Sunday, July 16, 2006

Beyond Katrina

I try to read the Times Picayune online everyday. It's a little way of staying connected to New Orleans. Today there is a fascinating article on the fates of many New Orleans public school students, flung far and wide to make their way in different educational systems.
For some reason, reading about these kids really struck a chord with me. I used to have this recurring dream that I was back at my public high school being told I had failed a math class and therefore hadn't graduated. The implication being that my undergraduate and graduate degrees were invalid and even fraudulent. I also admit to taking those online tests of 'basic high school knowledge' and not faring well, despite the fact that I took not only trigonometry but also calculus...I hate memorizing formulas and never committed to the difference between cosine and tangent.
The students themselves are a mixed lot. Some flourished, some floundered.
It's my turn to do the same. So far, I've been on a couple of job interviews in NYC but nothing has panned out. It has, predictably triggered an existential fit. Am I going to cut it in the New York job market? Am I a competitive candidiate?
I feel like I'm about to jump in the double dutch ropes while they are turning 'red hots.' On the side, I'm weaving and ducking and estimating...and I'm not in yet. I'l still have to catch the rhythm and keep it up when I get a leap. I could slide in or I could fall off.
I've been pretty optimistic so far. And I really do think things are going to be just fine. It's a question of how long it will take for things to fall into place that I can't predict. Or what my life will look like when it does. What kind of life will I settle into in New York?
I even contemplated going back to school. Finding a skill --for once-- for the market, refocusing my efforts. I feel like quite the generalist right now....capable, yes but not as qualified as the perfectionist in me prefers.

1 comment:

brunsli said...


I have the same fear! I dropped out of kindergarten and am afraid when "they" find out, I'll be stripped of my degrees.

Picking up and starting a new career in a new city can't be easy, esoeciually when your career options are so wide. Have you considered getting a life coach or career counselor?