CH. ONE

Sit down, get comfortable. Have I got a story for you.

I suppose it begins last Sunday, when a lady was told unequivocally that she was being laid off from the job she adores (and which supports her family). In some ways, you could say it began when she moved back from Southern Appalachia two years ago, but really, it all started with the election of a certain individual just after Halloween 2016.

Let me be clear, this has little to do with anything of that sort of nature, it is merely noted as a reference in time. And to provide a bit of context. A setting, if you will.

So. After years of working in a supporting role at a particular school with a particular pedagogy in a particular place that is just north of Mexico, it suddenly became urgent that this lady find full-time employment or, at the very least, a pay increase from the pennies she’d been making for half a decade.

After all, since the new administrator came in, all new hires were making $15 per hour which was almost 25% more than she was earning at the time.

Did I mention this lady had three kids? PENNIES.

The request for a pay increase was scoffed at, naturally, so the lady decided to inquire as to other positions that might possibly be available. There was a subject in need of teaching, but the material was not at all this lady’s area of expertise. Despite this small detail, because this lady loves to learn (and loves to teach!), she decided to give herself a crash-course in biodynamics and go for it.

The long and short of this part of the story is that no, the lady was not hired for this job. But she was hired for two others, at two different schools with the same particular pedagogy. So she picked the town that sounded most appealing (read: least cold), packed up two of her three children, and drove eight states east.

What happened with the third child, you ask? Well. The lady really did love this particular school with a particular pedagogy in a particular place that is just north of Mexico, and so did her kids. The oldest one was headed into his last year with a class he’d been with since he was young enough to show his age with his fingers, and there wasn’t a great option for him in this other town where the rest of the family was headed. So another family – who had already departed from this particular school with the particular pedagogy, but who really loved the lady’s oldest son – offered him room and board for the year so he could finish with his class.

The lady had never once questioned this decision, even during the long snowy months when she did not see (or speak to very often because three hours is a lot more of a time difference than one might realize) her firstborn baby, until that last paragraph. Oof.

Where were we? Oh, yes. In the mountains.

Turns out, the lady really enjoyed working at this other school. She even liked the town, though it was much colder (and muddier) than she prefers. Seriously. So much mud. Full disclosure, the mud was the youngest child’s favorite part, and absolutely everybody loved the fireflies.

There was even a somewhat attractive option for high school for the oldest child. In the most serendipitous of exchanges, it was discovered that the current headmaster of a college preparatory school in this town had been the assistant headmaster at a different college preparatory school in a different town, and had once written a college recommendation for the lady – who’d been a student of his nearly two decades prior.

But, the son was waitlisted due to the high number of students remaining from the middle school. And also because, you know, private school is expenisve and the lady’s work has always been in service of a particular pedagogy. She wasn’t going to work at this school and therefore would not receive tuition remission, and financial aid would have still been quite a stretch. Another option was explored, and it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t perfect.

And that is when a job became available at the particular school with the particular pedagogy in a particular town just north of Mexico. And not just any job. A dream job. The kind of job that is perfect for a lady who wants nothing more than to share her love of creating things with others.

You don’t have to wonder because I will tell you, yes. The lady did apply for that job. And then she waited.

And waited.

And waited some more. Which is what you’re going to have to do now because it’s getting late and mama’s tired.

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