zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word
lizardek

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AMERICAN DERRING-DO

I think I need a Pandora intervention. I listen to pandora.com in the evenings when I'm on the computer, working on web stuff, or editing or reading blogs or writing journal entries. It's gotten so that the majority of the songs they play are ones that I give a thumbs up to. Pandora has a feature, however, whereby you can bookmark songs you especially like for future reference and I only bookmark songs I've never heard before or that are by artists that are new to me. I suppose the idea is that I should eventually go back and BUY all these songs, or the albums they are on. I have five pages of songs bookmarked. There are 20 songs on each page. That's, er, 100 songs. So far.

Anders left for the States today. He'll be gone for almost a week and a half and will miss Halloween. I am envious as hell, not only because it's been so long since I've been "home" but because I really wish I could take my kids back for a real American Halloween. So with that impetus, the kids and I decided to make our OWN real American Halloween right here on Platanvägen this year. I wrote out a letter to all the neighbors, in Swedish (which Anders only corrected a leeetle tiny bit) and printed out 40 copies along with an image of a grinning jack o'lantern on orange paper and we rolled them up and tied them with a silver ribbon and then the kids and I walked around the neighborhood and left one in the mailbox of every house (with special delivery to the burned-out neighbors who are still technically part of the neighborhood even though they live in temporary quarters a few blocks away). The letter says (roughly):

Howdy neighbors on Platanvägen!
It's Halloween time again!


Halloween is a nice north American tradition which always falls on the 31st of October. It has some similarities to the Swedish Easter witch traditions and one of the nicest parts is naturally "trick-or-treating." That is, the children get dressed up and go around the neighborhood to beg for a little candy or fruit, or perform some little "trick" in order to get it.

This year, I thought it would be nice if all the children on Platanvägen could experience a real American Halloween and wondered if you would like to join in? We are planning to trick-or-treat between 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31st.

If you want to participate, cut out the pumpkin on the attached sheet and put it on your door or mailbox so that the children know they are welcome. If your children want to participate it's fine that they meet up with us at our house at 6 p.m. Call me if you have any questions.

Thanks in advance and Happy Halloween!
Lizardek and family

In other news, did I tell you I yelled at the county representative for native-tongue education on the phone for 20 minutes a couple of weeks ago while I was at work? With my office door open and everything? I was SO MAD. The kids haven't had an English tutor for over 3 years and he apparently thought posting the ad on the county website and the county unemployment site for 14 days and then removing it and not reposting it again for an entire term EVERY TERM FOR 3 YEARS when he didn't get any response was good enough. "We don't get any applicants," he told me.

"Why didn't you just post it again?" I exclaimed. Because, he told me, what if someone applied for the job and he had already found someone? Well, you just told me that you haven't gotten any applicants for 3 years so WHAT FRICKIN DIFFERENCE WOULD IT MAKE?! Also, I told him, that was complete bullshit, since I know 2 people personally who had interviewed last year for the job. One didn't get it, and one never heard anything after the interview. "Uh hrm, no, no, I don't remember those names," he blustered. He told me that they won't hire just anybody either, it has to be a native speaker of English (fair enough) and someone who is a "qualified" teacher. He couldn't qualify "qualified" however, telling me basically that just speaking English wasn't good enough, "you have to know what to do with it and with the kids." Okay...The woman who never heard back after the interview last year is a certified teacher and teaches as an English hemspråk teacher in 2 other counties so there is no good reason why she shouldn't have gotten the job. He gave me no good answer to my question about why the ad wasn't posted in Lund or Malmö, either. ARGH. Talk about frustrating. So, I told him to send ME the damn ad and I would post it with the AWC and see if he got any response from that. So he did. He sent me the ad...in the SNAIL MAIL. *rolls eyes*

I posted the ad to the club and had 7 responses from interested people, whom I put in touch with him directly. The thing is, the job SUCKS. It's only 8 hours a week (!) at below-minimum wage, and they only reimburse for the driving you do WITHIN the county itself, not getting to and from it. There are, at this point, 12 children, at 4 different schools, of all different ages from 6 to 15, which means radically different teaching curriculums for each child and the times allotted for this tutoring are after regular school hours which means juggling with schedules and parents and daycare. It's no surprise to me that nobody wants this job. Even if it had been posted where any potential candidates would have seen it, why would anyone want it?!

WELL, thankfully, there are people who need jobs and who think that this is a good foot in the door and that it's a worthy cause for the children. A friend of mine, who will be GREAT at this, interviewed 2 weeks ago, and accepted the job last week. She starts the week after next, and will be at our school for approximately an hour and a half on Tuesdays...until she finds a "real" job anyway. I'm thrilled and resigned at the same time.
Tags: americanabroad, holidaze, littlemisssunshine
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