I spent the morning in the garden, picking rows of tomatoes for canning for the winter. In this time of economic uncertainty for us, picking food for winter storage feels like a vitally important job… moving more towards self-sustainability. We’ll have enough money to feed ourselves, no doubt. The more food we can supply for ourselves, the more money we’ll have to cover other expenses, like electricity! The tomatoes I picked today will be food we won’t have to buy this winter.

After the morning in the garden, I spend the afternoon doing more “heady” work of figuring out Excel spreadsheets and putting together a bulk mailing of our newsletter. In the hour before dinner, a largish group of us ended up hanging out on an outside deck, chatting about the state of the community and other random bits of life. I pulled out my substitute teacher application form (due tomorrow!), and started to fill it out.

“What should I list for ‘current position?'” I asked the group.
“Dominatrix,” one person suggested “to let them know that you’ll know how to discipline the kids.”
“Housing Administratior,” said someone else, referring to my job as room assigner, in which I help people find empty rooms when they have guests.
We went through a list of many other things I could list as my “current position”: newsletter editor, homeschooling teacher, assistant manager of the tofu business, public relations correspondent, gardener, public speaker, personal counselor… (that space is still blank on the application because I haven’t decided which one is most appropriate).

next was the question of salary. What do I write when I’m part of a worker-owned cooperative and don’t get any salary at all? I wrote “N/A (self employed)” with the expectation that I’ll explain a brief bit about income-sharing in the interview tomorrow.

“What’s the best way to say I’ve been arrested at a protest?” I queried.
“They really ask that?”
“Yup: ‘Have you ever been convicted of an infraction against the law, other than a minor traffic violation?'”
“Say it was a non-violent civil disobedience. What were you protesting about?
proudly: “Campaign Finance Reform”
blank stares and some guffaws from my friends. “What?”
“Sure, Campaign Finance Reform! We’ll never have justice in this country if people are elected because of money and not ideas!”

“Well, at least it wasn’t anything liberal or extreme, like peace or something like that.”

my friends just shook their heads and looked at me with pity. Whatever… I’m going to be the best substitute teacher EVER!

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