Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 16, 2009

blog on vacation ’til Monday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:04 am

My dear friends arrive from Ft Collins, CO, this afternoon and we will play together in the 103-degree heat for 72 hours.  I hereby give myself permission to not post anything until Sunday night!

Teacher-Ranger-Teacher… future

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 6:52 am

This is my 100th post.  It is an important one.

Last night five of us TRTs supped with Paul, our Chief of Interpretation for some bigger area, also a Superintendent of a bunch of parks on the Colorado Plateau.  He is our bosses’  boss.  Our bosses, Nancy and Karen, came along to confirm that this TRT program is the NPS’s best idea since sliced bread.  [Side note: Historically, MOST of our country’s seasonal rangers were what were called “90-day wonders,” and most of those were school teachers who squeezed in an NPS naturalist assignment between Memorial Day and Labor Day.]  Paul was there to build a fire under us and remind us what a special breed we are.

The upshot of the evening, however, was that he summed up his intention to find a way to morph our positions into Seasonal Ranger jobs for next year (or following) if we so desire.  The government has put into place a daunting beaurocratic maze of hiring practices, including centralizing seasonal hiring into one main office in the nation.  Paul despises that idea, for lots of good reasons, but it is the Park Service’s attempt to remain fair and impartial and let things like test results and resumes determine a hire instead of local politics.

Bottom line is this:  Because we are doing a fabulous job, if we desire a “seasonal” (3- to 6- month) position, they will find a way to help that happen.  We can get help writing our resume’ with just the correct words that the feds like to hear — quite different from a regular resume’ — so that we are under high consideration for a coveted job in the high season.  Our boss would give us personal notification of vacancies, as well.  That is how much we are valued here.

Or we can just come back next summer as a Teacher-Ranger.

Let’s just say that the 12-minute drive home from that four-hour dinner left my mind awash with possibilities.  My heart is grateful.

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