Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Warning: cheesy pun ahead!!!

So a friend and I were messing around on Craigslist to relieve ourselves from the job search, and we found this link in the free stuff section.

To which my reply was: "We should get it, because even when time get shitty, we would still have a pot to piss in."

Cha Ching.

OK, that was bad.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This one looks like a good one too...cover letter abounds!!!


Classroom Literacy Mentor

ORGANIZATION: Scott Carver Dakota CAP Agency, Inc.
CATEGORY: Education

The CAP Agency is a private, non-profit organization serving families and individuals of all ages living in Scott, Carver and Dakota counties. Services in Scott and Carver counties include early childhood and nutrition education, food and clothing assistance, transitional housing, childcare, crisis nursery, transportation, energy assistance, congregate dining and home-delivered meals.

JOB TITLE: Classroom Literacy Mentor
LOCATION: Twin Cities Metro

SALARY: $25,572/yr TYPE: Full Time / 40 hours DEADLINE: 9/16/2009

The Literacy Mentor provides mentoring to classroom staff through guidance, coaching, modeling, training, support and information. Coordinates Words Work student assessments in order to meet the goals and implement the strategies of Words Work. This position works closely with the teaching staff, the Words Work Project Coordinator and the Education Coordinator to coordinate Words Work classroom-related activities. This position also works closely with all areas of Head Start as part of the team that provides comprehensive services to children and families.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Development or equivalent four-year degree or equivalent related experience.
Experience: Three years experience as a teacher in an early childhood program. Experience working with culturally diverse and low-income families. Experience with adult learning and teacher skill development. Coursework or training in literacy-related areas and literacy-related work experience preferred.
Abilities and skills. Must have leadership skills including capacity to mentor other staff. Must have knowledge of child development; developmentally appropriate practice and emergent literacy concepts. Strong organizational skills required. Excellent reading, writing and interpersonal communication skills required. Must be available for occasional evening work. May have to work at multiple Words Work sites.
Physical Abilities: Ability to lift and carry approximately 40 pounds. Capable of reacting to demands of group of 3-5 year olds.
Travel: Access to reliable transportation.

Location is Shakopee, MN
This position is full time - Seasonal (mid August through Mid June).
Eligible for pro-rated benefits.

Fax: 952-402-9815
Mail: Scott-Carver-Dakota CAP Agency
Attn: Jean - HR
712 Canterbury Road S
Shakopee, MN 55379

This job was posted on 8/17/2009. Please carefully follow the instructions under “How to Apply” when submitting applications for this position. Minnesota Council of Nonprofits operates this Job Board as a service to nonprofits and jobseekers

Welcome fall

53 for the high today, 40 for the low in Roseville, MN and the surrounding area. Welcome fall. I love fall, but not what it represents. This means winter is just around the corner, and winter is a bitch here in the upper Mid-west. Yupppers. I gots my sweatshirt ON.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

People of Walmart

Just once, I would like the publishers of this site to showcase the stupid People of Wal-Mart in a northern or western state. I promise, not all of us southerners (and I consider myself a southerner because I was born and bred there) are as dumb as this, and yes, I guarantee there are people in Wal-Marts all over the mid west (Minnesota, namely) that are equally as dumb. But you wouldn't know it from this site. I am sick of the southern-stupid stereotype!

Saturday, September 26, 2009



Youth Program Specialist, North Regional Library

ORGANIZATION: Hennepin County Library
CATEGORY: Education

Forty-one libraries. More than 5 million books, CDs and DVDs in 40 world languages. Sixteen hundred public computers. Eleven library board members. One great system serving 1.1 million residents of Hennepin County. In 2008 the Hennepin County Library system merged with the Minneapolis Library system, creating a premier 41-library system to serve both city and suburban Hennepin County. The library is committed to serving as Hennepin County’s partner in lifelong learning with programs for babies to seniors, new immigrants, small business owners and students of all ages. Hennepin County Library launched in 1922; its headquarters are at Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka, Minn.

JOB TITLE: Youth Program Specialist, North Regional Library
LOCATION: Twin Cities Metro

SALARY: $14.50 - $17.50/hour TYPE: Part Time / 20 hours DEADLINE: 9/25/2009


Hennepin County Library is seeking a Youth Program Specialist at the North Regional Library in Minneapolis, MN. This grant-funded position will assist customers ages 11-17 with their participation in youth development programs, library activities and leadership opportunities. Working in conjunction with a dedicated team of library staff, this person will serve as the primary contact for youth during after school and evening hours.

This is a part-time (approximately 15-20 hours per week on a Tuesday – Sunday schedule) contracted position with Hennepin County Library and not an employee of Hennepin County.
Salary: $14.50 - $17.50 per hour based on qualifications

Primary duties include:
• In conjunction with library staff and youth themselves, assess needs and interests of young people and align related programming opportunities at the Library.
• Plan and facilitate a youth advisory council and/or interest teams focused on issues, interests and skills of the young people at North Regional.
• Conduct outreach to other youth serving agencies and neighborhood groups to develop partnerships and recruit participants for activities and programs.
• Connect, recruit and coordinate with parents and other community members to increase involvement with the Library.
• In conjunction with library staff, develop and conduct program evaluation and make program recommendations.
• Perform administrative duties including maintenance of participation records, program outcomes, scheduling and goal measurement.
• Communicate impact and outcomes to stakeholders.

• High School diploma or equivalent
And one of the following:
• Minimum of two years of experience in the youth development field or similar experience working with urban youth
• Associate Degree: youth coursework desired.
• A combination of experience and education
Reference and criminal background checks will be conducted for finalists.

Desired Qualifications:
• Ability to work with urban youth from a wide array of backgrounds and socio-economic status
• Considerable knowledge of the North Minneapolis and Hennepin County organizations that provide youth-related services.
• Creativity and innovation to apply youth development practices to a library setting.
• Ability to organize, plan, implement and manage several projects at the same time.
• Skill in application of technology for communication, information finding, program delivery and reporting.
• Ability to strongly advocate for youth within a larger institution.

This is a part-time (approximately 15-20 hours per week on a Tuesday – Sunday schedule) contracted position with Hennepin County Library and not an employee of Hennepin County.
Salary: $14.50 - $17.50 per hour based on qualifications

Interested applicants should send or e-mail their resume and cover letter to Aaron Lundholm, North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Avenue North, Minneapolis 55411 or by Friday, September 25, 2009.

This job was posted on 9/8/2009. Please carefully follow the instructions under “How to Apply” when submitting applications for this position. Minnesota Council of Nonprofits operates this Job Board as a service to nonprofits and jobseekers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I love generic rejections

AKA Job search update on a week that doesn't start off that great anyway...

1. Fraser School gave me not a courtesy phone call, but an awkward e-mail rejection in the form of

Thank you for the opportunity to consider you for the Assistant Teacher - Infants position. At this time, the position has been accepted by another candidate. Please browse our current openings for other positions that may interest you. Remember, you can apply for up to three positions at a time. This message only applies to the Assistant Teacher - Infants position and does not apply to other positions you may have applied for. We will relist this position if becomes available again. Have a great day.
I love that this wasn't actually signed by a real person too. Just "Fraser Human Resources." And, not only did I receive one of these, but I also received another identical one for another position I applied for at the same school.

2. I have a list of SEVEN organizations/positions in my inbox currently that I should apply for, but I haven't yet. I'm not sure when I will get up the motivation to write an entirely new cover letter, but I have to soon. I have to.

3. Followed up with the Minnesota Reading Corps today too, but I didn't get a hold of anyone I called. Hopefully they take me seriously.

4. What do I need to do to get a job around here? Who knows? Advice welcome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The best job search story of the day goes to this one, by far

While I'm talking to the ladies in the Human Resources office of the school district I used to work for (and still do in another capacity, really) I express concern that my layoff letter came three months late and I'm worried that schools are not seeing that I'm actually not working in a school right now and would like to be, as my countless applications for teaching assistant positions have implied.

Said receptionist lady behind the desk points out that the best thing for me to do would be to call the schools themselves and let them know that I am looking and I have applied for positions at that school. She then hands me a five-page list of all of the schools in said district. Granted, I know this information and have been doing this from day one. The list is online and I've been following up.

So out of pure paranoia this afternoon while waiting for my second interview of the day, I decide to start calling some of the high schools in the district to see if they got my application materials. Of course, I get a voice mail. I leave a message explaining who I am and what I'm looking for and my contact information.

Low and behold, after completing said second interview I have voice mail waiting on my phone from principal at said high school I left a voice mail with. (This is another of my favorite activities of the job hunt. I don't think I've talked to so many recording devices in my life, and might actually have to start investing in the recording machine industry in the near future, but that is another post all together.)

The voice mail says the following, and a kid you not. "Hello, my name is so and so and I'm the principal at said high school. If you are inquiring about a position you really need to call human resources. They handle the whole process from beginning to end and make all hiring decisions."

Talk about running in a hamster wheel! I swear didn't I just get the opposite response from Human Resources? Does one not know what the other is doing? Is it laziness on the part of either the district office or the school hiring staff? Why oh why does hiring have to be so complicated? It seems to me, you find the right person for the job, one that matches the workplace personalities, and you hire them. Pay them to do a job that suits their skills. I don't get it. Can someone please explain it to me? Why must I get this run around.

That is all. I just had to get that out. End of story.

Since when do I have time to update three times a day?

Honestly, I have no clue. But this thing seems to be a healthy outlet, so let me have my space to vent. I finished the interview at THE CITY and it went well. I interviewed with two of the lead teachers there for a Title I reading and writing tutor position. It's four hours a day, and I found out that I would be meeting with only four students per day, with a caseload much larger than that, as all Title I positions are concerned. They seemed really concerned that my high school student experience was limited to the AVID program at Patrick Henry High School, but I tried to assure them that that experience was intensive, and I learned a lot while I was there. The interviewers also kept reminding me that this is a "chaotic" and "interesting" position in which students don't show up, aren't at school, aren't ready for tutoring, and in that case, flexibility is key. I countered that with all of my Minneapolis Public School tutoring experience where flexibility was key as well. I have plenty of "keep it flexible" experience when it comes to working as an assistant teacher and tutor. That I do. They said they would let me know by Friday. I have no idea what kind of impression I made. Interviews are awkward for everyone involved. I understand that. But is there a way to make them less awkward? I just want this whole phase of my life to be over. I am very committed to the organizations and people that are committed to me. Just give me a chance and let me show you what I can do for you. You won't be disappointed. I promise. :)

In other news...

I took someone's advice and I marched my butt down to the school district's main office. (I was actually in the area after my first interview today, but that's another story all together.) I thought I would take a positive step in my job search process. I explained that yes, I just received my layoff letter on September 11. (I had been laid off since June, and I was a little confused over this too.) I thought that this might be a factor affecting my application and not getting called from schools, so I thought by going to Human Resources it would straighten things out. I was very polite, even though I felt like a dragon. My dragon head did not get reared, at least not today. I explained what location I worked, when I was excess-ed, and what I'm looking for. They said that it wouldn't affect my applications, but schools now have upwards of 200 qualified applicants that they are looking at for hiring. No wonder it's taking so long. So how do I make myself look different than 200 other people? I walked out of there with a list of schools and promptly began calling the schools I had applied for. One school told me that "they didn't know when they would begin their hiring process." What? It's September. Another school told me that "they had already filled the position, and had had it filled since June." Then why did you post it? I know this kind of things happen all the time in the job search process, but it frustrates me to no end. It's the sheer number of factors that add up to what seems to be a losing situation for the job seeker. I guess I just needed to rant, but I have to stay positive. I am a qualified individual with 5 years in the educational arena. I have a clear view of how schools operate and what my role in them should be. I should be able to communicate this to future employers, but not with this nonsense. Hiring processes are slow, I just didn't anticipate them being THIS slow. That's all.

Job Search Update

Organizations other than the school districts seem to be biting this week, as I have had two interviews at organizations and 2 more in the following days.

1. The first was at the FRASER SCHOOL for an infant room assistant teacher position. I'm excited about this one because it's full time and I would be a full employee of the school. I love the mission of this school. It's a full inclusion school and was founded by ONE woman with a special needs child wondering about the best environment to educate her child 60 years ago, before all of the research was done about children with special needs. The founder of this school was truly an innovator in the field, and it would be really neat to have a connection with this school from a career development perspective. I think I passed the section about infants too, as I didn't say any of the phrases in my previous posts. Awkward moments still abounded in this interview, because at the end of the question and answer period, the interviewers (two middle-aged women) asked me to read BROWN BEAR BROWN BEAR WHAT DO YOU SEE to them, aloud. They began acting like preschoolers, and I assume this was to gauge my reactions to the possible behaviors. Except, I wasn't just alone with the interviewers. I was in an office, with other people working in cubicles all around me. So here I am, making verbal commands to "keep your hands in your lap" and "keep your eyes on me" and walking around using PROXIMITY to control the behaviors of these middle-aged preschoolers with other folks watching. It was probably one of my most awkward interview moments I've ever had. But it was a second interview, so by then I should HOPE they already saw something they liked in my application materials and other questions. If not...I'll write it off as an experience (and material for future writings) and call it done.

2. Today, I had an interview at WAY TO GROW, for a family educator position. They wanted someone with literacy teaching experience in early childhood to serve as a school-readiness teacher in homes. They wanted someone with home visit experience. I talked about my experience as a tutor with Project for Pride in Living, I talked about my AmeriCorps experience, as well as my PCA experience with the Student Experience. I gave them what I had. I talked about my career goals, and they asked how long I planned on staying in a position if offered one. I said "as long as it took to build a solid relationship and finish what I've started." She laughed, and I finished with 5 to 10 years. What else was I supposed to say? It is a part-time job. I have no idea what I want to do with my life and skills. I talked a lot about professional development and how I am working to build the skills necessary to fit my employer's expectations. I talked about how dedicated to the mission I was. She finished with a question and answer session, and I asked some good questions, and she finished with a lecture about the next steps in the process, and I hope I am contacted for a second interview in the next two weeks. Or I will be calling back. All of these exciting opportunities lie at my finger tips.

3. In about an hour I have an interview for another part-time reading and writing tutor position with THE CITY, INC. I have no idea how their program works, but I know I do have tutoring experience. That much, I can tell them. I will update with further news as time goes on.

4. On Thursday (tomorrow) of this week, I will have an interview with THE WILDER FOUNDATION for a survey interviewer position in the St. Paul Public Schools. It runs September-December and I would be conducting assessments with students. It's definitely applicable for future reading teacher positions in schools, and would be valuable experience to have for future work.

That's all I have for now. Stay tuned for more at a later date...just getting it out there.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My newest response.... any infant room position interview, from here on out, thanks to Em.

"Well, if faced with a floor full of babies, I a jig and hope for the best? Talk about Sesame Street and how awesome it is to be able to talk?"


"Well, what do you want me to do with a floor full of babies? Quote Shakespeare?" Discuss Homer and the Odyssey? You can never teach them too early!"

OR, one last shot in the dark here:

"Your Baby Can Read. That's what we would be doing. Your Baby Can Read, Theory Hegemonic decline, classic lit--you know, the usual."

Because everyone knows I'M THAT AWESOME.

This is, and always will be, my single girl's ode to being single

So strong, classy, and independent. Eponine and LES MIS rock my single girl world.

I also really like this one too

Another gem from postsecret today....

I somehow related a little bit with this one today...

Don't know where this came from? Only the Sunday Secrets of PostSecret. Yes, I have also known kids to be more respectful than a lot of adults out in the world. Not a sweeping generalization by any means, but overall, that's probably why I choose to work with kids over many adults I know. That's all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Best Venn Diagram EVER. Period. End of Story.

Found here.

Couldn't have said it better myself, honestly. Do you agree?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Here is my beautiful creation, Banana Zucchini Bread, described below

More evidence to the fact that when I'm unemployed on Labor Day, I make things

Mostly yummy things. Case in point, this recipe for Banana-Zucchini bread out of a desperate need to use zucchini in the fridge before it rots. (It was already starting to go soft.) It's super easy too!


* 3 eggs
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup grated zucchini
* 2 bananas, mashed
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

* add to recipe box Add to Recipe Box
My folders:
* add to shopping list Add to Shopping List
* Customize Recipe
* add a personal note Add a Personal Note


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch bread loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light yellow and frothy. Add oil, brown sugar, white sugar, grated zucchini, bananas, and vanilla; blend together until well combined. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the cranberries and nuts. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool in the loaf pans on a wire rack before removing and serving.

Job Search Update

1. Completed narrative responses (essays) for Minnesota Reading Corps application and submitted it, along with the reference form link to the appropriate people. I applied for the family liaison position, because it was something that I felt I had a strong passion for but need more experience communicating with families if I am to become a successful reading specialist when the time is right.

2. Phone interview with Fraser School people for PCA positions went well, though it was only a screening interview lasting 20 minutes. Pretty sure they just wanted to make sure I had valid experience and wasn't crazy. I hope I hear from their next point person in HR next week, or I will be calling very soon.

3. Never heard back from the infant room at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center, and I'm not sure I will. I didn't have a great interview, and the director was looking for someone with more infant experience. Pretty sure I bombed the question where she asked me what I would do with a group of infants at floor time. I have to do something with them? Not just lay them on their tummies and roll a ball back and forth? Oops. Moving on.

4. Upcoming: Thursday interview at Bright Horizons, back up day care center in Woodbury. Not sure what they are looking for. I suppose I will find out. I can do anything, because I have mad skills! I can teach infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, kinders, and beyond. Yes I can.

5. Also, I'm getting really antsy that I have not heard from any of the school district positions I have applied for yet. I know they have a lot of applications to weed through, and I know it's a slow process, but it still makes me nervous. I applied three weeks ago, and I am qualified here, people! I can do this! Just give me a change to prove my stuff. Enough said.

6. I feel like there are more positions off the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits website that I've applied for, I just don't feel like listing at the moment. I shall update them at a later date. Job searching is a full-time job, and I'm exhausted. Good thing tomorrow is Labor Day. It's one more day I can't call to follow up on any of my leads! Oh joy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I should be sleeping, but I'm applying for jobs

I just completed the bulk of the Minnesota Reading Corps application. Yes, you read that correctly. I just applied for a THIRD year of service with AmeriCorps. Minnesota Reading Corps has a sweet Family Educator opportunity with St. Paul Public Schools. Go LITERACY, go SERVICE!!! Woo Hoo! Before you go all judgmental (MOM and DAD) it's a perfect opportunity for me to get my feet wet in the field of Literacy Professional Development in schools. The type of position I want with a school district is really tough to obtain without much experience, and I think that this opportunity will allow me to gain exactly the experience I'm looking for. I would be setting up family literacy nights, coordinating events with schools and school staff, and working with a literacy coach (the exact position I am aiming for) to do this. It seems like the perfect fit for me right now. It would just mean taking a service stipend for the third year in a row, and picking up another job (which I have with Minneapolis Kids) and working crazy 60+ hour weeks. Which, in all honesty, I would do any way. Leave me alone and let me make my own decisions career-wise. This is what I want to do. Here's to hoping the position isn't filled by the time I finish the essays.

1. Explain your reasons for applying to serve in Minnesota Reading Corps. Why do you want to commit the next year of your life to this program?

I just did, now I have to make it sound good.

2. Describe your experience working with children, particularly any experience you have that is related to literacy.

How much do you want? I can figure out how to word 10 years in a paragraph, right?

3. Describe how you have reached out to help others and / or how you have been involved in your community. What motivated you to become involved in your community?

Only the story of my life here...what should I say? I love this stuff. Do you think that's good enough? :)