On Friday at 5pm I received a phone call from a school principal asking if I would be available and willing to accept a long term sub position in a math classroom beginning on Monday. Explaining a prior commitment on Monday and offering to come on Tuesday, she asked if I could come after my Monday commitment and meet with a lead teacher and the area-related assistant principal. In agreement, we then talked a bit about the particular situation and I spent the weekend emotionally preparing to step into a difficult classroom. When I arrived on Monday afternoon, the plan had apparently changed. What transpired was a traditional interview with the assistant principal who was polite but not enthusiastic. No longer were they asking me to step into the classroom as a long term sub, in fact they are now interviewing “several” candidates and it’s unclear if they are hiring a sub or a contract teacher. What was clear was only that my questions were making an uncomfortable situation more so. Leaving, I heard the obligatory, “We’ll be in touch,” and knew that the job had evaporated.
What changed over the weekend?
Perhaps the teaching staff asked for a say in the hiring, perhaps the superintendent withdraw the principal’s authority, perhaps the principal simply changed her mind. Or perhaps someone googled my name or reviewed my Facebook entries (before I shut them down on Sunday afternoon) and discovered that I am a woman married to a woman with a very public past. And here’s the part that I will now learn to live with: I will never know.
If the game changer was the discovery of my identity, I can (at least intellectually) affirm that this outcome is for the best. While I have no intention of wearing a billboard and I do truly look forward to having privacy between my personal and professional life (hence the Facebook shift), I also have no intention of denying my identity. And while it is a bit startling to discover that one quick Google search pretty much shares my story, I’m mostly ok with it. Authenticity is a most precious place to stand, and I don’t intend to willingly stand elsewhere.
But I would like to know.
Because not knowing, I am left to assume. And given the ego-centric nature of our assumptions combined with the fault lines of our culture wars, I’m suspicious that my public persona has torpedoed this new attempt at private life. Of course the statement is hyperbole and worse, uncertain. Certainly it would be helpful to know if the reasons for the shifting job-sands were unrelated to me. Conversely I have to imagine that if this was a situation of discrimination, it would be helpful to know so. But of course I can’t know whether knowing would be advantageous.
Yesterday I wrote about not knowing the unknown which was perversely prescient.