Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A full & productive day

Busy busy busy day. First, as many of you know, I am addicted to Dove Milk Chocolate Promises. As many of you also know, I enjoy parties. Today I decided to combine both of these loves of mine AND (hopefully) make some money! A few months ago in the back of some magazine somewhere, I saw an ad for Dove Chocolate Discoveries (http://www.dovechocolatediscoveries.com/) and learned that you can actually sign up to sell Dove Chocolate products, just like some people sell Avon or Pampered Chef or whatever. I could never get excited enough about Avon or Pampered Chef to sell it, but Dove chocolate practically runs through my veins! As a chocolatier, you have chocolate tastings in your home, in friends' homes, etc., the guests order any chocolate products they like, and everyone goes home happy. This month there was a special where you could buy the business kit with enough supplies for your first four to six parties for just $99. I talked to the regional person (my "sponsor") this morning, and she was really nice and answered all my questions. Chocolatiers get a 25% commision on whatever they sell (more if you sell $2,000 worth of products or more in a single month), which seems standard for direct selling companies -- according to this March 15th NY Times article, "Direct Sales as a Recession Fallback" by Eilene Zimmerman (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/jobs/15sales.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=direct%20selling&st=cse), the usual commision varies from 20% - 50%, depending on the company. So I decided to take the plunge! I'll receive my kit sometime within the next 10 business days. So if you'd like to host or attend a chocolate party in the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT), let me know. :)

Then I had my interview for a special ed teaching job at that charter high school in Brooklyn. They were very organized about it, which I appreciated. I observed a 9th grade math class, met with the special education coordinator for about half an hour, and observed the resource room. For the last 45 minutes, all of us prospective teachers who'd been interviewing for various positions met with the CEO/founder. He was great, talked with us about the school, and even gave details like the salary scale and benefits. I think the next step is to do a demonstration lesson, so we'll see if they liked me enough to invite me to do that. The job would probably be partly collaborative team teaching and partly teaching in the resource room. I like that combination.

Afterwards, I went to Union Square, and while waiting in line for the restroom at the Virgin music store, I read two interesting articles in Marie Claire magazine. One was by this woman who spent four months in jail on Rikers Island because she was convicted of financial fraud, even though she really was more of a victim of it herself. She talked about how the inmates grouped themselves by the housing projects they come from, and the physical fights that happened sometimes, and how she tried to make the best of it by helping other inmates -- apparently she even taught one of the women there how to read. I wish she'd written more about that, actually. She summarized how she made the best of the situation and helped people in only one or two paragraphs. The other article was about the Mosuo, an ethnic minority who live in Luoshi, a small, rural village in southwestern China, and how they are one of the few truly matrilineal societies. The men don't own anything; all money, land and lineage are passed down from mothers to daughters. And in their language, there are no words for war, rape, or jail.

Maybe I should start subscribing to Marie Claire.

To end my day, I went to a children's book writing forum at the New School, since I've written a nonfiction children's book I want to try to get published. The agent and editors who spoke were so informative, and they even gave out their e-mail addresses. During the Q&A I got to ask about biographical non-fiction books for children, since my manuscript is about a civil rights activist who is not a household name but should be. They said a narrative nonfiction manuscript about someone who hasn't already had a lot of books written about them would probably have a good shot of selling -- good news for me!

All in all, a very satisfying day.


  1. A chocolate party? Brilliant idea!

  2. Superlative post! I applaud your intiative in the Dove Chocolate direct marketing idea. Chocolate is one of those accessible luxuries.

    A comment matrilineal society in Musuo initiated a conversation with a fascinating woman married to an African, and we progressed to other more-or-less matrilineal societies: Senegal and the Navajo Nation.

    Good luck with your children's book and with with the quest for teaching jobs.

    Love your blog.

  3. Thank you so much! I love your blog, too! :)