First and Final Issue!
Finally some news from the West Coast front where Cathy has been working as a Library Media Teacher at Irvington High School in Fremont for the past five years. She apologizes for ‘falling off the
face of the earth’ for so long – but promises to try (again!) to keep in touch and up-to-date with all her friends! Many thanks to all who kept writing even in the face of silence J Your letters were/are read and cherished. So on to the
timeline…What’s been, what is and what will be!
Note: this comes to you from the editor’s desk: a porch on the back deck of a house in Oakland, surrounded by Redwoods, a nice park and eight dogs! Cathy
When last you saw or heard from Cathy, she was settled in to Seattle, teaching at Federal Way – her first “full-year” of teaching. It was hell. She survived…so did the students! Off she went to California.
She moved in with great people (Snooze, MarkDaddy, Serge) to a cool house in Fremont and spent two years honing her skills in the English classroom. By the second year, she was teaching all seniors (can you say 17-year olds with attitudes?) Year 2 of teaching was 400% better than the first year (absolute hell) and by year three, she was actually enjoying herself!
Cathy made the decision to go “dot.com” at the end of her second year of teaching, allowing the lure of technology (yup, she’s still and always has been and always will be a geek) to scoop her up. Unfortunately, she got side-tracked by a teacher at Irvington who was beginning a start-up – creating educational software. Ten others from her school got sucked into this fiasco, and after four months of promised paychecks and meeting-hell, she bagged on the group and got another job. Lawyers were questioned and background checks run, but the shady character got off scott-free.
In the long run, it worked out! Cathy took a job with a small startup in downtown Oakland, working for Lamar. There she met great people: Angie, Reggie, Shatiqua, Tony (R.I.P.). She also learned a LOT about MAC and the user-interface (can you say 800 page manual???). She assisted Lamar in the creation of a front-end design on a MAC server for installation of a Real-Time picking system. She was also Marketing Manager for the company and joined the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, becoming Ambassador quickly, and shortly after – Training Ambassador (responsible for training new Ambassador’s to the Chamber!). She was also co-editor for the paper and on the board of the East Bay Women’s Roundtable. Very much a learning experience! It was here Cathy learned to Flash – more on that later!
Yes, most dot.com’s did end, and moOFus was one of them. After 18 months of fun, frolick and a lot of hard work, the company closed its doors. Cathy spent the next year and a half doing odd jobs, contracting for single person computer training and designing year-end reviews for the FAA. Did she mention that D.C. in summer is HOT? It was while she was at the FAA that she got a call from an old colleague at the school where she taught English – asking her to come back as the librarian. The job offer was contingent upon her entering a Library training program to gain certification. She accepted.
Cathy has spent the last five years as the Library Media Teacher at Irvington High School in Fremont, California. She has loved it! Well, most of it. The politics have always been a struggle, but she’s gotten almost adept at it! Thank the goddess for Suzie who taught her how to manage all of it! She enrolled in San Jose State University for a Master’s in Library Information Science (MLIS) with a focus on teaching. Working full-time at a new job and taking one or two classes a semester allowed for absolutely NO life – but she loved what she was learning. Every day would see her wake
up at 4:00 a.m., drive to Fremont before rush hour, park herself at a coffee shop and do homework for two hours before going to the school to start her work day. At the end of the school day, Cathy would beat the students out of the parking lot to get back on the highway, hit her back-porch office (did she mention the redwoods?) and do a couple of more hours of homework. A quick dinner and off to bed with a book – typically a young adult science fiction or fantasy so it would count as homework at the same time that it was pleasure reading! It’s been crazy but well worth it – and it’s DONE!
She Graduates! (& leaves her mark… J)
In Spring of 2007, Cathy graduated from the SJSU Library program and became a fully-fledged, fully-credentialed Library Media Teacher. As a result of the program (and her own commitment to detail), she now has a database of over 3,000 quotes relating to Libraries, students and teaching. She also has a great start to an extensive database of booktalks (sales pitches of books for students) and book reviews (over 300 combined as of this printing). A big thanks to everyone who made it to the graduation party – and a HUGE thank you to Joe and Julie (my house-mates) for hosting the event at the Oakland Zoo – where else could you be animals and fit right in??? J Mom and Sis even made it out from the East Coast – and now fully understand the “coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco” – since there wasn’t one day without FOG! LOL.
Cathy has been feeling the “itch” to move for a while now (thanks Dad for the every-two-year-move-bug!) and has begun interviewing for various opportunities. She almost (one of final two in interview process) got a job in Prague for two years, but alas, no cigar. She has begun preparing for a move to Austin, Texas (where her sis resides and is getting married – WTG Lynnie!), and will look to Apple or Dell for placement in corporate for a year. The goal is to make money, clear up credit card debt, and get on the board for placement in an International School for the 2009-2010 school year. Most of the international positions are for a two-year period – so they fit right in!
Dogs, Flash, and Friends….
Julie and Joe have put up with Cathy as a roomie for five years now! Unbelievable, I know J. Julie has the heart of a lion and has rescued and fostered numerous dogs and cats. (fond memories of bottle feeding kittens!). There are currently seven “keepers” in residence (dogs) and one foster, with a passle of cats roaming around (five right now!). It’s a little bit of outdoor discovery channel in downtown Oakland!
The back porch is where Cathy has mastered her Flash animation skills – creating numerous “Flash movies” to help in training teachers and students. Some of them are so good – she was able to talk a company into buying them! TeacherWeb.com currently uses a CD for training that Cathy created.
From Gromek to sOakland, friends have been a big part of it all – and the only down-side to the moving-itch is leaving them for a time. Cathy knows she’ll be back to the bay – it’s definitely “home” now – and looks forward to partying with everyone again once she gets back!
New Address as of JULY 2008: 1318 Sundrop Cove, Round Rock TX 78664