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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Out of All the Schools In All The State, You Had To Walk Into Mine


In a word, it's how I feel about taking the job with school #2.

But let me backtrack a bit...

Where we left off last, I had made a choppy phone call to the principal over at school #1 only to follow up with an email, and a deadline. I hemmed and hawed, hoping I'd hear something before 11am. I just couldn't let it drag on past then.

And I did. Hear SOMETHING that is. Two somethings actually. I got a call for another interview, although I declined considering it was only half time and really far away. The other something came from school #1 in the form of an email at exactly 11am. That something was I didn't get the job.

Instantly I didn't feel crushed or mad or defeated at all. I just sucked it up, picked up the phone and accepted the offer at school #2. (Cause honestly, I think I'd be crazy not to at this stage of the game)

The principal reminded me that everything had to go through board approval. Of course the next board meeting isn't till September, so there will have to be some creative reorganizing at the last minute as it has been in every school district I've worked in so far. New teacher training is the week after next. I don't even know about salary yet. The personnel guy probably doesn't even know about ME yet.

Of course once the dust had settled, the offer had been accepted and the realization sunk in that I would be working wonderfully early (note the sarcasm) hours until further notice, it started to hit me on a deeeper level. I will be working with one of my oldest friends.

Don't get me wrong, in some ways it is probably the best thing to be working with someone you know so well and who can show you the ropes, people and things to watch out for etc. But, there is an inevitable downside.

The first job I ever had was in high school. This same friend's mom worked at a bank and got both her daughter and myself a job there. For three summers we worked together at that bank (or was it two? whatever, that's not the point). At the time I found working with my friend a comfort but at the time... I was also a different person.

I have known my friend since I was five. For a good fifteen years of my life our names were interchangable. I was always the quiet, sarcastic smart one to my friend's outgoing, mischievous, slacker. Teachers and strangers constantly confused us, although neither one of us nor our immediate families saw why, beyond the fact that we both had blonde hair. In fact, my uncle even congratulated HER at MY confirmation.

Good times.

Here's another classic. One time in high school we went back to visit our elementary school to do a DARE presentation. Teachers were literally coming out of the woodwork, falling all over the grown up version of my friend. The very same teachers who had me in the very same classes, would then turn to me and say "And you are?"...OR "Did you go here too?" I mean I was always shy, but not transparent.

After high school we went to separate colleges and essentially, carved out separate lives. I have come out of my shell more while she has perhaps grown a little more reserved since she is married now. The roles haven't reversed, but I guess you could say they have shifted.

Still, whenever I hang out with my friend, which isn't often, I feel like that fifteen year old version of myself. The quiet, sarcastic yet smart back up singer to her outgoing, mischievous self. I think it will always be that way no matter how old we get.

But now things have come full circle. And instead of being able to look at this job as a clean slate, a fresh start, I can't help but thinking it won't be all that different from when I was in school. I'll be introduced to her friends, her enemies and once again, known as the girl who kinda sorta looks like her, and whose always by her side. Even if I don't. Even if I'm not.



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