I have jumped on the opportunity to do some housesitting for some friends in New Westminster. I am teaching, if it can be called that, a group of Chinese 11-13 year old students in Coquitlam, so it's good to be able to live closer to that job for time and money's sake, even if it's only or a week.
I don't know if I'm a good city-liver. I may have spent too many years out in the country to handle the traffic, but I genuinely enjoy using the SkyTrain to meander around the city. Tomorrow morning I will take the SkyTrain to work for the first time ever, and I might be practically excited about it.
I'm a transit dork. But transit gives me a chance to read, to think, to not stress about traffic, and a good excuse to walk from one place to another.
A few photos I took today:
The mosquitoes have been brutal up in Agassiz, so I've been doing my runs closer to YVR when I have the chance. I've found running a useful way to explore the cities so I can get to know them better. I've discovered a little foot bridge in Coquitlam, run back and forth over the Pitt River Bridge, and explored a series of parks in New West, all with running. I kind-of hope that this housesitting venture will give me my first chance to run the seawall in Stanley Park, although I expect I will be passed by numerous chiseled, svelte native Vancouverites.
And tomorrow I will return to my sparse classroom in Coquitlam to try to get these campers to speak and listen to some English.
I think it's safe to say that I'm currently working at about 25%. My brain is having trouble taking in new information. It's like my processor has moved into a sort of survival mode, where I'm doing all the things I'm supposed to do to get through hard times... and nothing more.
I haven't been able to sit and concentrate on a YouTube video or television show for months; I can barely take in a podcast; I have no creative or insightful things to offer to anybody right now.
And I have to admit that my students are not getting the best version of "Mr.. Nordstrom" right now.
It's kind-of embarrassing. Understandable, not humiliating, but embarrassing.
I read an article yesterday that summed it up nicely. I posted a section of it to my Tumblr:
Needless to say, I can't wait to get my brain working right again.
Right now I'm in the process of moving from one home to another. Hence my general absence. Things are still far from "prime living conditions" at my new place, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, I don't have time to make fancy updates here, or even to think of anything blog-worthy.
Here's some of my progress so far::
Maybe I'll be able to write something in October, once I'm fully moved-in.
After by far the most tumultuous summer of my life, I'm trying to get my brain back in gear for teaching. I came in to the classroom this afternoon and it's quite the struggle. My mind is just in too many places right now.
For one, I'm moving. On Thursday morning, I'll be able to move in to my new apartment in Agassiz. That's astoundingly stressful. I haven't lived alone for a decade now, and here I am moving into a little apartment away from my family. I'm terrified.
For two, BC's rolling out its new curriculum. Almost every course is like a fresh start. As a result, I'm suffering from flashes of imposter syndrome, where I keep expecting people to come through the door and say, "I found you out! You don't know what you're doing! You don't belong here! Get out of this classroom right now, you fraud!"
For three, umm... isn't that enough?
I could have used a summer that felt a little more like a Bebel Gilberto track.
It's halfways through the summer and I find myself looking for some sort of temporary work. This is something I've never been good at. It's a bona fide challenge. My introversion shines really bright here as I try to humble myself while I simultaneously "talk myself up." It's a tough inner balance.
I glanced at possible summer jobs in May and June, but hoped that I wouldn't necessarily need to try to track one down. Now there's a month left of the summer and I am searching through Craigslist and whatnot for labor and whatnot. I've applied to Walmart, some custodial positions, and a warehouse.
I've never sold anything; I've never worked in a restaurant; I've never lasted more than a couple months in a service job. Despite my current desperation for social interaction, applying that energy to sales or service is really tough. It wears me out and I've been trained in too many leadership and educational realms to throw on a happy face and market something I don't believe in. But I fear that I might have to turn that direction if I'm to find any work for August.
Either that or farm work or something.
Anyhow, months after finishing my Master's degree, I am humbling myself in more ways than one: I've alienated most of my friends; I'm separating from my wife; I'm looking for menial work; I'm finding it very hard to motivate myself to do practically anything.
Humbling of this sort is par for the course and probably good for me. But it's hard. Here's to hoping for some good luck, that some employer can look at my overqualified resumé and see something they actually like.
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