Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Butterfly House

The county fair is in town, and I picked up a couple of weeks' work at the Butterfly House. It was a really fun environment. It's nice to work with the public when the public is happy and having a special treat on a special day as a family. My personality is such that customer service is easy for me when the person feels stressed that they won't get a bed for the night, or has a fit because it made them mad to imagine that my hispanic manager is monolingual, but it was so unstressful to facilitate families having a nice time at the Butterfly House. I spent half my time working the front, controlling how many people went in at one time and explaining what to expect, and the other half working the exit, answering questions and taking butterflies off people. 
 I sat right next to this monarch chrysalis display and I only saw two monarchs actually emerge!
 This particular company, Butterfly Adventures, lets people feed a butterfly with a q-tip dipped in nectar. The nectar bowls had plastic beads in them to stop the butterflies from drowning, and people had no end of trouble intuiting this.

Since I worked half-days, I would go a little early or stay a little late and check out just one or two things at the fair. I got to sketch the livestock, the rides, and the Hall of Flowers. I also got to visit the entries in domestic arts, fine arts, and crafts- there was way too much to take in in one session. I like taking things in slowly, like when I lived in DC and everyone around me was in a rush to work or keep their tourist family of children engaged and out of harm's way, but I just sat in the free museums and worked on watercolors.

Substitute Teaching

Should I become a substitute teacher? I can't decide. I think I would like the work and the hours fine, but the requirements are so frustrating. I attended a 2-hour sub orientation yesterday and made a note of the different requirements. Everyone I live with is completely tired of hearing about the hoops and how much I hate them, so I will put this little write-up here. Below, I have marked requirements with an X if I think they should obviously be stricken from the substitute teaching requirements, or if they are plausible, an O. 

[X] $60* CBEST
This test lets BA or BS holders prove they are educated to a middle school level.

[X] $90 2xFingerprinting
I can see that it would be negligent to let folks who are or have been criminals of any sort run a classroom for a day. But if the state thinks you are cleared to be around children, the district doesn't need to prove it also. 

[?] $25 TB test
  I don't know, does anyone ever get TB? Is it not a required vaccination for children? Is there no vaccine? Can children with TB attend school? I think the tip-off that this is not necessary is that you can be infected with anything else in the whole world.

[X] $40 county processing fee
The county needs to figure out how to pay to process applications. Obviously. Everyone has to process their own job applications unless it's a program that's for the benefit of the applicants.

[O] $40 Classroom management course
Okay, yes. This is relevant to the actual job. 

[X] $60 Medical Exam
I can't believe this is legal. I think super flexible 6 hour days where you just don't schedule a shift  if you are having a flare up/bad symptoms is completely ideal for people with disabilities or who are getting on in years. The medical exam form does say it's checking for disabilities "on the basis of functions which will be required of the applicant upon employment," but it asks specifically about arthritis, asthma, MS, and affected vision, speech, and hearing.

[O] $72 30-day sub permit license
Sure. It is appropriate to pay for licenses. It's silly that the one year period starts when the application is received, instead of when the license is granted, but an academic year is shorter than a calendar year, so it doesn't matter. 

[O] $30 2xcollege transcripts

Even with all that, I still haven't decided against applying. I do want to teach, although not in a California public school (I've been). 

*This would have been $40 had I registered on time, but on the other hand it would be $100 if I wanted to take the computer-based version.