Mexico (Missouri)

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In Missouri, we have city called Mexico. We also have Cuba, but that isn’t particularly relative to my life. Anyhow, since I am at the end of my time in the School of Education, I am frequently asked about my efforts to land a teaching job. The question is never framed so as to allow the possibility that I have already found a job, likely due to the diminishing job market for teachers. It is always something along the lines of, “Where do you hope to get a job?” or “Where are you applying?”

When I state that I already have a job, they are often shocked–happy, but shocked that someone with no experience already has a job when some of their colleagues are being laid off without any prospects ahead of them. The next question is–obviously–“Where at?”

“Mexico,” I always reply, always forgetting to clarify that I am talking about the country. Mexico, MO, while closer, is not exactly at the top of my mind.

Inevitably, the person begins talking about their friend in Mexico, the time they drove through Mexico, or a restaurant that I simply must try in Mexico. Sometimes I catch the confusion quickly, other times the conversation gets pretty far before I realize that it is taking place in two different locations.

When I am the one who starts talking first, the other party grows more and more confused as I move from talking about the school, to the stores, to the street vendors, etc. Eventually, the look on their faces tells me that there is something I need to clarify.

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