Monday, June 30, 2008

Take a deep breath

Today was a hard hard day.

Today was D-Day. "D" as in Done with current job. "D" as in Destitute. "D" as in I woke up with a huge headache after having bad dreams all night about the prospect of not getting the phone call I was hoping to get. Yeah, that didn't start with D but I D-serve some slack after the last three months.

June 30 marked the last day of my position with the Center of Technology in Education at The Johns Hopkins University. I spent the last (almost) year there working with some wonderful people in creating an online graduate program for technology leaders in a local school district. The teachers I worked with were great and the folks I worked with at CTE were great but I can honestly say I was not exactly stretched. I spent my time learning and reading and conversing about all things e-Learning, emerging technologies, instructional design, etc. But, there is only so much time you can spend in a day with your head buried in a journal (or staring at a computer screen reading online journal articles as the case may be). I needed more, I asked for more, but more was not forthcoming. I anticipated the end, but I hoped that I was being neurotic. Turned out I wasn't. I was given a few months to find a new position, under the guise that funding had been cut for my position (which I think was at least half-true), but it turned out to be the hardest few months of my life. This is especially true because I had just gone through the whole job-search process a year earlier when my position at PGCPS had been cut by the fabulous new CEO. I wasn't ready to go through all that again. I knew how hard it was to find a new job. I had thought I found the one. Oh-well.

So I started looking. I sent out countless applications and resumes. I was invited to dozens of interviews. I was down to the wire for about 4 different jobs. I didn't get any of them. I started to lose hope. It was hard. With Wifey home with the kids it is pretty old-fashioned around here with it being my sole responsibility to "bring home the bacon." Forget that, it really looked like I wasn't going to be able to bring home a pig's foot, let alone the bacon.

Then, something D-vine happened...

Wifey has a wonderful friend who married a wonderful man. That wonderful man happens to have a job at a place that I had been trying to get an interview with for (literally) months. I knew I was ready for that job. I knew I had what they wanted. But after being up against hundreds of other people for each of the previous jobs (thanks to our wonderful leader and his war in Iraq and the resulting depression that we aren't allowed to call a depression) it wasn't looking too good that my resume would be picked out of the pile. But, this is when Wifey's lovely friend's lovely hubby stepped in and got my foot in the door. I did have a few fall-back opportunities with local school systems but this was the job I wanted. I wanted to stay within the JHU community, I wanted to be challenged, I wanted to be able to build a position and have real responsibility with real people counting on me. That was what this job offered. I wanted it.

I got a call for a phone interview. It went well. It got me a second phone interview. It went well again. It got me a many-hour interview with a few different wonderful people. That went really well. I was invited back for a final interview and the most nerve-wracking presentation I have ever given. I didn't know the topic, I was not an expert, and I was standing in front of a panel of folks who lived what I was trying to tell them about. The nicest thing was that they didn't laugh at me. They listened, they asked impressive questions and I was able to provide reasonably coherent answers. It went well.

I got a call today. "D" day. The day when I no longer had a job or insurance or any way to support my family. I got the job. And there was much rejoicing.

I am very much looking forward to my first day. This next year is going to be a hUGE learning experience for me. But the folks I will be working with are amazing, they are all interested in learning as much from me as I am from them, and they seem to be willing to let me grow into this position. I can't wait. The challenge is long overdue.


Trillian42 said...


I think that about sums it up.

Hugeness said...

That is AWESOME! I'd say you have no idea how happy everybody is for you but somehow, I think you may have an idea. I just wish we lived closer so we could babysit for you and let you and the wife go out and celebrate.

Kiwanji said...

Thanks guys. We are very happy. Although, after three months of built up anxiety I'm finding it hard to let go so quickly. I did wake up feeling MUCH better today though. I could use about 24 hours of sleep but with these little rugrats running around that is hard to come by.

lorraine_quinn said...

Congratulations over and over again for all you endured during the interview process.
It's tough out there and I agree, our fearless leader, has no clue about the average American and state of our economy. "The Dow Jones dived a further 350 points giving America’s key economic benchmark its worst June performance since the Great Depression..." What depression?
Way to go, Dubya!
Now back to you. Can't wait to hear all the details about your new job.

BloggieDoggie said...

It is d day for celebration.
Congratulations! This is wonderful news. Isn't it fortunate that your wife nurtured that relationship with her friend, and that the opening came when you trusted in that friendship. It reminds me of the cohort-although we began as individuals, we have grown in friendship to trust one another. As a result of these connections, our lives are changing! Thank you for all you did to help our little cohort get off the ground. All the best to you as your new adventure begins. LJ

morninglight mama said...

I am Delighted, and I aDore you! You already know all the mushy gushy stuff...

Thanks for bearing the brunt of this over the last few months!! You SO totally rock, Dude!

atechtchr2c said...

I won't say congratulations to you for getting a new job...only congratulations to your employer for securing a dedicated, intelligent and hard working individual that has so much to offer. I know it is only to their benefit to have a person like you on the staff. And, I'm glad they realized it before someone else snatched you up. And, as I have said many times in my life, when a door closes, something opens...even if it's only a window!

I look forward to many more of your successes and I'm honored to be close enough to learn from you.



Corinne said...

I cried when Dawn told me the news and I cried when I read this now. I am SO SO SO happy and pleased. I knew they'd see in you what we all see in you :)