I had my final meeting with the Head and the Organizer of Prestigious. Well, it was just as I'd feared in general, but none of my specific little paranoias were valid. (As I waited in the lobby, the male drama teacher came up to have a quick conference with the Organizer. I could tell instantly that the drama teacher was a big ol' queen, so it was clear that my private life, at least, had never been a concern.)
My prepared lesson had won everyone over. I'd known that. It was granted, even among my detractors, that I had the best skills for the job. The thing that had fizzled their enthusiasm for me was how I'd presented myself in those four group interviews with the staff.
This is a place that prides itself on an integrated curriculum, a family atmosphere, and plenty of teamwork. As I knew in my heart, I'd sunk my own interview by coming across as an introverted lone wolf, and I turned off a lot of the teachers who questioned me. (The Head told me that he suspected a communication breakdown along gender lines and that in a largely female environment men need to be sensitive to how they're communicating messages. That may well be true. It's also true that I was horribly nervous, and I am slightly antisocial, and I do have low patience for fools, so I'm often not a team player. But I can follow directions and collaborate when it's expedient to do so, or when I respect my colleagues.)
The purpose of all the interviews with the staff, I see now, was to ascertain whether I got along with all those people. I thought at the time was that its purpose was for me to supply more information about myself. So there was a communication mismatch there as well. I gave answers that may have seemed wishy-washy, rather than enthusiastic, because I was trying to be literally honest.
It's too bad, because I really am enthusiastic about teaching in general and Prestigious in particular. Everyone there literally loves the place, and they're all brimming with eagerness to teach. They're academically rigorous, yet informal and laid-back. So it's a perfect fit for me, and I know I'd get along with nearly everyone there, despite my poor performance at the initial interviews.
However, the Head clearly likes me. He and I are alike in some ways: he's an over-educated academic who kind of just fell into teaching at the elementary level. I really do feel he was pulling for me, and I probably have him to thank that I got as far as I did.
And how far was that?
The upshot is that I was offered a job there, but it's only a five-month contract. Still, it's great news, even if it wasn't the news I would have liked to hear (had I been intelligent enough in the first place to tell those women what they'd wanted to hear). The worst-case scenario (other than the offer being rescinded between now and next year for whatever reason) is that I'll be looking for a job at the beginning of summer with a few months of Prestigious experience under my belt. The best case is that I win the rest of the staff over with my wit and charm, and get offered a long-term contract.
Later that day (since I'd taken the whole day off from Brown) I went to see a doctor. I'd been referred to her by my specialist, but she had no idea who I was or why I was there, so it was a bit aggravating. A further source of slightly amused irritation was that she was a very young-looking, wide-eyed intern who had never heard of the procedure I've undergone. While it was kind of cute to be attended to by a brunette version of season one-era Dr. Eliot Reid from"Scrubs," I have a specific medical history and it was silly to pretend that she could do anything for me other than just order the damn tests that my specialist had wanted in the first place, like I told her at the beginning of our incredibly boring two hours together.
Anyway, it got straightened out and on Monday I'm getting the test my specialist wanted me to get back in August. Then they'll tell me how close I am to the grave and what death-postponing potions they'll prescribe me.