Sunday, August 21, 2011

sorry for the lack of updates

It's been a while since I last wrote anything on this blog. Here's a quick and dirty update:

My mother's Honda Civic died on me back in June-- the transmission had had enough, I guess. I ended up selling the car to the guy who towed it: he's an Armenian who runs his own combination gas station, used car lot, and towing service. Nice guy. He gave me $2000 for the car, which is about what I'd been hoping for.

At my brother David's suggestion, I got myself a used Honda Fit from a local dealer; it's a 2008 model and runs quite well. Given my scarily long commute to work (90 miles, round trip, every day), I've already put over 4000 miles on the car, which had only 38,000 miles on it when I bought it. Well, "bought" isn't exactly the word: I'm financing the car through Capital One, and I've had to upgrade my insurance to full coverage, so it's more like the car bought me: I'm a slave to it. The Fit's not perfect, either: all of its tires need changing. I'm hoping this doesn't become a safety issue before I have the money to change everything. The last thing I need is to plow into a ditch at 80 miles an hour because of a popped tire.

My job has been good to me: I'm happy with my bosses and coworkers, and have gotten more or less used to the strange 3-on-1 tutoring format (three students and one teacher, with each student being of a different grade and working on a different subject). Most of the kids I teach are pretty good, and I've enjoyed an expanded summer schedule. Unfortunately, the job doesn't pay nearly as much as I need to be paid to cover my expenses, so I've been gunning for a new job at Manhattan GRE, a company that pays $100 an hour to employees who teach GRE prep. You can't work for MGRE, however, unless you're able to score at least a 730 on the Verbal and an 800 on the Quantitative. I took the GRE in July and scored 710 on each (along with-- to my delight-- a 5.5 out of 6 on the Analytical Writing section, which put me in the 94th percentile). Just to put my scores in perspective: a 710 Verbal is 98th percentile, but a 730 would be 99th. A 710 Quant is, alas, barely in the 80th percentile: even a perfect Quant score is 94th percentile. I guess most GRE test-takers are generally better at math than they are at language.

This coming Friday, August 26th, I'm taking the GRE again, and will try yet again three more times this year if I can: you're allowed one try per month, up to five times a year. In the meantime, since I can't spend months waiting for test results, I'm hanging out my own tutoring shingle. To that end, I've created a website called Time, Effort, and Focus; it's still a work in progress, but you can see the About page here. My hope is to make some extra money through private tutoring.

I also recently renewed my apartment rental contract. All of these things-- the car trouble, the job, the tutoring, the apartment, etc.-- they all point to the fact that I won't be going on my trans-American walk anytime soon, not unless one of my readers is a multimillionaire with several thousand dollars to spare! So stay tuned, but don't expect much walk-related blogging for the next few months. Until I get my financial house in order (and this is taking longer than expected), I won't be moving forward with the walk. At this point, I'd say I won't be walking until sometime in 2012, at the earliest. My finances come first. I'm sure you understand, and I thank you for your patience.