February 29, 2012

Dumpster Diving

Have you ever heard of stigma? The dictionary defines it as "A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person." Vehicle dwellers are just one of many groups that get stigmatized in society for the choices we make, but remember that those choices were to give us a better a more fulfilling life. This prelude was to prepare you for a really interesting article I just read about a new trend in America.
"Have you ever thought about getting your food out of a trash can?  Don't laugh.  Dumpster diving has become a hot new trend in America.  In fact, dumpster divers even have a trendy new name.  They call themselves "freegans", and as the economy crumbles their numbers are multiplying.  Many freegans consider dumpster diving to be a great way to save money on groceries.  Others do it because they want to live more simply.  Freegans that are concerned about the environment view dumpster diving as a great way to "recycle" and other politically-minded freegans consider dumpster diving to be a form of political protest.  But whatever you want to call it, the reality is that thousands upon thousands of Americans will break out their boots, rubber gloves and flashlights and will be jumping into dumpsters looking for food once again tonight."
To read the rest of the article go to The Economic Collapse Blog (I know, scary name). I personally know a few dumpster divers. They aren't homeless or even particularly broke, they just find that this lifestyle works for them. I'm not sure that I'm able to overcome the stigma attached to dumpster diving (hey, I'm a work in progress!) but it's an interesting concept that makes a lot of sense. As a former member of the food service industry I can tell you we threw away a lot of food which, for legal reasons, we couldn't donate (and when I say "legal reasons" I mean that no one wanted to get sued for poisoning people).

As for economic collapse, I stand right between Marx (who believed that it would take a series of financial disasters to move beyond capitalism) and Weber (who believed that whatever came after capitalism would be just as bad and have the same problems). I like to think of it as "guarded optimism".

February 28, 2012


Hang on guys! I know that the crazy layout changes today have been a roller coaster (I'm starting to feel a little ill myself) but bare with me for a bit. Blogger seems to be having some issues and totally messed up my template this morning! They have this new template that they want everyone to switch to and they are doing everything in their power to move people over. But I will not change my formatting, despite the Blogger board of director's increasingly violent mood swings! Unfortunately now I have to retrieve everything they erased so... hang in their.

An Interview with "Em"

If you read this blog regularly you know how fascinated I am by our lifestyle and the many reasons that we all choose to live this way. We’re such a diverse group, some live almost off grid while others live in cities and have full time jobs. I asked Em of I should Have Done That Yesterday… to answer some basic questions that readers often ask me.
What's your ideal vehicle? If I could afford to buy one, I'd choose a large conversion van.  There is a lot more you can do with one of those.  I currently am in a Oldsmobile Silhouette mini van.   No matter what, stealth is the most important, which is why I would not choose a more spacious camper.  A Chevy Astro would also be nice.

How long have you been vehicle dwelling?  Just for a couple months in the fall of 2011 before moving to CO.  I'm looking forward to moving back into my van in April.

What is your reason for vehicle dwelling?  One day about a year ago, I was sitting in my apartment surrounded by piles and piles of boxes and stuff.   I seemed to move once a year, and never really unpacked everything before moving again.  I had a lot more stuff stored at my parents house, and even rented a garage to store some of my things.  I felt overwhelmed.  I wanted free of my stuff.  I constantly felt like I was trying to unpack and organize, and it just never happened.  I found out about vandwelling online and started dreaming of it.  I would be free of all this clutter, and it happened to be a lot more affordable plan.  I spent about the next 6 months getting rid of stuff, selling what I could, but I wanted it gone, I just drove most of it to Goodwill, and I moved into my van.   

So basically, the idea was formed to get rid of stuff.  One major bonus that made me seriously consider it was how cheap it would be to live.  Once I decided to move into my van, I realized how I would be able to travel, and that is what made me most excited about it.

Do you tell people (ie: coworkers and friends) about your living situation?  I just told my first person a few days ago.

If yes: what are their reactions?   I was talking to two co-workers and mentioned owning a van.  One of them responded "You should gut the back of it and live in it!"  After that response, I had to come clean.  She apparently lived in her van for a year last year, and our discussion only lead the other co-worker to the reaction of "This conversation is making me so jealous.  My boyfriend is going to wonder what is wrong with me when I get home and announce we're moving into a van."  I can't bring myself to tell anyone else.

What kind of work do you do?   I'm a preschool teacher.

What general area of the country are you in?  Currently Colorado.  My vandwelling was in Ohio.

How does your family feel about your lifestyle?  They have no idea.  I just told them I lived with co-workers.  One weekend I met my parents camping, I pulled out my mattress and threw it in my tent.  Told them that is why I had it.  We camp a lot as a family, so a lot of the things found in my van can be linked to that.

Has a cop ever knocked on your window?  Not yet!

Do you have any good stories from you time tramping?  None of those yet either!  Hopefully I'll get some this summer.  I plan to travel around the US a lot more via van.

What blogs do you read that you have found helpful?  I have about 40 blogs on my Google Reader of people living in vehicles at least part of the time.  My favorites are TheTuckerbag, Spartan Student, Our Take on Freedom, and To Simplify

Any tips for beginners?  Just do it.  Don't worry about all the details.  If you try to figure them all out first, you'll never move in.  Just move into your vehicle, and figure out all the details as you go.

What's one thing you use in your van that makes life easier?  My window covers, and my clip-on book light.

Many thanks to Em for sharing her story! Like I said, this is a diverse group. Em is one of the many who change between vehicle and sticks and bricks depending on weather and work. There is no one right answer, instead it's about finding what works for you.

February 26, 2012

To Drive?

It’s March on Thursday which means a few things. First, I began vehicle dwelling during the week mid March last year, so my anniversary's coming up. Second, I’m almost halfway through my last semester of college. And third, there’s only two months between me and New Orleans. I think I have a place to stay, but now I’m trying to figure out how to get down there. Here are my choices as I see them:
  1. I can pack all much meager possessions into the Jetta and drive down. This would give me some time to stop along the way and catch up with a few friends I haven’t seen in a bit. I’ll also have my car down there as a fall back home just in case (hey, I’m preparing for everything). The cons are that it will cost me about $250 in gas and that’s not including food. It’s also assuming that gas stays at around $3.70/gallon. I can eat cheap but if something should go wrong I could be looking at a a huge mechanics bill and a major time delay.
  2. The second option is that I fly down for about $100 and ship some of the stuff I’ll need. I won’t be able to get back to New Hampshire until Christmas, but I can drive my car down to NOLA then with the rest of my things. The con is that I won’t have much more than clothing for seven months and no car to fall back on in case of housing trouble. A pro is that I can spend less money now and drive the car down after my first few pay checks have cleared.
So, what do you think? spend money now or later? Have a car now or later? So many choices. Lucky for me I have this awesome community to give me advice and you really haven’t steered me wrong yet.

February 24, 2012

Finding a Job

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately from people worried about making money while on the road. I talked about this a bit last summer in the Making a Living While Backseat Living post, but it’s about time that this was revisited for 2012.

Within the vehicle dwelling community there are literally hundreds of different occupations. People have found all kinds of things to do for short term work, and here are a few:
  1. Work camping: this is a great way to get experience is a bunch of different things and meet some great travelers while you’re at it.
  2. National Temp Agencies like Manpower or Labor Ready offer everything from filing to construction so if you ever need work fast, start here. I’ve worked for manpower on and off for years, whenever I needed a few extra hours of work. If you do a good job your reputation will follow you all over the country and you shouldn’t have trouble securing work wherever you end up.
  3. The National Park Service is always hiring someplace. During the summer they need everything from maintenance to educators, and guides to lawnmowers.
  4. I would also (once again) highly recommend The Backdoor Guide to Short Term Job Adventures which give hundreds of seasonal and short term jobs along with contact info, requirements, and salary.
These are just a few of the many ways to make money on the road. A member on the Cheap RV Living site recently recommended installing peep holes, David has been WOOFing, and others have tried everything from writing and art to flea markets and handyman jobs. Remember that many vehicle dwellers are stationary and work 9-5 jobs that all the “normal” people.

Start getting creative and really thinking about what you want to do. This lifestyle requires much less money than sticks and bricks which should allow you to really focus on the jobs you want to try rather than those you are forced into by financial necessity. For more information about finding work or to ask other vehicle dwellers about their expirience try the Money Matters section of the Cheap RV Living Forum. Good luck!

February 23, 2012

Summer Housing

I heard back from the Marqette House last night (it's been Marti Gras so they've been real busy). I had emailed them a little while back about working this summer for a bed. This was their answer:

Dear Ashley,
We have not been able to respond to your inquiry about a part time summer job for a dorm bed as we have been in the middle of our busy Mardi Gras season.
We do have work exchange positions available, in return for a dorm bed during the late May to mid summer period you mentioned.  Duties generally involve housekeeping chores and helping do the hostel laundry, possibly gardening and yard work if you like that kind of work.  We require a minimum of 2 hours for each free night that time of year.  Work exchanges are expected to be both diligent and work hard.  Work can be done day time on weekends if that is the only time you are available, but we do not generally use work exchanges in the evenings.
To apply we would need additional information about yourself and experience - a resume if you have one - as duties include access to secure areas like guest dorms and private rooms.  Information about your new job and training program would also be helpful.  A government issued photo ID is also required (and also needed to check in).
Whether or not you do work exchange, our hostel makes for good temporary accommodation while you search for an apartment.  We offer a $124 plus tax weekly rate for longer term guests, with pillow, blanket, sheets, and towel included.
Marquette House

So I've sent along all the stuff they needed and am waiting to hear if I have a home this summer. That would take a whole lot of stress of and my biggest problem will be getting the Jetta down there in May. That and finding the money for food...

February 22, 2012

Cars Cost Money

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake.
The great affair is to move.” 
-Robert Luis Stevenson

 Thanks to everyone for their feedback about the future of the Tuckerbag! There were a bunch of comments and quite a few emails and it seems that the general desire is for me to keep this blog going as I move onto the next adventure in New Orleans. I have to say that I was kind of touched by the fact that many of you are reading this blog for my story and not just for the vehicle dwelling info.

So, onto the Big Easy! Well, not quite yet. First there's the car... Here's the story:

You may remember that I brought the Go Go Gadget Red Car to my mechanic last week because there was some grinding and other stuff going on. Dave fixed the car for about $200 and this weekend I drove up to New Hampshire. You might remember me saying that it was like riding on a thresher which I figured was in large part to the horrible front end alignment and my completely bald and bare tire.

So on Monday morning I went to Sulivan Tire in Dover, NH on my way south. I asked them for a front end alignment ($70) and a tire ($90: for the record they were the only shop in the area that carried a 195/60R14. No idea why). They brought my car in and almost immediately came back out. "I'm sorry" the heavily tattooed mechanic told me "but I can't put a new tire on this car until the ball joint is replaced." Now, I was under the impression that Dave replaced the ball joint the week before (my own fault, but I'll get to that) so I was skeptical of this guy to say the least. I actually made him hand me the ball joint so I could see for myself and, sure enough, it was rusted and the rubber seal was cracked 3/4 of the way around. So, $130 for a new ball joint and the grand total came to $330. The good news is that the Jetta hasn't been this happy in a long time, but the bad news is that I'm now out $500 total to get her ladyship road worthy (these aren't cosmetic things. These are "fix it or your tire's going to fall off").

So yesterday I called Dave's shop to see what had happened with the ball joint. The answer: it wasn't the ball joint they replaced; it was the wheel bearing, which was also falling off. It sounds like when they found that the wheel bearing was in such bad shape they didn't look any further and because they didn't have the tire in stock they never saw the ball joint. I went back to look at my receipt and indeed it did say "Bearing" right at the top.

I trust Dave, he's a good guy and just missed something and one way or another I would have ended up paying about the same amount. But I didn't want to pay anything! I wanted the Jetta to calm down and stop giving me attitude. She's fifteen now and going through some teenage rebelion and she may also think that because she made it to 200,500 miles she's entitled to some matenence. Oh well, time to pinch some pennies.

February 21, 2012

Is There A Future?

I've been getting a lot of emails lately about the future of The Tuckerbag now that I'm moving to New Orleans and won't be living in my car. Honestly, it's a question I've been asking a lot of people to. I would love to continue vehicle dwelling, but a southern city is going to be both sweltering hot and heavy on vagrancy laws. Add to that my status as a teacher (people are extra critical of people who deal with their children) and The Tuckerbag may need to be revamped. So, I guess that these are my options:
  1. Continue writing
    • It would become the continuing saga and more about my working as a teacher in NOLA
  2. End the blog but keep it up as a reference
    • I might open a new blog to continue the story, but this site would remain vehicle dwelling only 
Let me know what you guys think and what would be most helpful.

February 19, 2012

NH Weekend

It's been a while since I visited New Hampshire so after work on Friday I jumped in the Jetta, cranked Terrapin Station, and hit the highway. You might remember that I was going to go up last weekend but had to get a new ball joint so the trip was postponed. Now that I had that problem fixed I still not quit out of the woods. The drive up was very much like riding in a blender or maybe on one of those vibrating conveyor belts that separates the wheat from the chaff. The ball joint kept the tire on, but she really needs a front end alignment. I'm going to have it done up here before I head back down (Tax Free New Hampshire!).

So it's a three day weekend (President's Day) and am having some relaxation time. This morning I woke up to C, his nose almost touching mine. I open my eyes and he says "Ashy, you're hogging the pillow", smiles, and then karate chops me in the abdomen. Happy Sunday Morning!

February 17, 2012

DIY Stationary

I love the computer age. With websites like Facebook and speed of light email I can stay in touch with friends on the other side of the country or down the block with the click of a button. However, just as I love my Kindle but still pine for the smell of a hardcover, I love getting and especially sending snail mail.

Nothing can beat physically holding a letter in your hand and on those days when all you're expecting is bills it's nice to find a card waiting for you. I've found lots of ways to send snail mail, like Hallmark and CardStore, but I also like making my cards. Stamps are the best way I've found for me to get maximum use for minimum dollars and the note here are a kind of sample. The card stock was a few bucks on sale at the craft store and the stamp was $1. I pick up new stamps as I find them and can now make some pretty cool stationary when I want to send a "hey how are ya?" or a quick note. Try it out. Surprise someone. Keep the USPS in business. 

February 16, 2012

Slide Show

Would you believe that next month will be my one year aniversary of full time vehicle dwelling? I think that's quite a milestone for both myself and the go go gadget red car. I gathered up some of the many many photos that have apeared on The Tuckerbag over the past eleven months and they're in a  slide show on the right. A lot has happened and it's honestly a little wierd looking back over all the car designs, food, parking spaces, and other ideas that litter the path from there to now.

This week a lot of my time has been spent figuring out where and how I'm going to live this summer. I have to train for six weeks in New Orleans with no pay check (they give you $2,000 at the end if you make it through training). That means I'm going to be broke (which I'm use to) and in a city (which I'm not use to). I've been talking to a few hostels about working for a bed, but no takers yet. Any ideas from the peanut gallery? Keep in mind that vehicle dwelling is going to be tricky until I get the lay of the land and I'm broke enough already without a $500 vagrency ticket. The countdown is on!

February 15, 2012

200,000 Miles

Guess what?! The go go gadget red car has officially passed 200,000 miles.

I got the ball joint replaced yesterday and she seems to be running pretty smoothly. The other was replaced in the fall, so that's taken care of for a while. Still some clunking that I could do without, but she's been a trooper this winter so I'll allow he some minor quirks.

Such a busy week! I'm going to New Hampshire this weekend (very excited to see everyone) and would believe that I only have less than 10 weeks of classes left? Ahhh! Time to get organized and get outa here.

February 11, 2012

Diagnosis: Ball Joint

A body needs very few thing in this world to be truly happy and it varies by person. For me, one of those essential things is a good and trustworthy mechanic.

Dave has one of those small town shops about 30 minutes from me. He never changes to just take a look at the Jetta, he never comments about the fact there's a bed in the back, he talks to me like an adult and explains what's wrong, he's even gone so far as to drive to my apartment (when I had one) to check the car out in my driveway. Just a really nice guy and we always spend ten to fifteen minutes chatting about his six kids and all that's going on with the family and the town.

So I dropped the car off at his shop yesterday afternoon and walked down to McDonald's to sip a coffee and use their WIFI while I waited for the diagnosis. The issue was that when I stepped on the breaks the front passenger tore started squealing, which I assumed to mean I'd worn through the break pad and was quickly wrecking the router. Not so, says Dave. My ball joint is busted, or nearly busted. He can get the part on Monday along with the knew tire (It's worse than the one I replaced a few months back).

So this whole things should cost me a little under $300 ($220 for the ball joint and $50 for the tire), which is worth it to keep her on the road. It's never something huge where I could justify getting rid of her, just small things that slowly whittle away at my wallet.

February 10, 2012

Car Repairs

It's been one of those hurry up and wait kind of days. I really tried to get stuff done this morning, but with very little luck. The one thing I did accomplish was covering one of my class notebooks, but I'm not sure I can justify my morning with just that.

My brakes have started screeeetching in the past few days and so I called my mechanic last night to see if her could squeeze  the Go Go Gadget Red Car in this afternoon. He's going to try (because he's awesome), but if he can't I'm going to take the car back (he knows better than to ask if I can leave it overnight) and bring it back to him Saturday morning. My entire weekend is thrown off kilter! I was going to be driving up to New Hampshire  tonight to see the kids and my folks and then visiting my aunt and uncle (who I haven't seen in forever) on the way home Sunday. Of course my schedule is the least of my problems. Brake pads and (potentially) routers are about $300 and I need a new tire ($50+) so there goes a good chunk of my tax refund (Lucky I did taxes early this year or I'd be up a creek). In all fairness the girl is less than 300 miles from the big 200,000 and I don't take care of her like I should. I'm very fortunate she doesn't quite on the side of the highway in protest.

So that's my day in a nutshell. I'm at work now and will leave at about 1pm, and try to find something to do for five hours... Updates (and maybe a rant) will follow shortly.

February 8, 2012

NOLA: Accepted!

I have a tendency to leap before looking. I quit jobs and homes when I get tired of them, often not thinking about the consequences of rash and ill-informed decisions. As a result I cause my self some last minute stress, but it's hard to learn my lesson when everything always works out in the end.

This afternoon I got an email from Teach NOLA and I'm in like Flynn. I begin training on June 1st just a few weeks after I graduate, and in August will begin at a local elementary school making good use of my shiny new degree. For now I can take a deep breath, focus on passing Spanish, and start looking for potential short term accommodations.

February 7, 2012

When Do You Wander?

"I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me, I think whoever I see must be happy"
-Walt Whitman (From Leaves of Grass)

I had so much fun reading everyones responses to the the "Why do you Wander" post! (Feel free to chime in if you haven't already). It's amazing how many different reasons people have for the way they live and how many motivations people share. Boredom was a common reason for wandering as well as a need for freedom from societal constrictions. Quite a few people also emailed me (which you guys are always welcome to do) to talk more in depth about the events that lead them to this life. I was surprised how few people said that money (or lack thereof) was a factor, and by money I also mean traveling for work or traveling to find work.

Along with lots of comments and emails about why people wander, I also received quite a few emails from people who wanted to pass along thanks to the greater vehicle dwelling community for their honesty. It's important to remember that we all enter this lifestyle for different reasons. Some people come out of necessity, like the loss of a home or job. Some people just have that boredom that we talked about. There seem to be an extraordinary number of people who enter this life without realizing that there are others like them, with the same motivations and questions. We form a very loose and contently morphing community; able to offer advice and support to each and to those who honestly felt that they were alone in their lifestyle. Because of our lifestyle we are often forced to hide who we are from those around us, so it's great when a community of very unique individuals can chat about what drives them.

So here's the next question: When do you wander?

In two months I will have been vehicle dwelling full time for a year straight, but I spent many years vehicle dwelling in between jobs/apartments or on excursions. Do you vehicle dwell full time? Only when apartments are costly? I've spoken to many people who do a little couch surfing, a little renting, a little car living depending on where they are or what job they have. So, are you full time or on and off?

February 5, 2012

Symphony Hall

I had a blast yesterday! I woke up early, drove to the testing center and took my Elementary Content Knowledge Test (which I aced!). After the Reading test on Tuesday I will officially be a "High Qualified Teaching Candidate", which can get me a teaching job in more states, so that's awesome.

The Statues
After the test I went to the college and tried to get some homework done but eventually gave up and drove to Boston. You might remember that I bought myself tickets to the Boston Symphony for my birthday and was going to go with a friend on the 25th of January. When NOLA called I had to shuffle my plans so this was the make up date.

A little back story: my mother use to take us to Symphony every other moth or so when I was growing up. We were broke (like, super broke) but we drive from New Hampshire to Boston for the kids performances or open rehearsals. Mum thought that we needed to know the difference between Beethoven and Bach, develop proper symphony etiquette (when to clap, when to stand, no talking, etc), and I think she kind of missed Boston herself. We would take the junker Volvo (which would break down every three trips or so) and spend the day window shopping at FAO Schwarz. For lunch we would go to the Union Oyster House and share a bowl of chowder then stuff our handbags with oyster crackers. Half would be eaten later and half would be fed to the pidgins at Faneuil Hall.

Unfortunately I still can't distinguish Beethoven from Bach most of the time, but I have a great love for classical music and all the pomp and circumstance behind it. Lucky for me Symphony Hall has this new program where people under 40 years old can get selected seats for $20 for any concert (otherwise my seats would have been $80 a pop).

So I met up with my friend Sarah, who now lives outside of Boston. She guided me through the intricacies of the public transportation system and we got to the hall in perfect time. We sat on the right side of the second balcony with a great view of Artemas (my favorite statue) and listened to Strauss, Dutlleux and Debussy (I'm now a big Debussy fan). I'm very lucky to have friends who are willing to get dressed up and come with me to such things and we plan on doing it again sometime soon.

Home every one else had as awesome a weekend.

February 3, 2012

Why Do You Wander?

“All men are lonely. But sometimes it seems to me that we Americans are the loneliest of all. Our hunger for foreign places and new ways has been with us almost like a national disease. Our literature is stamped with a quality of longing and unrest, and our writers have been great wanderers.” 
-Carson McCullers 

As you guys might have noticed, I'm very interested in nomads in general and modern American nomad in particular. They have been a subculture within almost every society in the world for thousands of years. While Romani and Travelers are normally family groups, there are an extraordinary number of people who have chosen this lifestyle with no established family connection to nomadic lifestyles. I'm not just talking about today, people have been taking to the road for a variety of reasons for generations.

I think that people, in general, seem to take the path of least resistance and, as a sociologist, modern nomads interest me because this is not an easy path. Vehicle dwelling, or non stationary dwelling in general, is abnormal (I say that in the nicest way) and it seems to me that very few people would take to the road (live far outside social conventions and open themselves to ridicule) voluntarily. This means that there must be a reason. For me the reason was partially monetary (I didn't have the money to go to school and have an apartment) and partially due to my nature (a very short attention span for places and occupations).

I was an anthropology major (a long time ago) and my anthropological side has questions about nomads as well. This is an ancient tradition that crosses boarders, culture, nationality, and gender. We wander, we stop, we settle, we pick up stakes and wander some more. America is unique in that we are almost all the decendence of long distence wanderers. Maybe your family crossed the land bridge between Russia and Alaska, maybe they came on a ship from England or Ireland, maybe they emegrated from Denmark or China or Inida. With nomadic traditions from around the world we were all thrown into the American melting pot and it is no wonder that wandering continued to be a valid (if highly stigmatized) option.

I'm very lucky that in this, my last semester of college, I found an awesome proffesor who is willing to sponsor an independent study. The general topic is "Houseless Vs. Homeless" and he is giving me a long leash so my research can go whatever direction it needs to. I plan to spend the next few months reading lots of books (Check out the Helpful Books section of this blog) and asking lots of questions.

So here's the question that I put to the peanut gallery today:  

Why do you wander?  

It it necessity? Nature? Is it wanderlust, like the Sea Gypsy? It takes a lot sometimes to examin our own motivations.

February 2, 2012

Fate and Math Tests

"Poor people have shitty lobbyists" 
-John Stewart

For purely selfish reasons I don't believe in fate. I like to think that I am responsible for the direction of my own life and that the outcome is effected by the decisions I make. Because I don't believe in fate I have a hard time believing that everything happens for a reason. There was no preordained reason I wasn't accepted to Teach For America, I just wasn't what they were looking for.

While I don't believe in fate, I do believe that life is full of choices and we, as human beings, are a collection or culmination of those choices. You know that saying about when a door closes a window opens? Well, that's kind of the way I look at life. I don't have the answer from NOLA yet, but even if I don't get it that just means that I should reevaluate what I want to do for a living. My background is in alternative and low income education so maybe I need to look into less mainstream educational opportunities.

A positive and negative side effect of the economic downturn is that people who are highly educated with buckets of experience are suddenly out of work. With no other options, they join the Peace Corp and other low pay volunteer organizations which is good for the world but bad for someone like me who lives on low wage volunteer work. The people I met at the NOLA interview were a very qualified group desperate enough to fly down there from all part of the country, so today I'm going to take another look at my options.

On a high note I just got back from taking the Praxis math test (required for teacher certification in most states) and I passed with a score of 178 (most states require 170-174). Of the four tests I have to take I was most nervous about this one, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the world.

Off to work now and then classes and remember: you can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

February 1, 2012

Teach For America

Well, Teach for America is a no go. For those of you just tuning in I applied to Teach for America as a last minute back up plan and got disconnected during my phone interview. Needless to say I kind of saw this coming. Unfortunately I now need another plan two, as that was my plan two and now I only have a plan one... Being a grown up is time consuming. So just in case the NOLA thing doesn't pan out, I'm taking suggestions for cool jobs, preferably something education oriented where I could use all these teaching certifications. Two hours math test tomorrow morning!