Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Love Story continued ...

(Back to the story after the Anniversary post and long break from posting.)

We arrived in North Carolina in late July or early August (can’t quite remember which is driving me nuts). As we moved in, as I began my job and as we found a church, we discovered “we really aren’t in Kansas anymore”. One of the first evidences of that was … as I got close to our home in Greensboro, North Carolina I pulled into a Wendy’s and went to the drive through. I quickly gave my order and there was a long pause, then the voice in the box said (should be read with a heavy southern accent) “Could you repeat that please?”. We moved in and I began my job at a Building and Supply company while still applying for teaching jobs.

We were definitely fish out of our normal waters. Our lack of accent made us stand and we were learning that there were phrases that we didn’t understand and to most people we were considered foreigners. We were adjusting to a southern summer. The heat and humidity in July and August were brutal. At work at the Building and Supply company I spent a lot of time outdoors in the lumberyard, but the worst was when semi loads of fiberglass insulation arrived and I had to unload it in that heat and humidity. I had to wear long sleeves because of the fiberglass so that made it doubly miserable.

We were enjoying our church but even there we felt a little like foreigners with many of the people. We got very involved and worked mainly with the teens. My brother was the pastor there when we arrived and it was great to have family around. Jody was adjusting to a new culture. She was home with a toddler and was pregnant so it was not an easy adjustment. She also did not adjust to the language differences very well. I was hearing the phrases and the accents all day so I adjust rather quickly and our son sounded like a southerner in no time. We were living in a townhouse apartment with little furniture, but it had a pool which was a plus.

Through my work I met a man who was an Assistant Superintendent at a large nearby school district. He liked me and told to call a certain man and tell him that this guy told me to call and make an appointment for an interview. I was amazed at how quickly it happened but since school had already started I didn’t hold out much hope. I was asked if I was willing to teach Special Education and coach. I had some experience from a couple of other jobs with teens with physical and mental handicaps so I said sure I was willing. A teacher quit 6 weeks into the school year, that should have been a clue to me as to how difficult that position was, and I was offered the job. I jumped at it and began my teaching career.

My first hint at the uniqueness of the position was that my classroom did not have entrance from inside the school. You had to go outside the building to come through the door to my room. There was no plan for the subjects for the school year and I would be teaching science and math to a large group of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders with special needs in an inner city school. So I jumped in full force and starting teaching. I was excited to be teaching and got a position as the Assistant Junior Varsity boys basketball coach at the High School.

The pay period was once a month and when I began meant that it would be 6 weeks before my first check. I continued to work at the Building and Supply place on weekends and a few evenings so we could have a little food and pay our rent. When that first check arrived we were ready to celebrate but …


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