The term has finally wrapped up. My first real-life test as a high-school physics teacher, and I passed. It wasn’t without some incredible challenges that I had to overcome, but my probation period is over, and the school has decided to keep me on payroll.
On the same day that I applied for my teaching job, I also applied to a few tutoring services. Within days, two of these companies called me. One of them was a tutoring service near York University, which, you may imagine, caters to first-year students at York. I went to an interview, trying to look as much a professional as possible. (And yes, as pretty as possible too, because, well, I like being pretty dammit!) My supposedly 15 minute interview lasted close to an hour. I got along very well with the manager, which I think is why I was hired at the end. I also got the feeling that the manager found me attractive; I think it was when he unintentionally gasped when he saw me. (That may be a whole different story for another time. Sufficed to say, I don’t feel creeped out when working alongside him.) Since the beginning of this month, I’ve been working 6 to 10 hours there.
Early in January, I applied for a part time teaching job at a private enrichment school on the north end of the city. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but I’ve felt that being transgender my future in teaching was dim, especially in high schools. Nevertheless, within a few days of submitting my resume, I got a phone interview on short notice, then a couple of days later, a face-to-face interview. Not surprisingly, the school has never hired a transwoman before, so they didn’t know what to do with me. I was nervous as hell at the interview, until the second part of the interview, when I gave a mock lecture on the wave property of sound. At the front of a classroom is where I feel the most comfortable, and I think my passion (and my skills?) for teaching were on full display. I got an offer to teach their Grade 11 physics class on Saturdays, mostly on the strength of my Ph.D. and that mock lesson. I was skilled enough, well educated enough, and charismatic enough (as I found out later) to have done better than other candidates.
I am happy to announce my return to blogging (and tweeting, and Facebooking, and checking my e-mail, and taking pictures then posting them on Flickr) after my brief disappearance from the Internet. My personal life had been incredibly chaotic during that time, and I needed time to sort things out. Well, things are now mostly sorted out, at least sorted out enough that I can say that things are back to normal. By the way, not trying to keep up with Facebook and Twitter does have some calming effect on me.
The last you heard from me, there was an unfortunate episode at a tire store just before I signed off, and many of you thought that it was the reason. Rest assured, the decision to go off grid was made long ago, and tire-shop mishap merely accelerated it by a day or two. Nevertheless, I want to thank everyone for expressing their support. I really appreciate it. I have not had many bad experiences as a trans woman; admittedly I was not prepared to face some of the bullshit that my peers face everyday. I’ll be blogging about my thoughts on that soon.
For now, let me tell you about a couple of things that happened in the last few days. Awhile back I bought some dresses via Beyond the Rack, but I didn’t have a chance to wear them until the weather warmed up. Yesterday I put on one of them, and met up with a friend to watch the new Star Trek movie in the afternoon. He teased me mercilessly about how—at 32 years old—I was too old for wearing something like that. We took a few pictures of me in the dress to settle the debate. Here’s one of them.
While we were out, he started talking about setting up a FORTRAN programming course that he wants to teach privately to engineering firms. He mentioned that since I did a lot of FORTRAN programming during graduate school, may be I would be perfect as one of the instructors. Besides, he said, it’s good to have a woman teaching the course; after all, a lot of new hires in these companies are women too. I reminded him that as a trans woman, not everyone actually thinks of me as female, especially some of these women engineers’ bosses. To keep the stories from being excessively long, as we parted at the end of the day, we had a verbal agreement that if he ever gets the course off the ground—and that’s a big if—I would occasionally teach some sessions as Kate. When it comes time to teach, I will have to have a much more serious discussion with him in his office, and not over an afternoon movie and clothes shopping.
By the way, Star Trek: Into Darkness is an awesome movie.