Monday, April 22, 2013

Quiet Girls and Senior Prom

Last night at dinner my sweet, timid high school senior daughter told us she is going to her Senior Prom.  I was surprised as she has never attended a school dance in the past.  I was immediately protective of her.  She is not a social butterfly.  She has little or no experience in the hows and whats of a large group of teenagers.  Unusual, yes.  But years ago I decided to accept her as she is.  Quiet and timid and a little self conscious.  Okay, a lot self conscious.  

While other Moms were pushing their daughters into dance and pageants and student government, I loved mine.  Yes, those other Moms love their daughters, too.  But I refused to be one of those moms who lives their "wish I would have" life through their daughter.  I found it confusing and hurtful.  Did my own mother do that to me?  Oh yes.  And when I didn't show interest in those things she absolutely was embarrassed of me.  To this day I think she's disappointed.  

But back to my story.

I.T. girl makes excellent grades.  She is kind and respectful.  Her room is always a mess.  She adores her older brother and enjoys her younger sister.  She has an excellent sense of direction.  (she did not inherit that from me!)  I have never had to worry about her making a dangerous choice.  But oh yes, I worry about her.  

So when she said she and some friends were meeting at a restaurant and then would ride together to the prom and that she was going to go to the mall and pick out a dress today or tomorrow............ I was speechless.  What? Who are these friends?  Is she.......... will she be alright?  Will she have fun?  Will she feel awkward?  I immediately wanted to protect her.  

I'm excited that she wants to go.  I'm amazed and thrilled that she is brave enough to attend.  Ironman and I have instilled in her a sense of family trust, unconditional love and support.  

And so next Saturday night I'll send her off and I'll worry about her until she returns.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The last month of school

In keeping with tradition, the faculty and staff at my school is barely hanging in there.   It happens at every school I've worked.  Teachers are beat.  Students are distracted.  Administration is under the gun to get things finished up and tied with a bow.  I guess you could say that we are overwhelmed.

And so we hate each other.

Hate is a strong word.  So I guess I should say we are SICK OF EACH OTHER.  But because we are adults and professionals and we realize it's a seasonal thing, we are all hanging in there.  For we know that the last day is a-coming.  And on that day we always feel sentimental and all those stressful feelings disappear with the last car in the pick up line.

How's that for poetic?


I am NOT feeling poetic.  Not one bit.

This has been a difficult year.  I have patience left.  And I have a tail end of good attitude murking nearby.  But I am tired.  And honestly?  I'm bored!  Yes, BORED.  I've never been that way before so it's new.

In order to keep my perspective, I'm going to try to chronicle the whys, wheres and hows.  Then maybe I can figure some things out.

1.  There is no bonding between teachers.

It's taken me this long, but I really think that's the core problem.  I've never met a faculty like this one.  I've always had at least ONE buddy.  Teachers know how invaluable it is to have a buddy next door.  Somebody who will understand your frustrating days without judgement, be there to help you out and most importantly celebrate success without feeling jealous.  Yes, that's it.

The faculty at my present school has none of that.  Well, let me put it this way.  I'm not a part of the set aside crowd.  Why?  I've been trying to figure it out.   And so I actually sat and made a little chart.  See?  I'm bored!!  Same and Different.  And wow, did the different side ever win!

How I'm different:

I'm married.  I've been married for 25 years.   The other 3 teachers?  All divorced and currently single.
I don't mean that as a judgement thing.  But it's a fact.  When they are making dinner plans, or casino plans, I'm preparing to go home and do some things around my house.  My husband is there.  Blah blah blah.  I did join them once.  ONCE!  And it was awkward and weird and I swore I'd never go again.  At first they'd invite me and I'd politely take a rain check.  Now the invitation is lost in the mail.  I guess that made me come across as.................. I don't know.

I'm a Christian.

Now, my faith never comes up in conversation.  It's never really been an issue.  I can work with anybody.  But here it's a major THANG.  I've stood next to a teacher who was actually making fun of Christian Beliefs.  I was shocked!  I didn't know people actually did that.  Am I naive?  We have all faiths, creeds and nationalities at my school.  And I know if my little Muslim Child's mother was standing there this particular teacher would NEVER bring up religion.  Much less make fun of it.  Wow!  I was shocked.  I have learned that there are so many misconceptions about Christ Followers.  I've only had one short conversation about it with one teacher.  I kept it thoughtful and kind, I hope.  But I could tell she disagreed with me.  Wow.

I haven't read Fifty Shades of Gray

And I never will.  Not into porn.  Not even Mommy Porn.  When the talk began on the playground (they were all reading it and sharing the books) I would casually walk away and find a child to attend.  Isn't that what we're out there for anyway?

Maybe I should balance this post with the good things that happened this week.

1.  I have 3 mothers write me sweet notes about the good difference they see in their child since they've been in my room.  One little boy would have tremendous fits of anger and frustration that have now all but disappeared.    So, thank you in return.

2.  I've been able to ride to and from school everyday with my  8th grade daughter.  We've had some good conversations in the car.

3.  I've learned about myself.  I've learned that I have a lot of valuable skills and expertise.  I've learned that all those workshops I've suffered through......... and most of the stuff I learned was at the time thought to be useless and impractical.......... but now WOW!  Working in a school like this has shown me how important my training is.

4.  I worked for a tuition discount for Dancer Girl.  She will "graduate" middle school and move to another high school.  So I will no longer need the discount.

5.  I am ready to leave.  There is no second thoughts.  I'm sure of it.  There is no job that I would want in the whole school.

6.  My husband is a hero.

I could go on and on and on.  I have 25 more school days, 3 graduation ceremonies, 1 braces removal day to look forward to.  Updates to follow I'm sure.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Day I Fell at Work

Today I fell on the playground.  There are a few steps that lead up to the sandbox area, or down from the sandbox area which was the direction I was going.  The playground surface is turf and it had sprinkled earlier in the morning so the ground was damp.  I also had on sandals.  Anyway like most falls it happened so quickly that the whole thing is a blur.  But I slipped on step #3 and just skipped the rest of the way down banging my underarm on the right side as I tried to catch myself.  YES, IT HURT.

It burned.  I actually saw the bruise develop right before my eyes.  I was wearing a light long sleeve jacket so maybe the thin fabric protected my arm from a scrape or abrasion.  But oh the bruising.

I gathered my composure as quickly as one does and looked around.  Nobody saw.  NOBODY SAW??

There were really no children nearby playing which is the reason I was walking away from the sand area.  30 feet away near the swing sets were no less than 6 adults.  SIX.  And not one of them saw me fall?  What if I had banged my head?  Would they have noticed I was lying there unconscious?

The burning and pain lasted over an hour.  I did hold a small ice pack that we keep in the class refrigerator for bobos on the bruise.   It didn't really help the pain, just made my arm feel cold.  I took a couple of advil and at 11am I noted that it didn't hurt anymore.  So the throbbing and burning lasted over an hour and a half.

I feel better now and am sporting a good looking gigantic bruise.

But here's the bigger question:  Do you notice things around you?  In a public place, do you notice people and situations?  The military calls it situational awareness.  I see it everyday.  Parents who do not pull all the way through the carpool line and instead stop at the first slot seemingly unaware that there are 30 cars behind them that would like to speed things up.  And while we're on the subject of carpool lines, at least once a week we have a near miss.  One happened today.  A mother talking on her cell phone and completely unaware of traffic walked right out in front of a car going through the carpool line.  I mean she walked RIGHT OUT IN FRONT of a moving vehicle.  We don't have safety things like that happen with the students, it's the parents!

I see it in church.  Do you not see that family of five searching for a group of seats together?  Don't you think you should scoot down ONE SEAT so that everyone can fit?  I've actually tapped someone on the shoulder before and asked if they'd mind scooting down one (or two) to accommodate more worshippers.  It's church people!!  Crazy.

Don't get me started on the grocery store shoppers who walk right in front of me and stand there looking through the brownie mixes.  Excuse me, did you see me standing right here?  And you chose to step in front of me?

I often wonder if I do dingbat things like these.  Do I notice?  Do I pay attention?  As a detailed oriented person I think I do.  I'll have to pay attention to myself to see if I pay attention!

Friday, April 5, 2013

On moving on

I first started this blog as a venue to rant about selling my house.  Ironman and I had moved to a new city and were forced to rent a teeny tiny house in a crowded neighborhood for over a year while our sprawling house on a big lot sat empty 2 hours away.  It was a bumpy time.  Money was tight but not as tight as our living quarters.  I designated one entire room to boxes.  Stacked 3 and 4 high and lined in rows so you could get in and our.  My organizational skills and handy dandy labeler were best buds.

I would blog daily.  I'd fuss about the realtor's lack of concern that we were living on the edge.  I'd wonder if we'd ever get back to normal.  And I questioned our move.

Sure I was talking to myself but that was A-OK with me.

Thirteen months and 10 days later our house SOLD.  Ironman and I did not speak as we drove to the closing.  We had 4 offers fall through when the buyers reached the financing part of the deal.  Four times my heart had risen only to be dumped and stomped on.  So time #5 was faced with trepidation

We signed our sellers papers and left the attorney's office.  Our realtor told us the buyers would be signing their papers at 3:30.  Oh how I watched the clock.  Finally at 6pm I took a breath.  We had sold our house.  S.O.L.D.  That was on a Wednesday.  The following Monday we made an offer and bought the house where we currently live.

I chronicled all that in this blog.  And since them I haven't had much of a focus.

Well, today has changed all that.

I'm going to give as many updates as I can as I search for a new job.  The job I have now is boring and mind numbingly slow.  I have been an elementary school teacher for 15 years.  No two days are ever the same.  I enjoy the fast pace, the slow dance, the noise and the peace.  I find working with other women to be annoying and exhilerating.  When you have a buddy next door at school, the days are fun and satisfying.  I love that.

I was offered my current job soon after we moved.  It would mean I'd be working at the same school where we had enrolled my youngest daughter .  The pay was that of a slave worker.  But I would receive a discount in tuition for Dancer Girl plus two afternoons off.  So I took it.

I've questioned that decision a zillion times.

I do NOTHING.  I mean it.  I'm just a warm body.  I'm never asked my opinion or my idea.  If I mention something it's met with blank stares and sometimes eye rolls.  Of course, they don't think I notice the eye rolls.

I gave the Director my notice a few weeks ago.  I told her the truth.  That I was bored.  And frustrated.  And disgusted.  And struggling to keep a good attitude.

My last day will be May 24, the last day of school.

I can not wait!

Am I worried about finding a new job?  A little.  But I know it'll work out.  Something will turn up.

I'll try not to complain everyday!