The Californian Garmo Lives Life

My Life as a gay Armenian-American living in California.

Job Search August 27, 2008

Filed under: Work — thecaligarmo @ 10:00 pm
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So I have finally decided to quit the wonderful world of teaching due to many comlicated reasons that I may lay out for you one day, but todays topic is more about searching for jobs.

So many different people have so many different types of jobs, but how do you look for a job when you don’t know what you are looking for? They teach you in school how to learn and how to grow and how to pursue one profession that you love. What they don’t teach you is what you do when you decide to change your mind and switch career choices. They don’t explain what you are supposed to do when the jobs you are looking at are requiring experience that you just don’t have.

This seems to be the situation I’m in. I am looking for jobs in I.T. but have almost no background information in them. I know almost no programming languages, and have no research experience in the field of math. What is someone to do when they are not qualified for the jobs they want, but need a job to hold them over for a year.

Due to this crazyness I may just end up having a throw away job and apply for a PhD program for next year in math. It seems that over 90% of jobs require a PhD or a masters degree in Math. Since I have neither I am finding it very difficult to find a job. I’m hopping something will come up through internet search after internet search, but who knows what I will find.

So for now I keep searching.

-The Cali Garmo


A change of heart August 25, 2008

Filed under: education — thecaligarmo @ 10:00 pm
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So I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a while. In fact, I knew I wanted to be a math teacher since the ripe old age of 8. This happened due to my falling in love with math and teachers in my second grade year at my first ever public school. Since then, I have worked hard to achieve my goal of becoming a teacher. There have always been the random flings here and there that never amount to anything such as drama or dance, but I am now getting into a fling that is much more than a fling. It not only has a full set of devotion behind it, but also the intellectual curiosity that seems to keep growing in me.

Now for me this is a new concept, changing paths. Once I lay down a path I usually go for it with all of my heart and don’t stop on the way, but this time it’s different. As I’ve started my credentialling program, I’ve been having a serious case of change of heart. It seems every second day I am finding more and more reasons why I no longer want to become a math teacher. Why maybe the goal I set out so long ago couldn’t foretell that I would grow up and want something more out of life. Todays thought is that teaching doesn’t feel like a real job. I know you are working over 12 hours a day, but you make so little money you can’t afford to do anything with it. So, y mind begins to wonder.

The hard part is mainly comes from my Armenian side. We are a very stubborn people and it’s difficult for me to let things go. My intellectual side helps me out with this as my brain can control my instinct so that I don’t do stupid things all the times, as tends to be the case with many Armenians. So my stubborness is telling me to just stay with the program. That I basically chose it and so I should stick with it to the end. Finish the credential year, then finish my masters year, then work as a teacher directly after without any break in my life at all. The intellectual side of me is pleading for more knowledge. My credentialling program is feeding me nothing. I have yet to feel like I am learning anything. I feel like I sit in boring class after boring class learning stuff the common human already knows. I want to go out there and learn stuff. The amount of math and physics and computer science that I can be learning instead of sitting on my butt ‘learning’ about education is astronomical. I could have written a whole book about mathematics in this amount of time. And I know that cause I’ve done it.

So what do I do? Do I let my intellectual curiosity take over and leave the program to enter the real world in order to quench my thirst for knowledge? Or do I stick with my plan from so long ago, and be the stubborn Armenian I am, and just live with it, and accept that this is life?

-The Cali Garmo


Masters Program August 22, 2008

Filed under: education — thecaligarmo @ 10:00 pm
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So I just started in my masters program and let me tell you, it’s intensive. There is so much stuff you have to do that it is not even funny (or completely possible for that matter). I guess first you need a little background. I am getting a teaching credential with a masters in education. In essence how that works is that the first year I work on getting my teaching credential in california, and then the second year I work on getting my masters degree. This may sound all fun and exciting, but let me explain the things that they don’t tell you when you sign up.

One of the simplest things you do is attend school. The only issue is that with ease comes discomfort. You need to be at school by 7:30 at the latest. In fact the earlier you arrive the better. My long term teacher arrives at 6:45 am while classes don’t start until 8:15. Not fun! And then you stay at the school until 12:35 in the afternoon. At which point you don’t really get home until around 1:20. This may not sound too bad. Waking up at 6:00 am everyday, and being done with your work by 1:20 pm. Oh, but wait, there is more!

At around 1:20, I have 15 minutes to make lunch, eat, change clothes and head out to my classes that I take at the university. I have to be at the class by 2:10 pm. At this point I am in class until sometime between 5pm and 8pm. If I have time from here, I go to the gym in order to work off some fat, but I see in the near future not having enough time. So on average I get home around 7:00 pm or 7:30 pm. One quick side note. In order for me to wake up 6:00 am and be efficient, I need 9 hours of sleep, which means going to bed around 9:00 pm. A quite fun dillema is now born. When I get home, I shouldn’t technically eat since you aren’t supposed to eat 2 hours before you sleep, but I eat anyway because I am hungry. I finish cooking and eating around 8:00 pm. This usually gives me enough time to make ready made pasta, if I am lucky.

Now the real fun begins. By 8:00 pm I must now start working on my lecture assignments for university, and my home assignments from the high school. For the high school I have to look at lesson plans and work on the homework assignments that the students must do. I must also make sure that I understand the material that is about to be covered for the next 2 days in class. For my lectures I must work on random assignments. In any given week I have over 150 pages to read, a journal to hand in, a random assignment to turn in, and also somewhere between 1 and 3 essays. This is all per week for the assignments and per day for the lesson plans. And all of this must be done by 9:00 pm so I can get some sleep. Naturally, I don’t ever make it.

So this is what is funny. I am dedicating my life to this program in essence and for what? I plan on being a teacher and this is only the teaching credential side. I am paying $27,000+ to the college in order to go here. I am taking out $20,000+ in loans in order to get an education here, and for what? And with having $20,000+ in loans, I have no idea how I am going to pay it off. As a teacher I will be making somewhere around $42,000 a year. Although this is a lot more than some people, it is not enough to be able to pay off the $20,000+ of debt from my graduate year and also my $20,000+ in debt of my undergraduate. Teachers make almost no money.

So my question is this. When as a math major I could easily secure a job right now and make $80,000 a year, why am I choosing to teach high school? In order to get the credential you have to do so much work you can’t get proper amounts of sleep, or nutrition for that matter, and once you are done, you are so high in debt that you literally can’t pay any of it off. With this sort of way of becoming a teacher it’s funny how we actually have the number of teachers that we do. I feel it is ridiculously hard to get any teachers due to the barriers that have been put into place to stop them from getting through.

I will continue my path as a teacher because I enjoy it so much, but I still can’t help but think what my life would be like if I were to quite and go and work as a math person for a couple of years to make some money. How would my life turn out differently if I chose to stray from my path set so long ago in a bedroom while I was in second grade. This road that I see before me, I will not travel, for it will not take me to the destination I originally planned.

With anxiety,
-The Cali Garmo