I honestly didn’t know where I’d be living in a week’s time.
My first teaching stint was coming to an end. The remote school sat surrounded by the trailer park they called teacher housing, on the very western edge of the Great Plains, right where they finally sweep upwards into the Montana Rockies – a glorious, meteorologically dramatic, almost heavenly collision of alpine and prairie. As trying as those three years had been, I found (as we often do with such trials once they’ve finished) that I was going to miss the place.
Unfortunately, my job prospects were just as empty as those vast green prairies. Each interview that spring had led only to the familiar “You interviewed well, but we’re going in a different direction”.
Since I’d been busy preparing and chaperoning the school’s senior trip (to Las Vegas, natch, and at the expense of attending some dear friends’ wedding, and after which I had to chaperone one of my students back to Montana by bus because he lacked enough ID to board the return plane!…but anyway…), the administration had given me two extra weeks in teacher housing. That was less than I’d been promised earlier. I had two weeks after returning (did I mention by bus? LOL) to secure new living arrangements, which largely hinged upon figuring out where my next teaching job would be. Then I had to be out.
Unfortunately, those two weeks hadn’t come through in the “get Brandon a job” department either.
I could always return to my hometown, and it wasn’t hard to imagine finding a church friend willing to take me in temporarily. But it certainly wasn’t the way I’d hoped to end the year. And let’s just say that employment gaps on a resume are particularly deadly for teachers – especially with hundreds of applications for any given position. (It’s a sparse state.)
With four days until I had to leave teacher housing, I was blind to the next step of my life.