I was also a little bummed by that point of the summer. Earlier, I had gone to Rock Hill, SC for a teaching interview and been told that they didn't think I had enough experience. The same for another school I had been communicating with by phone. Just in last few days I had a phone conversation with another principal from Rock Hill that went something like this...
Principal: Well, when do you think you will move to South Carolina?
Me: When you tell me I have a job.
Principal: We aren't comfortable offering positions until we know the person has made that move.
Me: I can't make a move like that without knowing that I will have a job when I get there.
...At that point I pretty much resigned myself to yet another year of subbing. I didn't really mind subbing, in fact, there were days I very much enjoyed it, but I knew both financially and in job satisfaction that it wasn't a long term option.
Earlier that summer we had some pretty bad storms and the electric was out for most of a weekend, so I ended up staying at Ashland and went to a local church that Sunday. It wasn't the best service I have ever experienced but there was one phrase that became my mantra that summer. The pastor held out a yardstick and said "You should never measure your problems by your ability to solve them, but by God's." No matter what I did, I could not give myself a job, that was out of my hands...I could only respond to the opportunities presented to me. At that moment it seemed as if another year of subbing was the opportunity, so I was determined to make it my best year ever.
Have you ever noticed how funny God's timing can be sometimes? I had no sooner reached that conclusion and started making some plans when I got a phone call, a voicemail message to be precise. I can even tell you the exact time I got it, not because it is ingrained on my mind, but because the first morning session of class always breaks at 10:30. The strange number and voicemail icon took me by surprise, but not nearly as much as the message, which was something like this...
"Hi, this is Jeff from Allendale-Fairfax High School.
If you are still looking for a teaching position could you
please call Vance at [whatever the school's number was]."
...Stunned would be a woefully inaccurate description, but it is the best I can do. I had to listen to the message a couple more times to make sure I heard it correctly and to get the number copied down. I think I was shaking when I dialed, both from nerves and an awareness that the second morning session of class always starts at 10:50.
When I reached the school Vance wasn't in, so I talked to Jeff long enough to learn that I should try calling after lunch and that he [Jeff] was an alumnus of Mount Union, a local rival of my own alma mater. We wrapped up the quick conversation and I went back to class a little shell-shocked. Later that afternoon I was finally able to make an appointment with Vance for a phone interview at 1pm the next day.