Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ch. 2: Difficolta Tecniche

My contact at the Scambi Culturali requested a Skype interview for Wednesday, June 23. I thought, "This'll be near perfect, since I'll just be packing up my classroom, and the kids will be gone by then." In anticipation of a Skype conversation with Eleonora in Padova, my brother P.J. helped me figure out camera position, audio, lighting, and other technicalities that I wanted to sample ahead of time for comfort's sake. By the evening of Monday, June 21, I was feeling relatively confident.

Tuesday, June 22 was the last day of School Year 09-10, and the kids and I were all sorts of wacky. While the students were enjoying each other's company during lunch that day, the Conversation gadget in my Skype window blinked at me. It was Eleonora. I looked up at the students. They were busy being soon-to-be-fifth-graders, so I decided to engage in a quick chat session in an effort to show Eleonora my interest level and accessibility at school.

She requested a change in schedule for the interview. She and the screening committee at the Scambi Culturali needed a candidate before Wednesday. I knew that there was going to be a farewell staff luncheon followed by the final staff meeting of the school year, so I let her know that I'd need about 2 hours before I'd be available to talk. She agreed, and the schedule was set; I'd be ducking out of the staff meeting, but it was for a good cause.

Back in my room, after the staff meeting and lunch, was when things started falling apart. For some unknown reason, my Skype connection at school decided to become completely uncooperative and otherwise discombobulated. I sent Eleonora a quick email explaining I'd have to leave school and connect from home, so we postponed the interview another half an hour. I was in a huge panic at this time, thinking, "Great. Now she'll think I'm just some idiot with no technical know-how and is, at worst, wasting her time." Needless to say, my speedometer was dancing a mighty samba as I very carefully made my way as quickly as possible.

All in all, the interview itself went well. About halfway through, unfortunately, my camera decided to die on me. That didn't seem to faze my interviewer, so we continued. At the end, I felt pretty confident. She had even added that she was really going to lobby to the screening committee on my behalf, and that she was hoping the other four candidates didn't bring what I did to the table.

A few hours later, I received a confirmation email, and the hunt for reasonably priced airfare was on!

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