During the nationwide quarantine for COVID-19, I found myself working online for the Los Angeles Unified School District in California while living in New York City. My hope was to find permanent employment and formally move to the east coast from California. Since COVID-19 restrictions made it a challenge to hire and interview, it did not take long for me to realize the endeavor was not going to work out for me as I hoped. Out of sheer frustration, I packed up my things and went on an adventure. A proper tour of New York City was only my first stop.
It seems that working as an English educator only has three tracks: (1) become a college professor with constant part-time gigs, or (2) get your credentials and teach K-12 English, or (3) completely leave the field and nurture other options. The community college instructor option takes a very long time to cultivate; I’m still in the eternal process. Teaching K-12 English does not appeal to me much. And, I think people should really enjoy what they do for a living if they’re going to spend more than 30+ hours per week on it. I was left to consider leaving the field entirely and using my translatable skills for a different type of profession. Luckily enough, I have experience in law and, recently, with website content creation for Read House Review.
Keep in mind that I did try to work for the New York City Department of Education as a substitute to stay on my feet. But, the discrepancies in pay through their third-party recruitment system made it a challenge to even consider that a viable option. When employers request a minimum of a bachelor degree to even qualify for consideration, it is absolutely criminal to offer anything less than $25-35 per hour pay. That’s the reality of the student loan and employment situation. Obviously, these days, I’m cultivating options that offer a sense of peace and align with the type of experience I want to accumulate for my educational career. And, I came to the realization that personal fulfillment is in fact not always found at work. Sometimes, we find it in a hobby we engage in outside of work such as writing, art, or sports.
These notes on my stay in New York City are reflective. I’m sure that I’m missing quite a lot of details that could be found in my hand-written journals. Much like many of my other experiences living in a foreign location, I discovered parts of myself that I did not know existed. I found that I love aloo paratha, an Indian food staple. The London Underground is a thousand times better than New York’s subway system, but I will tolerate the smell like any other commuter because it’s convenient and cheap. The Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market, and Little Island in New York City are my Santa Monica, Malibu, and Palos Verdes from Southern California. Also, if you’re Mexican or Latin American and visiting the area, the two must-eat-at places are Los Tacos No.1 and Los Mariscos. I also quite love Mexicue off 8th Avenue. But, that’s just me and my Latina bougie tastes. I’m not getting paid for these reviews in particular. However, if you find that my opinion is of value to you, feel free to contact me for any sponsored reviews.
What else can I say about my experience living in New York City? The rent is expensive just like any other city worth living in or around. The city’s worthwhile entertainment are museums, plays, and underground Meetup parties which include alt. lifestyle, BDSM, and kink parties. I met, bumped into, and interviewed with way too many self-centered lawyers or sexist men in positions of power. They were definitely not worth a second thought. I once lectured an employment recruiter from Brooklyn for almost an hour on why a Master’s Degree in my field and 10 years of solid work experience was easily worth more than 60k per year. Much like California, a large portion of the population sadly lives on the gig economy. To make a long story short, while I still really love the place, I was left wondering by the end why I wanted to move there so badly in the first place.
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