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Friday Faves: The Number 13

Walking under ladders, crossing paths with a black cat, and the number 13. These are all things that are said to bring bad luck. Today is Friday the 13th! This is a day where many people, especially in the U.S., have anxiety about going about their daily routines. It is also a day to watch scary movies and get cheap tattoos. I have always been a contrarian, however. I have found that 13 has been my lucky number.

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Mimi the cat. I don’t think she’s unlucky!

I often had the number 13 for my soccer jersey as a child, one of my favorite jobs was off of 13th street, and my boyfriend and I first moved in together in an apartment #13. A few years back when I was flying RyanAir, I looked for a seat on the 13th row and found that right after 12, they had 14! This is apparently very common as some buildings also skip the 13th floor and go directly to the 14th.

Lucky 13

I found when I lived in Italy, 13 was lucky:

In some countries, such as Italy, 13 is considered a lucky number.[18] The expression fare tredici (“to do 13”) means hit the jackpot. 17 is considered an unlucky number instead.[19] (Wikipedia)

It seems that I am not alone in my love of the number 13. What is your lucky number?

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Job Hunting Advice for New Teachers

I have mentored many people who are just about to graduate college or are lost about getting into the job market. Many people ask to pick my brain about what to do in an interview or have me look over their cover letters or resumes. Here’s another new blog series especially for aspiring teachers or teachers looking for new jobs.

Before you start searching:

If you are still in school:

  • Start networking with your professors and volunteering to help with club duties/activities/research projects etc. Professors with clout will remember you if other companies ask about new graduates looking for work.
  • Interning is good experience, but often does not lead to employment (in my experience). Don’t put all your eggs into this basket.

Create a Generic Resume: (This could be its own section, tbh)

  • Resumes should be 1 page, easy to read, with your most relevant and recent experience at the top of the page. There are hundreds of ways to create resumes.
  • CVs (or Curriculum Vitae) are your “life’s work.” A CV is allowed to be long. This might be helpful for those that may just be fresh out of school.
  • Use action verbs to describe what you did in each job/experience/project and keep it short
  • Use this to populate your LinkedIn Profile

Online Presence:

  • Have an online presence and make sure you look employable. Jump on Facebook or Linkedin or Instagram (especially if you are in the visual arts)
  • Google search yourself. Employers can and will google search you so be ready and scrub your social media accounts so they are squeaky clean. Immediately untag or take down any pictures of you that make you look unreliable(a drunk/druggie/etc), mean(racist/sexist/etc), or lazy.

Finding a Job:

Use your “weak ties” or social network

  • This is 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon for employment. If you are a hard worker, nice, and competent, someone will recommend you to their friend of a friend. Put out the word on facebook or whatever social media account you use.
  • Start talking and mentioning your job search to everyone you know and ask them to tell you about any job they might come across. Many heads are better than one. Put your search out into your network and some job leads may come back to you.

Job search Engines

  • Use generic job search engines: indeed.com, monster.com, craigslist.com
  • Find job-specific search engines in your field. For example, if you want to work in higher education in the USA, the best job search engine is higheredjobs.com, but if you want to work in community colleges in California you would want the cccregistry.org. Same with the tech field I believe the site is dice.com for tech jobs.
  • Usually there is a way to subscribe to job searches so they will send an email if anything comes up.

Googling Companies you want to work for

  • Go to the company website you want to work for. Look for “Careers” or “Employment” or “Work for Us” something like that and try to find open positions. Apply for any open positions you like.
  • Failing that, find the company directory, try to find the person who may be likely to hire you. Call or send them an email inquiring about employment or the application process and if there are any open positions available.

Hit the road!

  • Start looking for “Hiring Now” signs in the windows of places. Keep an eye out, and hopefully you have a bunch of your friends looking out too.
  • Large companies will usually hire you through websites, so even if you meet the hiring manager in person, they will send you to a computer.
  • Smaller companies/business may have you submit an application in person, or have you email a resume.
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My Favorite Artists Through History – Rembrandt

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I love that Rembrandt was unafraid to use heavy shadow in his paintings. The darkness is used strategically to bring the viewer’s eye to the focus. This is the chiaroscuro effect that I am a huge fan of.

His self-portraits are absolutely stunning and it’s really cool to see his evolution through his self-portraits. I am always inspired to start painting self-portraits again whenever I look at this Dutch master.

He wasn’t just a painter. He was also a printmaker! They had a collection of his etchings in Boston a few years back which I was very happy to see! I love his swagger in this one:

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Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2014)

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a lot of Rembrandt work in person in Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum. I also made sure to go to his house which is maintained as a museum.

My Favorite Pieces: The Night Watch, etchings

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Flashback 2017 Women’s March LA

Hopped on the train from Fullerton to Union Station. This felt much different than other marches I’ve attended. Every age group, race, ethnicity, color and creed came out in this historic moment. And as this year has passed it has become more obvious that this was just the beginning. Hillary Clinton could not break the last highest glass ceiling for women because there’s still a lot of work to be done for equal rights for women.

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Jane Eyre (1996)

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This movie is my favorite adaptation of my favorite novel.  For those unfamiliar with the novel, it is written by one of the Bronte sisters (basically the Gothic cousins of Jane Austen). It is set in the 1800s in England, where poor little orphan Jane Eyre is just trying to make her way in a world that wants to crush her willful, wild spirit. After her family dies of a terrible disease she goes to live with her aunt and her children and they all are absolutely terrible to her and mistreat her.  So they send her off to boarding school, namely, an extremely hard-nosed, straight-laced boarding school with a penchant for telling little girls they are going to roast in hell for minor character flaws. Jane Eyre survives 10 years in this place and seeks out employment at the mysterious Mr. Rochester’s mansion to be a governess to an adorable little girl named Adele. Jane Eyre begins to develop feelings for the very dark and brooding Mr. Rochester and of course he has a dark secret hidden away.

This adaptation is my favorite mainly because of the casting. The young Jane Eyre is played by a young Anna Paquin, and she definitely captures the young punk attitude of the young and wild Jane Eyre before she has to keep her feelings bottled up inside herself. Jane Eyre is never described as beautiful in the book, she is described as plain and almost bird like. Neither is Mr. Rochester described as handsome.  I thought William Hurt did an excellent job of portraying him.

The script is wonderful and includes the important parts in the beginning of Jane’s life that are very important to understanding her character. Other film adaptations skip over her childhood trauma to get to the romance parts. While I liked the 2011 adaptation, the actors were too beautiful (looking at you, Fassbender) and blonde (?!) and so it was hard to see that Jane felt ugly and unwanted as opposed to the 1996 version, with the beautiful mirror shots in several parts of the movie. The 2011 adaptation definitely highlighted the gothic/horror elements of the novel, which I do wish was more in the 1996 version.

Ultimately, though, the 1996 adaptation of Jane Eyre is my favorite! I recommend everyone to watch it if you’re into tortured souls trying to find love despite circumstances and their duty obligations.