Monday, October 12, 2009
Happy October, Everyone,
I hope that the growing chilliness around here is not bothering you as much as it's bothering me/ The cold can really make arthritic jpoints and bones with metal in them ache solidly. Predictions say that is will be like this a bit and other predictions are still talking about IL cold and snow. I wish it would wait until November to do some of this, the kids could use a nice Halloween.
It's been a pretty good week. I had a great deal of fun last week with my book club. We did a lot of great things, the kids had fun both reading and with what I taught. It was a diverse group and that was fun as well. I got to make contacts with parents that I don't usually get to make and it was time well spent. I love my work when there is no interference to giving my students the best that I can. It is just like my summer program at our church and I hope that I get more opportunities. This may be something I can do after I retire, sometime in the very distant future.
We got bad news from our insurance company on Saturday. They suggested that we get a lawyer because it looks as if the cost of our son's accident go over our amount of coverage. They claimed that that boat is worth 70,000 alone and it is "totaled." Again, that didn't count the trailer, truck, car, or power pole. I guess we will need a lawyer who can prove that the guy with the truck and boat hit my son and his own insurance many need to cover those costs as well as the power pole the boat took out. I hope that will work because it is true and it seems as if the boat should not have flown anywhere if it were secured properly. If we end up with some big bill from this accident, well we barely make ends meet right now, it will force us into bankruptcy. Paying a lawyer will be more than we need. Grr-rr. We can only pray and wait, this is such a sue-happy society. We don't think there are any medical bills, nobody required an ambulance. They all walked away.
Here in IL, Columbus Day is still a holiday and my children are home from schoot today. My husband is home also, for a rare day off of work because it is also a federal holiday. I must honestly say that I had never thought much of it until I read an article on AOL yesterday about school children in another state being taught how Columbus was a bad man. It spoke of his meanness in particular, but the part that I had never considered is how PC it now is to take away his credit in discovering America. It mentioned about the way that the indigenous people were already here and how they must have found the Americals and the islands first. I am not sure why I hadn't thought about this more deeply. I always recognized it and remember asking about it in school. I cannot remember how it was explained off to me, but I was okay with the duplicity of all of this. Now, at age 54, I get it and why it is inappropriate to have a columbus day. I wonder if we would do better to have a Lewis and Clark Day or something similar. I remember studeying all of those explorers in school, but couldn't keep them straight right now because I don't teach about it or read about it these days. I am not a history nut like a couple of the guys around here, Lots of things change and get more and more complicated.
I am plannng to change physically nad hope that I couldn't get anything but more sumplified. All I need now is to be more healthy and I know that my weight loss is coming, with some assistance soon. It will still take my effort and may happen at a different pace, but I am ready to make the big changes I need to take my big step. My doctor is having me start an all-liquid diet on Wednesday which will last for two weeks before my surgery...and according to my friend, another two weeks afterwards. This can only be my own effort to start what I need most. I have a lot to accomplish this week because then I will work up until the day of the surgery. I have to get those boxes cleared off the stage so I won't push myself to do something with them and it could hurt me. (I know my own ways of doing things and believe I can do everything if need be. I proved that last evening when I started trying to move big things around my family room with this crazy back.)
This will be an important week in my health and healing. I must accomplish a lot. I can do this in a healthy, safe way==and that is my plan.
Take care of yourselves and keep in touch. Happy fall, however it feels.
Monday, October 05, 2009
and Hi there and just plain !!!
It has been a nice day, really nice. I had my "book club" today--only had 3 kids show up, but we had fun together. After school, I got my hair cut and permed--it's nice to have some "body" again, lol. It is always a treat to have somebody wash your hair for you--but I had some definite pain when she returned me to a sitting position. Even that didn't take away from the pleasure. It is something I usually do during school breaks.
I had an odd weekend--it was a combination of rest and stress. It was my weekend for lunch with my best friend. That is always another of the pleasures that I have. We go to a friendly, nice restaurant and eat our lunch and visit for 2-3 hours. We generally sit in the same place and we tip the waiter or waitress well, so they keep our glasses fresh and full and are very kind to us both. It is always special to me, away from my kids nad the stress of work. Her husband has Alzheimer's and it gives her some greatly needed time away from difficult responsibility. She has been sonsidering moving to a special home to have help with meeting his needs, but that is a very difficult decision to make. We did a pro/ con list nad the cons outweighed the pros in her making that decision right now. I;m so glad because she really isn't ready to do that in her heart of hearts. Her husband has always been one of them most intelligent, kind, hardworking men ever--he doesn't remember much excet from his childhood--but if possible, jhas become even more kind. They have been married for 49 years and he doesn't remember her. He talks of the "woman who lives in the house" and tells others she is very nice. It is so hard to hear her tell this stuff, but I am so glad to listen--she is the most wonderful friend anyone could have and I love her as much as any family member. I am lucky to have her as a friend and always have been. I knew her daughter from when I returned to college, but I really met her when we taught together for the first 8 or 9 years of my teaching career. She has always been that kind of a friend.
While we were ending up lunch on Saturday, I got a phone call from one of my sons to tell me that my 18 year old son was in a car accident. Yikes, his cell phone skipped when he left the message and I couldn't hear which of my family was in the accident. Nobody was hurt, but it was at the exact place where my husband had had an accident about ten years ago. As a matter of fact, it is the site of many car accidents. There is a mobile home park on the left and then a bit further down the road to the right is a campground on this highway with a 50mph speed limit.. The mobile home park isn't marked well and (I think) that cars coming by miss or almost miss it and they slam on their brakes, much to the chagrin of the person behind them. In my son's accident, he was third in line with the first car slamming on the brakes and making the left turn and he rear-ended the car in front of him who missed the first car that made the abrupt left turn (in front of a truck that was pulling a boat). The end of my son's (new, to him) car fishtailed into the other lane, the truck hit it and so did the trailer. The boat flew off of the trailer and into a power line pole. It took out local cable, phone and internet for about 5 hours until they replaced it. My son was bummed after he got over the accident itself. It set off his airbag--and both bumpers are off of his car. The radiator is pushed up into the engine area. He is buying this car from someone who works at an office in our church and it's his first car. He has bragged so much about how awesome it ishe is so heartbroken. He plans to take it to the collision repair class at the college he is going to. I hope that he can get it repaired.
That about covers the beginning of my break. Things go from very nice to total stress around here. Oh well, again, nobody was hurt and that is what we pay a gazillion dollars for car insurance for. (We have 4 insured vehicles with 8 drivers, 4 of them are males 25 and under--what do you think??) All I can say for sure is that I hope the rest of my break works much more like today did than Saturday did. Maybe I'll go for a manicure or a pedicure or something later this week. I'm hoping to go swimming tonight or tomorrow--but I cannot get my hair wet. That may be tricky, lol.
In any case, I plan to enjoy my time off this next two weeks and I also want to finish up my boxes of books on the stage--to kind of tie up my loose ends before second quarter begins.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
It has been a wild week with a lot of things going on. I am not sure where or how to start, so I'm going to jump in and try a chronological tale. We got home from our weekend camping trip in good shape. We were at a great caming area that actually made a sand beach along the Mississippi River. It was a gorgeous weekend for weather--a bit of Sunday rain--and there were boats and people in swim suits and children making sand castles and collecting shells. It was still summer in many ways--hooray. We had such a cool summer here in our part of Illinois, that I feel a bit cheated, so one more weekend was awesome. Even I went wading in the river, with help, of course. The only thing I missed was going to church...but the Lord and I talk in prayer and it was okay. I felt a little guilty for taking time off from my boxes on the stage, but since the principal was having a party this weekend, nobody else was working either, so I think it worked out okay.
I had my hospital tests Monday morning and my doctor's appointment Monday afternoon. They have had to move my surgery appointment until later, closer to Halloween. Due to a prior procedure and condition I had, this is not going to be the laproscopic, quick deal. The doc is advising me that I need to plan to take 6 weeks off of work and that is scary because my students need me. They do not typically get a sub for me and I am worried for them, because they have a lot to accomplish this year. I am thinking of postponing, but that may be a problem with the insurance company rescinding authorization. I will continue to focus on this, but I am sure that I am going to do this, and if postponing puts it in jeopardy, then I must move forward as planned.
My work week moved on--things are going so fast now that I have pool therapy twice a week and I go to the pool to practice at least twice more a week. It seems as if the end of the week follows Monday. However this Thursday greeted me with a typed note from the boss that said something to the effect that the parent of one of my students was in to complain. Her child doesn't like to come and work with me because of my BO. I was deeply hurt, offended and outraged. My children love me with a couple of exceptions and they are older students who thought my class was going to be fun-time away from their class and they are unhappy that I expect them to work. I was so upset, I called the union president for help. He came to see me at the end of the day, and we talked for a very long time. I shared several years worth of stories and background, bringing him up to how this school year has went. He was pretty shocked as well and after this long conversation complete with my tears, our decision was for him to go to the human resources associate superintendent. He is sure that this guy will want to solve this and relieve my feelings of being targeted. I totally believe the note was a lie, unless it was from a disgruntled student. If that is the case, she should have come to me and checked on my relationships--she could have done it without giveng one kid away. She could have given me the benefit of the doubt. I work with soem other people in a very close situation and they have no problems with me, I shared with them.
I think this was the answer to my prayer. I have been asking for help and I think this is the way that my Lord decided to help me. This will give others a chance to rise and will help me so that I can be the teacher I am without all of the other stuff that has been dragging me down. I already feel so relieved that it didn't even bother me when she came to me on Friday and questioned me about seeing two more kids who are both getting service. I expect things to stay uncomfortable for a while, but they cannot be worse than they have been. Hooray for peace and caring setting the tone again. YAY.
Now, as my feed update says, after I go to church, I am going to work on my boxes, classrooms and report cards. Our two week break starts after Friday and that may be the space that somethings need for getting better. I still have a boatload of things on my mind, but am giving thanks for the help that I am getting. Our Lord is an awesome God!
to one and all!!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Hello Caring Friends,
I wrote a blog entry two days ago and when I tried to post it, it disappeared into cyberspace, with no warning. I tried every trick I know to retrieve it, but it was gone. It's too bad because it was a fun entry. I had my first--and only stress-free day at work on Tuesday, and I told you about my new, not-so-secret admirer in my life. One of the little kindergarten boys I see has decided that he loves me. He told me that for the first time on Tuesday. He tells me that I'm his favorite teacher and that I am so pretty and that he loves me so much. Yesterday, before he had breakfast, he stood in my doorway and threw me a kiss "to carry around in my heart." Actually, I have since found out that there is more to the story. It is confidential information that I cannot share here for a number of reasons. I feel so sad, because my experience as an educator and a mother is that this child who can work his heart out in my small group may need more than we can give him at school. Obviously, his sweet talking has gotten to me, lol, because this is one of my favorite groups of children to work with each day. These boys work so hard for me and I keep them going for a full session, moving from one activity to the next, and we have fun doing so. (We often run over and nobody seems to mind, even though they are late to recess.) I need to chat with his teacher and his parents too, soon.
As for the rest of my week, there have been some stand out moments and I am really beginning to believe that there is some validity to my "conspiracy" theory that there is purposeful activity to make me feel so poorly. I was told one day that I am not allowed to use the handicapped parking space and on another day I was "chewed out" for not turning the air conditioner off in the room--even though I leave at noon. It is still my job--go figure. These things are no longer about my work situation and are very personal. I am not sure what the motivation behind all of this really is, but it is wearing me down on a regular basis. Maybe if I knew the "why" behind all of this, I could understand--and even repair the issue. Oh my.
On to other things...my birthday is tomorrow and my family has decided that a camping trip is in order for the weekend. It will certainly be a break from what I've been doing and spending my free time doing. We won't be far away, so I get to keep my lunch appointment with my best friend. We schedule a lunch for one Saturday a month, and I had to change this month because of the holiday and then again because of my workshop. We don't eat much, but we drink a lot--water for me and diet soda for her. We leave a big tip, so the wait staff doesn't mind us taking up a table for two or more hours. It is just a lot of good fun and I look foreward to it each month. It will make my birthday more special.
I have decided to go ahead and work on the renewal of my National Board Certification this year. My workshop last week convinced me that I can do this--and I know that I can do it well. That adds several things to my agenda--and it would be nice if I could ever get through all of the boxes I have at school to free up my focus. I am sure that part of the reason for the camping trip is to get me away from that activity for a week. I worked from 2 last Sunday until 10:30 that evening. I have worked hours and hours trying to sort through all of my books and other belongings that were packed so badly. I have such little space for keeping my things that this has been a major ordeal. I have two small classrooms, with no closets or cabinets at all. I have bought a couple of things--small sets of drawers and several small shelf units from second-hand stores, but I have to draw the line at buying major furniture for these schools. There will be some videotaping as part of this process, and I prefer to have decent, organized classrooms in these photos. I am looking foreward to the process because it did so much for me the first time around.
I think I will use part of my birthday weekend away to organize my plans and put a positive spin on the career that means so much to me. This may be the way to get past the unpleasantness that I have been going through. A new birthday...a new year, and lots of things tolook forward to. This sounds like a plan with merit. I'll tlak to you all soon!!
PS Enjoy some calorie-free cyber-birthday cake on me!!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Hi there, dear friends,
I have had a tough week. It started out with me getting in trouble with my boss because I wanted to ask for something and she didn't have time to hear the entire story. It included a special visit to me from the HR guy and an email from the Curriculum guy too. The thing was, I wanted some help in the other building and one of the helpers was off for bereavement. The other gal told me that she would be glad to come and give me a hand to manage the stairs and things that are tough for me. Before I could explain all of this to my boss, she started the conversation with how she didn't have time to talk with me and then jumped in with how she couldn't pay for mileage. I just about cried because she didn't give me a chance and all I said was that "You know, I haven't asked for anything and I have had to come in and work every weekend which nobody else had to do." I went on and worked on my own, but it would have been so much easier if I could have had someone go talk to people upstairs instead of trying to wait for them to answer an email or catch them on the first floor hallway. Oh my.
After the slaps on the hand that I got on Tuesday by the Assistant or Associate Superintendents, I became progressively more ill all day long. I had physical therapy after school and could barely move, my therapist decided that I need my therapy in the pool so I'll start that on Friday. On Wednesday, I found out that there were no chairs for my students because they sent them to the other building and at the other building, there is no furniture for me because the custodian needs someone to help him carry things, but his schedule has been changed and he is the only one working during his hours. So my room in that building has no table and chairs for the students and the available bookcase can't be gotten. There is a leak in my ceiling that they have been looking at for weeks--and they made a big hole up there possibly 2 foot square. For almost two weeks, it has been dripping into a half full garbage can and an ionizer has been running. There is an odd smell in this room and I don't know if it is old wet garbage or the hole and the mold or whatever goes with that or the ionizer, but I became more and more nauseated. I had an after school appointment with my psychologist and when we got to his office, I vomited all over the car, myself and the parking lot, so I didn't get to go talk about how to manage this new stress.
I decided to stay home on Thursday and got in to see my doctor. He did lab work, made an appointment for me with a GI doc, and gave me a prescription for a strong anti-nausea medication. He also told me to take Friday off work too and gave me a "back to work note." I have to call them back on Monday for the appointment and the results to my lab work. All I did on Friday was sit in my chair and doze off and on all day. It was nice not to vomit.
Yesterday, I spent 6 hours working in my classrooms in both schools, I didn't finish in the primary building because I found a dozen boxes with art and desk supplies in them and since I didn't get any this year, these are important to me. My daughter is great at sorting things and she should be able to come and give me a hand with all of this. The guys reorganized the shower I have been given to store my things in and we accomplished a lot in both buildings. We just aren't done yet, and tomorrow, I am going to see students with or without furniture. I will find a way to make things work.
It has been a tough week and I am sure that this is not over. It is so good to have my big family and to have all of their help in working through my issues. I am emotionally drained with all of this and am ready for some relief. I have prayed and am counting on the answers to my prayers so that can have relief and get finished. Prayer is the best way to get what we need.
Hopefully, I'll have a positive follow up to this in a couple of days (after I worked with my kids).I'm looking forward to my real job.
In Christian love,
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