Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kiddo's Musical Tastes

Sometime a couple of years ago we picked up an iPod nano for $20 at a yard sale. At the time we planned to put some nice lullabys on it for the Kiddo to listen to falling asleep. However, it got put in a drawer and forgotten about. Well, recently I remembered it and let slip a mention of it, and the Kiddo has been bugging me relentlessly to set it up for him with his favorite songs. So tonight we finally did it. In case you're curious about the Kiddo's taste in music these days, he requested most of the songs on the soundtrack to "I Love Big Trains", along with the following:

"Downtown" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
"Doogan's Stones" by The Fenians
"Back Home In Derry" by Hair of the Dog
"Excursion Around the Bay" By Great Big Sea
"Rain on the Scarecrow" by John Mellencamp
"Tobacco Road" by Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings
"No Man's Land" by Billy Joel
"American Land" and "Land of Hope and Dreams" by Bruce Springsteen
"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot
"Water for the Elephants" by Dan Zane

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Queen City Kamikaze This Sunday In Manchester NH

My next appearance with Dandelion Studios will be at Queen City Kamikaze, this Sunday, 2/16/2014, at Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester NH.

This is a really fun local anime and video gaming convention, and we always have a great time in Manchester.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Big News!

One the things we've been considering for a while now, is the possibility of working overseas for a few years (or maybe more if we find we really love the international lifestyle. We made the decision a year or two back that if we were going to do this, then a good time would be when the Kiddo is around six years old. He'll be old enough to have good clear memories of his travel experiences, and old enough to be involved in the planning process, but young enough that we won't have really deep attachments to school friends and the like here in the States.

So starting last fall, I began the search process for a position overseas. I went to an international schools job fair in Atlanta GA last year and had one good interview but no offer. I did come away with a lot of really good understanding about how the job fair process works and a better sense of what is available and what I could realistically expect to get.

This week was a job fair in Boston, put on by the same organization. The fair went Sunday through Thursday, but Sunday was focused on administrative positions, and the main event was the interview sign up Tuesday morning. I had my grades due Monday, and had free periods after lunch, so I got my grades in before heading up to Boston. It was raining that morning and it turned to snow as the day went on. Not a lot of accumulation, but enough to make the driving difficult.

I also was unsure what time check-in closed, so I drove straight into the city. Arrived on time and got checked in, and then headed back out to Roslindale to stay with family. I'd also been dealing with a slow leak in a tire. I found a Hess station with free air, and filled the tire back up on the way to where I was staying.

Tuesday morning was interview sign-up, which functions as a preliminary screening. I had been invited to sign up for interviews with three schools, one of which I decided not to pursue. At sign-up, I got immediately scheduled for an interview with a school in China that had expressed interest. A school in Vietnam has also gotten in touch, and they took my cell number to call back with an interview time. I signed up with another school in China to possibly get called if they could fit me in, and I dropped off resumes with several other schools, plus had a few conversations with schools that decided not to proceed with an interview for various reasons (not always related to my qualifications; one school didn't have lower grades and so couldn't provide schooling for the Kiddo, for example).

I had my first interview that morning and then headed over to the Boston Public Library to await word from other schools. The school in Vietnam called to schedule me for an interview Wednesday morning, but I didn't hear anything else that day. There was a candidate/recruiter social that night, with some good food and a chance to chat with fellow candidates and school reps.

I headed home that night and found the tire had gotten worse. What's more, the forecast was for a foot of snow in the morning.

I ended up getting up early, heading out into the storm with an almost-flat tire, and arriving at Town Fair Tire in Dedham just as they were opening. They were great and patched the tire (which had a nail in it, as it turned out), and got me back on the road quick. I drove to Forest Hills Station, headed into town on the Orange Line, and got to my interview with the American International School in Vietnam five minutes late, which turned out to be okay.

They called me back only a short time after the interview to tell me that I would be offered the position and arrangements were made to meet with me that evening to go over the details. Meanwhile, I got an email to come sign up with an interview with one of the China schools at that afternoon's "second chance" interview signup. I ended up interviewing with that school in the afternoon. The interview with the Vietnam school was definitely my best interview of the three, and I got the offer details, asked some questions, and decided to head back to the Cape to talk it over with Gynn face-to-face.

At some point on the ride home, it occurred to me that I could bring Gynn back to meet the school reps, and so we ended up all getting up early and heading back to Boston. Gynn asked the questions she had, but at this point we had pretty much decided to accept.

So I am the new chemistry teacher for the American International School in Vietnam.

And it's off to a new adventure. We'll be relocating to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, sometime in late July. A lot of things are still up in the air, including what will become of Ogremoot (our house on Cape Cod), and where the cats will live (coming with us is an option, which was not the case with China).

But we are thrilled to have made the choice, and looking forward to this new journey.