Just to let everyone know, I'm back in the Northeast and plan on staying here indefinitely. I'm living with the 'rents for now, then once I get a permanent job I'll get my own place. I'm planning on shooting a mass email with all my new contact info when I get my own place, so if you want to be included and I haven't emailed you in the last few months, you should probably e-mail me with your addy. Also, I am part of a Stampin' Up club, so I'll be making homemade Christmas cards this year (plus maybe some other holiday cards - I love excuses for making cards!) so send me your current snail mail addy so you can get some joy this winter :-)
Job front - I'm working temporarily with my dad testing a new FAFSA web application. It's a hugely awesome service - if anyone is thinking of going back to school or needs to fill out a FAFSA for any reason, you should use us! I'll post more on this later closer to the go-live date (October 1st) so keep your eyes peeled.
Personal news - I hate moving companies. Really. I have had so many problems trying to get my stuff moved up here from Arkansas. I STILL don't have most of my things (I brought clothes, computer, etc. with me) and I don't really know where it is. At least I know that the driver has it loaded and is on his way up to the Northeast. Whether I get it tomorrow or Sunday or Monday or ... I have no idea.
That's all for me. Remember, e-mail me your addy (e-mail and snail mail!) so I can let you know where I land!
My job search is starting to become more serious, apartment hunting has started to pick up, and I am itching to get out of here. We are going to find out how the district is going to make up the 15 days of strike this week. One plan is to put the days at the end of the year, so our last day of school would be June 27th. The other option is to get out just about the same time, but take away 3 days of Spring Break and work about 10 Saturdays. I don't really care which one we do, I just want them to decide so I can plan what's going on. Having Saturday school means I can cover more before the state test and I'll get to leave Arkansas earlier. Going until June 27th means that I'll still have my Saturdays and my Spring Break to help keep me sane. So really, it doesn't matter which one we end up having.
I'm thinking about going back to school, but not until the fall of 2008. The problem I'm having right now is figuring out what I want to study. But all in good time. I have started studying for the GRE, in a very informal way.
School is going well, considering we're coming off of a 15 day break. The students seem to be happy to be back, and they are focused on learning.
I am itching to get back to Italy. I've considered dumping all my stuff into a storage container, holding off on starting the new job until August, and living in an Italian hostel for a month. Anyone have some vacation, feel like joining me? Sometimes I just feel like getting away from everything, just to relax and clear my mind and think. What would I think about? nothing I would think about absolutely nothing. It sounds so good.
Anyway, off finish school work and go to sleep. Ciao!
Rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things- NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question
Your Name: Katherine
1. Famous Athlete: Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
2. 4 Letter Word: Keen
3. Street name: Kirby Parkway
4. Color: Khaki
5. Animal: Kitten
6. Vehicle: Kia
7. Tropical Location: Kenya or St. Kitts
8. College Major: Korean Studies
9. Dairy Product: Khoa (milk heated in open pan to evaporate and condense it)
10. Things in a Souvenir Shop: knick-knacks (two points for two k's?)
11. Boy Name: Karl
12. Girl Name: Kristen
13. Movie Title: Knights of the Round Table
14. Alcohol: Kahula
15. Occupation: Kitchen installer
16. Flower: Kalmia (mountain laurel)
17. Celebrity: Kirsten Dunst
18. Magazine: Kentucky Monthly
19. U.S. Cities or State: Kansas City, MO
20. Pro Sports Team: Knicks
21. Something Found in a Kitchen: kosher salt
22. Reason for Being Late: Kool-aid mishap in car, had to change
23. Something You Throw Away: kite that's been ripped
24. Things You Shout: Khan!!!! (trust me, Bill does this whenever he sees William Shatner on TV!)
25. Cartoon Character: Kenshin (from anime. don't ask me, ask bill.)
-1 lost cat, 1 gave-away dog
-1 back windshield shattered by an invisible weapon, 1 punctured tire from a nail left behind from filling a pothole
-1 front fender dented and scratched by distraction, late-night cravings, and a sister-talk
-480 students (give-or-take) with just a little more mathematical knowledge and the realization (hopefully) that the world is bigger than one county school district and a handful of neighborhood projects
-debt higher than it began
-26 frequent flier miles
-104 payroll stubs
-1 wood-burned plaque made by a drop-out who kept dropping in
-5 programs on an out-dated laptop
-2 resume entries
-1 mug, 1 waterbottle
-4 graduation ceremonies
-20 home football games
-4 basketball playoff games
-adopted parents, siblings, and good friends
-a townful of Christmas card destinations
-day trips to other states
-spring and summer vacations to Hot Springs, Texas, New Mexico, and other "over there" places
-learning to love sushi
-getting lost in the wrong part of Memphis
I can't believe that I've taught 480 students. Obviously give and take, since I had some of them twice. But 480. And I still feel like there's so much to do. Not for me though. Not here. He reminded me of that - no, I'm not from here, I can't possible realize what these children are going through, what he went through, because I'm not black, I'm not poor. No, I don't know what these children are going through. But I know what they won't go through if they don't get a decent education, if they can't escape this black hole of a county, where the only thing you have to look forward to is making babies and food stamps. I know what it's like to board a plane and get off in a place where you don't speak the language. I know what it's like to wake up one morning and want to have a better job and actually be able to compete for that job. I know what it's like to log-on to a computer and pick whatever classes I feel like for the next semester. I know what it feels like to have people respect you because you are doing a good job. No, I don't know what it's like to not have heat and depend on school to get your food. But I do know what my students are going to miss because of stubborn, incompetent, ignorant people like him. I know what opportunities my children are going to miss out on because no one is pushing them, holding them to a higher standard, expecting them to achieve something great. I know what they will miss out on, what they will never be able to tell their children about because they were born to the wrong parents, in the wrong side of town, in the wrong county, the wrong state, the wrong color. And it breaks my heart.
And so I leave.
I'm abandoning them to their fate because I can't do enough to save them. I'm not strong enough, I'm not getting them early enough, I can't feed them and shelter them and clothe them and convince them that they are smart enough, that they are brave enough, that they CAN do this, that they can get out of this crappy town and have those experiences.
And so I leave.
Well, here we go again, more drama at school. I'll have more time to post tomorrow, but the long and the short is that the staff of the district went on a sick-out Monday and Tuesday, came to work on Wednesday, and now have decided that they are going to strike starting tomorrow morning. I went to school Monday and Tuesday because I didn't have the sick days and because I didn't agree that they should be doing this now. It's a long story that I'll update later, but I think it's the wrong time and the wrong strategy. So, now I have to decide if I'm going to cross the picket line or join the picket line or just stay home. Last time there was a strike, some of the teachers who crossed the line had stuff done to their car (tires slashed, etc.) so that's one thing to think about. On the other hand, there's no proof that what they are striking for is real. Supposedly the state appropriated a 3.5% cost of living increase for all teachers and staff. We haven't received that raise. If it's true, then the district is in error, but if it isn't true, then we're doing all this for no reason.
So I guess my plan of action is to take tomorrow off and do some research about this supposed raise. If I find out that we have a right to strike, then I'll stay out of school. I don't think I can bring myself to picket. I just don't agree with striking now, when it's going to affect the kids so negatively. If I find out that we don't have a right to strike then I'll be going in to school. Anywho, lots of calls to make tomorrow. More updates tomorrow. G'night.
days on diet: 6
# of times cheated: 2 (but it was ok - a charity BBQ. I skipped the bread and ate nice and slow to make sure that I got full on that and didn't need anything else bad. and there was no dessert!)
days at gym: 3
current weight: 203.4
total weight loss: 6.6
This week's been so up and down in terms of school, so I'm super proud that I've stuck to my plans. They caught the boys that were calling in bomb threats (3 in one day on Monday!). Apparently what started last week as somone wanting to get his girlfriend out of her 1st period class got way out of control. I think we ended up with 6 or 7 in three weeks. One of those weeks was homecoming, so I don't count it. So, 6/7 threats in 10 days. Impressive, huh? Anywho, the school caught them, and hopefully they'll be dealt with correctly. The students need to understand that what they do has consequences. In so many situations, they either don't see any consequences or they get a slap on the wrist. Anywho, stress did not equal cheating this week, which has made my life less stressful. How cool is that? I am, however, broke. I don't know where all the money went - one minute I was up a couple hundred in my checking, the next I was pulling money out of my savings. Bizarre. Payday is Friday and I'll be getting extra money for working the football games. I'm excited!
I also have the opportunity to tutor three hours a week at $40 an hour! Part of the repurcussions of being in school improvement year 3 is that we have to offer supplemental tutoring to the students for free. Usually it's through outside organizations, but I guess that some of the organizations use certified teachers (me) as their tutors. I'm not complaining - and extra $120 a week is going to really help my savings.
It's absolutely beautiful outside - 70's, sunny, a little breezy. Gorgeous. And I'm stuck inside working. Boo. I'll probably get out in the afternoon. The only downside to this weather is that it makes me miss fall in the Northeast. I know it's not fall weather per se, but for some reason it makes me think of fall weather. That and all the pumpkins that are around. I just keep thinking about apple cider and pumpkins and picking apples and bundling up and the leaves changing .... *sigh*
Okay, after all that day dreaming, time to get back to work. If I can get everything done today, this week will be SOOOOOOO easy. Woohoo! Ciao!
My life is so stressful. But I'm making it more stressful by making bad choices. So ....
it's back to South Beach for me. No matter what I have to do for school each night, no matter how tired I am, I'm going to make a good dinner each night, and I'm going to make a good lunch for the next day. What I've been doing isn't working. And I'll be going to the gym every weekday. I'd like to start walking/running on the weekends too. Things are too stressful to add health problems, so it's time to step up and do something about it.
Current weight: 208.8 (this morning)
Speaking of stressful, off to do school work. Ciao!