  He said that he found that very interesting and that he had been planning to offer me a position.  I assured him that he would find another teacher and that she would be great.  He hung up.  I had been blowing him off and wasted his time and had a right to be angry.

The following week we flew home.  I got off the plane in Miami and drove to another interview after stopping in the restroom long enough to change clothes.  I got to this school and unlike all the other places I had been, this one felt like home.  I don't remember any of the questions I was asked, but I remember that we all laughed and that they appreciated the fat that I said I would bring chocolate.

This became my new school.  My new home. 

I warned you guys this was a long story!

Now, lets fast forward to sometime in May.  I got a random phone call from another principal in Memphis asking if I would be interested in doing a FaceTime interview.  I wasn't doing anything else, so I said sure.  I mean, why not?  I really didn't expect it to go anywhere and I didn't think any one would ever know.

Apparently, this lady called my Florida principal the second we finished our phone call and ratted me out.  OK, so she really just asked for a reference.  I have no idea this has happened and walk into my principals office to ask her some stupid question and she asked me to sit down.  She said she wanted to talk to me about something.  I grab a seat and notice that she has a paper in her hand that looks like the Memphis school's webpage.  I just knew that I must be mistaken though because she knows nothing about that interview.

She sits back in her seat and tells me that she is thinking about changing schools and asks me what I know about this certain school in Memphis.  I just sat there and stared at her until she cracked up laughing.  She promised that she wasn't mad at me.

I few days after that I get another message from Memphis.  It's the VP I blew off last summer.  He got promoted and is now principal of his own school.  His message identified who he was and what the name of his school was and that he was formally from the other place.  He asked me to call him if I were interested in interviewing.  It was pretty evident that he remembered me and knew exactly who he was calling.  I remember telling OCG, "He knows it's me and he knows that I know that he knows it's me!"  I decided to blow him off again and never called back.  LOL!

 After school ended we decided to spend some of our vacation time there again.  Remember when I went at the beginning of summer?  Well, it really was for a vacation.  I just happened to pack a couple copies of my resume in case someone else called for an interview while I was there.  

I got a call.  I went on an interview for a PreK class.  Now there was a time in my career, when I would have chosen death over PreK! If my friend, Sondra, is reading this she can testify to that!  Now, PreK sounds like heaven and I"m not certified to teach it in Florida.

After the interview, I met up with OCG and we headed out to the Memphis Zoo.  I pulled my phone out while we were eating lunch and I had two emails.  The first one was from the school secretary asked me to please call the principal at the school I had just interviewed with.  The second email was from the principal.  She sent her cell phone number and asked me to call as soon as I could.  There were also two voice mails.  The first was from the school secretary asking me to call the school.  The second was from the principal.  She once again left her cell phone number and said that I was absolutely  the only person they wanted for this position and to please let them know if I'm interested.
I called back and accepted.

I'm not sure why I accepted.  I don't know what it was that made me say yes.  At that moment though, "yes" just seemed like the right answer.

I got back home and started second guessing myself.  I mean I've got a pretty good thing going on in Florida!  I've conned my principal into thinking that I am a good teacher AND a good person!  Why would I want to mess with that?  I told myself, that I hadn't actually signed any paperwork so I could still change my mind if I wanted to.

A week after we return from Memphis, I go to Orlando for the math workshop with my principal, assistant principal and 6 other teachers from school.  None of them know that I have been offered this specific job or that I'm struggling with my decision. 

We did talk about Memphis in general and they asked me what I wanted.  I told them that I was just waiting for some sign letting me know one way or the other that I was making the right decision.  They all offered to make me a damn sign and asked what I wanted it to say.  LOL!  I explained that the sign had to be something that just happened naturally and if I saw one I would know.  

The day, I was standing in the hallway during one of the workshop session breaks and who do I see?  The principal from Memphis that offered me the PreK job.  I was so shocked that I wasn't really sure if it was her or not.  I said hello and she responded also giving me that look you give to someone when you know that you know them, but you aren't exactly sure it's really them.

That, my friends, WAS A SIGN!

I got back to my workshop session and I just couldn't pay attention.  I pulled out my phone and sent her a text.  She answered...

And so we both walked out of our individual sessions and met up in the hallway.  I had no idea she was going to be there and she wasn't expecting to see me either.  She said that she couldn't wait to meet my principal and I might have panicked!  I told her that I planned on keeping the two of them far, far away from each other.

Unless, the two of them also had a secret meeting in the hallway while everyone else was in session.  I managed to keep them separate.  LOL!

A few weeks ago, I emailed my principal and assistant principal and told them I was still struggling with what to do.  They responded that they loved me, and didn't want to lose me but that ultimately, I needed to follow my heart.

That was such a wonderfully amazing thing for them to say!  It was also completely useless!  My heart is stupid and it makes bad choices all the time!  I mean, I'm not on a Taylor Swift level or anything, but there are some boyfriends from my younger days that are like, "UUUMMMM....What was I thinking?"  (Again, I think my old friend Sondra can verify that.)

And....my heart is also the reason why I got stuck with the stupid junky Jeep!  By the way, I still haven't heard from anyone at the dealership or the corporate office!  We'll get into more of that story later though!

OCG finally asked me one day to tell him where I wanted to go without thinking, just say it.  I said Tennessee without hesitation.  My heart was happy.   I got on the phone and rented a place we had looked at while on vacation and called to get all the utilities turned on. 

My heart stayed happy right up until the movers came on Saturday.  I couldn't believe how emotional I got!  I sent one of my friends a text saying that I love my little home and the view and my weird coffin shaped bedroom ceiling and that when I get renters in there, they better love this place as much as I do.....and they better pay their rent on time too.  LOL!

My furniture isn't scheduled to arrive in Memphis until the the 30th, but there's no furniture here either so OCG and I got up early Sunday and headed toward Memphis.  The plan was to make sure everything was connected and working in the new place, then actually sleep in a hotel while taking advantage of the last week of summer vacation with some more tourtisty things around town.

We're traveling in two cars because I need mine and I don't actually trust it to do what it's supposed to do and we've also got some of the stuff with us that we didn't actually want the mover to take.  Right now we're in a hotel in Alabama.  It took us 14 hours to get here.  Seriously!  That entire trip should have taken that long, but I have been an emotional wreck.

My biggest regret right now is that we didn't record everything today!  I'm telling you, this stuff would be reality TV gold!

First of all, I have pretty much cried for the entire length and width of the state of Florida.  We also stopped at every rest area.  EVERY SINGLE ONE of them.  We had to stop because I was crying and trying to decide if we should keep going or turn around and go back.  At one point OCG actually said,  "Ginger, you have got to quit acting like this.  People are going to think I'm trying to kidnap you or something!"

At every single rest area I debated if I should keep going or turn around and beg for my job back.  Then we got to one rest area that was closed for some reason.  The rest area going in the other direction was open and I thought that was a sign that I needed to turn around.

Then there were the preset radio buttons in my stupid junky car.  They aren't preset anymore!  I'm pretty sure I was aware of this, but since this stupid car has bigger problems it just hadn't registered.  This realization required a phone call to OCG saying that I was pretty sure the Jeep people did this on purpose and my whole life was messed up because the presets were gone.

There were other phone calls too...

ME:  Where did we meet?
OCG:  You know where we met
ME: Yea, but do you know
OCG:  Publix
ME:  They don't have Publix in Tennesse...
OCG:  They have other grocery stores
ME: WE didn't meet in those stores!

We stopped for gas a couple of time too and that those stops were just as interesting as everything else.  I had gotten out of my car and was leaning against OCG's back when this older man wearing overalls with no shirt decided to see if I was crying for some actual reason  (You have to read his part of the conversation in your best Flori-duh panhandle accent.

Guy:  You people doing ok.
OCG:  Yea, she's just emotional about the move.
Guy: OK, where y'all moving to?
OCG:  Memphis
Guy: OK, y'all probably goin to
  get mugged there

I stood up straight and stopped crying long enough to sound really street tough

Me:  Dude we're from Miami!
Guy:  OK, y'all problee goin to be too busy doin the muggins to get mugged

I went back to my car cause this guy wasn't helping!. 

Then something strange happened.  After we left Florida, my tears dried up and I was OK.  It was just the act of leaving that scared me.  This move felt incomplete because my Florida story isn't over.  It's changing, but it is not ending.

I was born there.  The love of my life is buried there.  I met OCG there.  I still own a home there.  Some of the best people I know live there.  The cute fajita guy....well, I think he's there.....he quit a long time ago and that's why I no longer eat fajitas.

I"ll save that story for another day, too.


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