So after finishing up my spring semester at nodaway-holt with a fantastic performance of “little shop”, 3 concerts, and the most 1’s at district and state contest in over a decade i was done and didn’t yet have a job in hand. i had interviewed in several places, the most promising being south page, which would have been a replacement for rick clipson whom they were letting go. My mom had taught there the year before i was born. i had a great interview, the students apparently loved me (was told by an administrator), and it would be a doable drive for me. they gave it to my former bell choir director, who had taught there years before (many) and had left the position when they had cut it to half-time to take a job at a bank, where she had been for over 15 years…the bank was getting rid of her position, and apparently the administrators felt sorry that they had cut her position the first time. so she quickly went back and got the hours she needed to teach again. one of my final interviews was at st. gregorys. i wasn’t really that into the job as it was only part-time (16 hours a week) and would pay $8000 for the year. and it was only K-8, and you had to play for mass. but i needed a job (as at this point i was supporting two people—my first relationship) and so i took the interview when it was offered. again i was told that the principal had checked with my former superintendent and knew i hadn’t been let go because of anything i had done. one of the last questions was my perception of things i had done for my previous school and community. as i talked about the long hours of working with band students when their instructor was out for 3 weeks, tutoring kids so they would be eligible for music and athletic events, helping out other teachers with their concession stands, volunteering to come over and help at the fair…i broke down. i was later told this was the answer and reaction that secured my hiring. that principal would also copy my northwest transcript file for me and tell me to replace june mcdonald’s recommendation as it was not as well written or glowing as dr. schultz’s or my cooperating teacher’s.
my job at st. gregory’s would be tues/thurs (k-4 mass one day/5-8 the other) and any special mass days. so now to find another job to put with this one as i had been making about 20 thousand previously with stipend pay and full health benefits. now i would pay half my health insurance and not even make half as much. there was a full-time generalist position open at the owens library. i know i got an interview because i had been a graduate assistant there as a lot of the people were the same. this was generalist/circulation…in charge of circulation student workers, shelving, fining/overdues, lost books, check in/out, and cross-trained to work periodicals, reference, and acquisition. this was to help in the periodicals nightly/weekend office hour rotation, and because the 4 generalists rotated opening and closing the building on the weekends, and closed the weeknights. regular librarians could then be left to do their job. in fact on weekends, they left an hour before closing and came in an hour after opening. besides being familiar with people and part of the circulation job already, i cinched the job when i announced that due to my schedule for tues/thurs that i would be willing to work every other weekend so that the other 3 only had to worry about weekend work once every other month. this 40 hour a week job paid 12 thousand a year, so now i would work 56 hours a week for my 20,000 and not get summers off.
it was actually probably a nice break since my ego had been bruised and i had next to no self esteem. sue dorrel (principal) would butt heads a bit my first semester….until the first concert. apparently the k-8 concerts had run about 20 minutes in length for the vocal portion with each grade singing 1-2 songs. i made each class do 5-7 songs, there were highlighted soloists, and even some riser choreography. sue would still sometimes get on me for my love of practical jokes…but she also would call on me to substitute for the religion classes when she had to be gone. i finally asked her why me when she knew how liberal my views were. her response was that she knew i would actually teach the content given me even if i didn’t agree, and she thought the baptists in the building would use it as a time to introduce their religion. she was correct that i never strayed from her lesson plans.
after two years i was pretty beat with the schedule and the pay. i had interviewed in harrisonville, and it was another one of interviews i nailed, they offered it the next day. i told my principal about it and how I really didn’t want to take it. she told me to delay them 3 days and 3 days later they had added a cataloging job in the library/expanded music classes/k-3 spanish to my job, making it full-time. so no more library for the next two years. she also agreed to an hour and fifteen minutes of release time mon/wed/fri as dr. town had approached me about accompanying tower choir–he was going to take over that fall.
i’m sure i’ll come back to a few more details about this time period, but this is pretty long for now. connects to the weight loss time period as well.