Thursday, July 17, 2014

Epic Battle of Epicness: Round 1: Hogwarts: Big Bird v. Shaggy Rogers

Name: Big Bird
A.K.A.: -
Hometown: Sesame Street
Known For: His child naiveté
Strength: Imagination and counting to 10
Weakness: Friend to all
Wins: - 


Name: Shaggy Rogers
A.K.A.: -
Hometown: Coolsville
Known For: Solving mysteries
Strength: Great friend
Weakness: Always scared and paranoid
Wins: - 

Big Bird counts to 10 and knows his ABC's he is innocent and is always willing to help out a friend. Though he still has an imaginary friend, he is helpful. Shaggy on the other hand is always high. He's so high, and scared, that the second he sees Big Bird, he'd run away in fright. Letting Bird win this round.

Conclusion: Big Bird v Shaggy

International Job Fair, Part 2

Interview Schedule Friday
Time School Name *Presentation Scheduled
12:30 - Chadwick
1:00 - -
1:30 IS Monzana -
2:00 - -
2:30 Shanghai Community -
3:00 - Nichimashi
3:30 Jeju -
4:00 - -
4:30 Shanghai AS -
5:00 - -
5:30 Nichimashi -

I started with going to the Chadwick presentation. I got there a little early to talk myself up. But the principal kept saying that she couldn’t interview me for her open positions (lower elementary) because she already had too many men working there (the K, 1st and 2nd teams were all men). Chadwick was in a great city that reminded me of Walt Disney’s vision for EPCOT.

So the interviews begin. The first one (Monaza) goes great, until I find out that the school’s housing area doesn’t always have power, internet, or running water. So I gave this one a rating of “Good Interview but would not go.”

Next was Shanghai Community. Bad interview/match. The school wanted more of a director than a theatre teacher.

I stopped by Nichimashi’s presentation for a few minutes in between interviews.

Jeju: Good interview, would go. The best part of this interview was how snarky the principal was about trying to not-sell me on the city of Jeju. He noted all my urban experience, and was concerned about the rural nature of the school. I like him and thought it would be a good place to work.

Shanghai AS: Good interview, would go. I had a good feel about this school and the interview. And with Shanghai as one of my top schools, I felt really good about this one.

Nichimashi. Great interview, would go. There was what Sally, my Associate, calls the pitch. The moment in the interview where the principal/headmaster stop asking you questions and start selling the school. I interviewed with the headmaster, and near the end he said, at this point, he would send me down the hall to his principal for a second interview, but the principal was in Tokyo, so he would put us in touch to have a skype interview.

In between interviews, I would head to my mailbox and write thank you notes. I also met Carrie in passing.

After all the interviews, the reception began. I met Carrie again and we hung out all night, being each other’s wingman for recruiters. I helped her talk with a few. She helped me with Nichimashi again. Chadwick ran into me and pulled me across the hall to a school that was looking for a drama teacher (sadly it was the one I had interviewed with earlier that day). Chadwick, Carrie and I talked for quite some time and she kept saying how she wished she had an opening for me.

Back to my hotel, where I checked my e-mail for a message from Nichimashi’s principal. Nothing came. I didn’t sleep well.

Saturday in Part 3…

Saturday, May 10, 2014

International Job Fair, Part 1

On the weekend starting Thursday, January 30, 2014, I flew up to Boston from BWI for Search Associates (Search) International Education Job Fair. I had a nice surprise when I got off the plane; Super Shuttle was waiting for me by the luggage carrousel with my name on an iPad mini! It was exciting. Then I learned I had the shuttle all to myself. And luckily I’m nosey and saw that it was going to take an hour to get to my hotel according to the driver’s GPS. I thought that seemed too long and looked it up on my phone. I had 16 minutes. Then I checked with the driver, they had my Maryland address as the location to drive to (there is a similar number/street combination in Massachusetts, just south of Boston). After we cleared that up, we were on our way for a 15 minute drive.

I was staying at the Courtyard Marriot. I unpacked and got on the next shuttle to the Hyatt Regency. When I go to check-in at the fair, they don’t have me! I’m freaking out, but remaining calm as they go through the motions of figuring out who I am. They had me registered as “Thom Thomas.” After fixing my name, I had just enough time to check my mailbox before orientation. Despite the mix-up in my name Nichimashi (Tokyo) was able to leave me confidential information about their school and contract. The orientation lasted about two hours. Where I heard from the president of Search, the director of the Cambridge Fair, and my personal Associate: Sally. Listening to Sally speak was amazing and she helped calm any fears that I - and the crowd - seemed to be having. I knew from that moment that Sally was amazing, and it was meant to be that she was my Associate. I went back to my hotel (thank you Uber), had a late dinner at the hotel restaurant (a Japanese restaurant). And then ironed some shirts and slept fitfully.

On Friday morning, I woke up before 6, to get ready and be on the 6:45 shuttle, to make it to the preview of the first session for interview sign-ups. I had my list of schools that I wanted to schedule an interview with, and then I continued to look around the ballroom for other positions I’m qualified for and are in places I wanted to go to.

I wait in many lines to see the headmasters/principals of the schools and convince them to interview me. Then I have to do it all again for the second interview sign-up session.

During the interview sign-up sessions, I met two other candidates: Mr. Mid-West (also and elementary teacher looking to go to Southeast Asia) and Ms. DC (an administrator who works right here in DC!).

Interview Sign-Up Session 1:
City/School Position Result
American School (AS) Tokyo K, 1-5 Left resume
International School (IS) Beijing 1-5 Interview
Keystone Beijing K, 1-5, Theatre, SPED Interview
Xiamen, China K, 1-5 Interview
ISF- Hong Kong 1-5 Interview
Hong Kong IS K, 1-5 Left resume
Pan AS Bahai Brazil K, 1-5 Left Resume
Bon IS, Germany SPED Left Resume
Italy, IS Genoa 1-5 Left Resume
Juju, Korea 1-5, Drama Interview Scheduled
Manila IS SPED Left Resume
IS Madrid 1-5 Left Resume
Ruamrudd IS, Bangkok 1-5, SPED Interview Scheduled
UK 1-5 Left Resume
Brazil – Graded School 1-5 Left resume
Comeroon 1-5 Left resume
Columbia 1-5 Left Resume
Venesula: Carabobo 1-5 Interview Scheduled
Bankstone, Korea Drama Left Resume

Interview Sign-Up Session 2:
Shanghai AS 1-5 Interview Scheduled
Shanghai Community IS Drama Interview Scheduled
Nishimachi 1-5 Interview Scheduled
Chadwick, Korea 1-5 Left Resume
FDR, Lima 1-5 Left Resume
Singapore AS 1-5 Left Resume
UK TASIS 1-5 Interview Scheduled
Venezuela, Puerto La Cruz 1-5 Interview Scheduled
Venezuela, IS Monaza 1-5 Interview Scheduled
IS Seoul 1-5 Left Resume
Brazil, Chaple 1-5 Left Resume
Switzerland AS Theatre Left Resume
IS Zurich Theatre Left Resume

So in the interview sign-up sessions I spoke with 32 schools and got 13 Interviews! Sounds like some great odds. Interviews and school presentations will be discussed in part 2.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Epic Battle of Epicness: Round 1: Metropolis: Ron Weasley v. Scooby Doo

Name: Ron Weasley
A.K.A.: -
Hometown: The Burrow
Known For: Being Ginger
Strength: Being a strong friend, killer chess skills
Weakness: Snogging with skanky girls
Wins: - 


Name: Scooby Doo
A.K.A.: -
Hometown: Coolsville
Known For: Solving mysteries
Strength: Great friend
Weakness: Always hungry and scared
Wins: - 

Ron is an awesome character, he is very real: lazy, horny, funny. He wins a chess game against Dame Maggie Smith's best game. He helps save the world from the worst wizard in history. And despite his poor upbringing, he doesn't let it get him down (mostly) and becomes the every man hero. Scooby on the other hand, eats a lot and runs away from men pretending to be ghosts. But who didn't want to be Shaggy with a talking dog side kick (well actually I wanted to be Velma, but that's another story). Scooby blunders his way through every mystery, as does Ron. This round of Epicness goes to Scooby, because he and Ron are very similar, but is a talking dog.

Conclusion: Ron Weasley v Scooby Doo

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Epic Battle of Epicness: Round 1: Magic Kingdom: Mario Mario v. Robert Langdon

Name: Mario Mario
A.K.A.: -
Hometown: Mushroom Kingdom
Known For: Finding his princess
Strength: Magic mushrooms
Weakness: Three hits
Wins: - 


Name: Robert Langdon
A.K.A.: -
Hometown: Boston, Mass
Known For: Writing a lot of books about iconology
Strength: Knowing a lot of random bits of information about paintings
Weakness: Falling in love with any given woman
Wins: - 

Mario Mario (commonly called "Mario") revolutionized American gaming, and has been a staple in my gaming library for the better part of 20 years. Robert Langdon is an art history professor that gets drawn into many adventures (much like Mario). And by the end of each of their stories, they always seem to be in love. This round goes to Langdon though, as he has a job I would want.

Conclusion: Mario Mario v Robert Langdon