But Sometimes Being a Tree Has Its Benefits: Another Update

While I’ve been (for the most part) diligent about updating my blog weekly with opinion posts and the like, it struck me that I haven’t been great about updating you on my life. So here’s what I’ve been up to since my last Post About My Life.

A few days after that post, I had a job interview for the local paper. While I don’t think I’m cut out to be a journalist per se, this was for a feature writer position, which sounded completely like me. I loved writing press releases and spotlight articles for Whitworth, as well as articles highlighting students for The Whitworthian.

By the time I got the news that I was their second choice, the blow was softened by the fact that I’d secured a temp job for a truck distributor company. My contact at the temp agency said they were behind in their filing and would need someone for 5-10 days. Well, tomorrow I start my fourth week! And if the gargantuan pile of papers on my desk is any indication, I may be there a fifth.

This job has been a good fit for me. Granted, it’s not the most riveting work, but now that I have several projects, I can alternate between them when my brain needs to switch gears. It’s also giving me – finally – an income after two months of unemployment. And the other people who work there are fun and welcoming, which makes a huge difference.

Perhaps most of all, this crossroads of not getting the job I thought I wanted and then landing one I surprisingly like has made me realize I need to plan under the assumption that I only have one year in New Zealand (originally, I thought I might get a permanent job and live here for a year or two). And if this is the case, I don’t want to be tied down to one full-time, permanent job when I only have a limited amount of time to explore the country. So, as of today, anyway, my plan is to work a temp job for a month or two to earn money, travel for a few weeks, and repeat until the NZ government decides it’s had enough of me.

I also think I’ll stick around Palmy (hence the tree reference in the title). When again will I be able to see on a regular basis (yet alone live with) my awesome Kiwi friends? It’s also centrally located within the country, so it’s relatively easy to travel from here. And – by New Zealand standards – it’s not that expensive to live here.

I thought it was time in this post for a picture, so here's one I took the day I arrived in New Zealand. I realize it's grainy from being zoomed in but I still like it. Reminds me of The Lion King. And, hey, look, it's a tree, which ties into the title of this post. Look at me.

I thought it was time to break up this post with a picture, so here’s one I took the day I arrived in New Zealand. I realize it’s grainy from being zoomed in but I still like it. Reminds me of the trees in The Lion King. And, hey, look, it’s a tree, which ties into the title of this post. Look at me.

There is something about being in another country that brings out the philosopher in me (exhibit A: this post about toothpaste in my last NZ blog, which for reasons beyond me procured far more views and comments by strangers than any of my other posts. Perhaps Colgate hired someone to search for any mentions of it online.). Maybe it has something to do with knowing I only have a finite amount of time here. Regardless of the reason, on my walks along the river I find myself thinking not only about what I’m going to do with my time in New Zealand, but what I’ll do when I return (you know, to real life, and all that).

Over the years, people have asked me numerous times if I’m going to go into teaching. I suppose this was inevitable: my parents are both educators, and one of my majors was English, after all (cue simultaneous groaning from English majors and alumni the world over). And maybe it was for these reasons that I dismissed the possibility of me going in that field. Maybe because it was expected of me, because I thought it was a predictable career path, I wanted to see what else was out there.

I’ve worked a few office jobs, and while I absolutely understand the importance of them, it’s just not something I can see myself doing for years of my life. And regardless of how awesome your co-workers are, there’s always going to be a sense of hierarchy.

Several of my teachers have made a lasting impact on me over the years. And I figure, if I can be that person for someone else, what a noble profession that would be. Moreover, while it takes a lot to boil my blood, one issue that never fails to do so is my complaints on the American education system. So I figure, rather than complain about something, why not do something about it?

Even when I wasn’t seriously considering becoming a teacher, I knew that if I ever did, I would teach middle-school English. English has forever been my favorite subject, and – contrary to a lot of people’s thinking – I think middle school is a great age. At that age, kids are old enough to tie their own shoes but not too cool to be excited about learning. They’re starting to discover what they’re passionate about and what they want to pursue (then again, I finished middle school a decade ago and am still figuring out that second bit). Undoubtedly I am also influenced by the fact that, generally speaking, I loved middle school and hated high school.

Another idea that excites me about teaching was something my dad told me when I was about 14. If I taught for the U.S. Department of Defense, he said, I could teach military brats in one of any number of military bases around the world. Housing would be taken care of and the pay is higher than a typical American teacher’s salary. Plus, it would allow me to check more countries off my bucket list. My research on this has only been preliminary, but it’s definitely a consideration for now.

Before I left the States, I told people that one of the reasons I was moving abroad was that I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, and maybe this would inspire me.

Hmm, maybe it has.

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About Andrea Nicole

NZ enthusiast in the PNW. Internationally published writer, educator, grammar nerd, genealogist, and all-around storyteller. Recovering homebody. @Whitworth and @WGU alumna. #edchat
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