Thursday, October 29, 2009
I dropped my program tonight. I dropped out of school. I quit. I quit like a big giant LOSER!! I am simultaneously feeling relief and disgust. Relief that I won't be killing myself doing the mountains of work for this program. Relief that I won't be adding more stress on top of the stress that I've been feeling at school since New Principal took over. Relief that I won't have to figure out how to pay for this program. Disgust at myself for giving in and giving up. I've NEVER quit anything in my life. I'm so disappointed in myself, even though I know it's the best thing right now. Ugh! I don't like being a quitter! (Hell, it took me over 12 years to 'quit' my marriage after I threw CSJ out of my house!)
Part of the reason I rushed into signing up for this program is that the tuition was supposed to rise by $2,000 November 1st. Well, now they've locked in the current tuition rate until the 1st of the year. That's two more start dates from now, so I can still consider starting again before the new year.
Another thing I've been thinking about (a lot!) this week is that if I'm going to put the time (and money!!) into another masters program, why the hell am I doing it for something I don't even want to do? Why aren't I doing it for something I DO want - my early childhood certificate!! I've spent a couple of hours tonight (that I would have spent doing work for the class I just dropped!) researching several universities and their early childhood programs. I actually found some good information. My alma mater has a program available that is just for certification, as opposed to completing another masters degree. It may be exactly what I'm looking for, since it's geared toward those who already have a teaching degree and have taught for some time. Oh, and I also stumbled across another certificate they offer for Online Teaching. Yes, seriously. It's only 4 classes! I'm seriously thinking about it. I have a friend who teaches online classes and it's great. You literally work from home. How do you beat that?!
My friend that started with me (although she was doing a different program - Curriculum & Instruction with an ESL endorsement) also dropped tonight. She was really overwhelmed, as well. But, she has FOUR children and a husband who also place demands on her. They are Greek, and her husband is the priest at one of the big Greek orthodox churches here, which means she also has many responsibilities for the church. She has hardly slept since we started these classes a week ago, and one morning this week, on the way to work, she fell asleep at the wheel. She ended up rolling into the car in front of her. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but it was certainly a wake-up call for her. She decided she needed to put this off for a while. So, really, I just dropped out so she wouldn't feel bad about dropping. Aren't I just the most supportive friend ever?
Actually, she and I were both thinking the same thing about why aren't we at least working toward something we WANT and she's open to hearing about what I find out about early childhood programs. If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know that my ultimate goal is to open my own preschool/daycare center. When we were talking this afternoon, trying to make each other feel less like a loser for quitting, she said, "Hey, I know! Let's BOTH do the early childhood thing, then we can open a place together!" Great minds think alike!
Another factor that contributed to my decision to drop is that I just found out, almost accidentally, that the after school program that I've been working for for years was dropped as one of our programs this year. WTF?! When the hell was someone going to tell ME!? This is a HUGE blow to my financial situation, and was the biggest factor in my decision to drop my program.
In the whole scheme of things, I really didn't have to do much for this after school program. I was the site coordinator, so I didn't have any children to teach. I simply supervised, and took care of all the paperwork (student files, assessments, sign-in sheets, employee files, payroll, etc.) Realistically, I usually only spent one afternoon on that stuff, which left me the rest of the month to do whatever I wanted. I had to be there from 3-5 while the program was in session. I seriously figured that would be the time I would work on my classwork for this new masters program. Yeah, well, not so much now, huh?
I'm seriously nervous about losing the salary from this job. The were very generous with me, and the money I made during those few months each year covered nearly all of my share of Stud's tuition. There is no way I can lose the money for his tuition, and then ADD nearly the same amount for my tuition. It would be like losing $10,000 this year. OK, I'm starting to feel better about dropping now. Even if I do another program, I will be taking out a loan, as opposed to having the payroll deductions I would have had for this program.
Yeah, I'm definitely feeling better about this decision. If any of you have some soothing words for me, please, by all means, share them! Or, you can just call me a big loser. I've got it coming.
I'll be back tomorrow to update about school (you know, the actual purpose of this blog!!) and Parent Teacher conferences tonight (for Stud). I'm exhausted, both physically AND mentally! Night, night!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
One of my little darlings, JC, has a fairly severe stuttering issue. He really struggles to get out his words. Sometimes it's just painful to witness. He gets these little "hiccups" or "hics," I guess, as well as doing these gasp-like breaths. It's so hard to watch him struggle. But, then sometimes, he has a string of words just flow out of his mouth.
Anyway, while we were standing in the hall this afternoon, taking our bathroom break, he stepped out of line, came over to me and says:
JC: I had a dream about us last night! (This sentence literally took about 45 seconds to get out.)
Me: You did? What was it about?
JC: We were in the Land of Milk and Cookies! (This was accompanied by a HUGE smile!)
Me: Really? That sounds cool! What were we doing?
JC: We were exploring!
Too cute! Later, when it was gym time, I had to take the kids myself because Ms. H. didn't come today. This is the first time so far this year that I've had to make the hike up to the 4th floor. It nearly killed me! Anyway, there was still a class in the gym when we got there, and they were a bit noisy, to say the least. Of course, MY babies started to complain about the noise (hmm, where would they get THAT from?!) and some covered their ears. One of the boys, CS, says, "It's too noisy!! All this noise is making my brain bleed!" I was cracking up! I repeated what he said, only to find out I heard him wrong. He repeated what he actually said, "All this noise is making my brain beat! You know 'beat, beat, beat'!" This was accompanied by some helpful hand gestures near his head. Either way, it was funny.
OK, that's all I have the strength for tonight. I know I've been slacking, but I'm still fighting this nasty bug. Plus, I started my new grad school program over the weekend, and I'm already thinking of dropping out. :( How can I already be overwhelmed, when the class didn't officially start until yesterday?!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Oh, and just for shits and giggles, I got an automated phone call about 5 minutes ago from Stud's school letting me know that there are currently 13 students with confirmed cases of H1N1. Greeeaaattt.... I bet Stud brought these nasty little germs home to me! That rat bastard!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Things that pissed me off today:
1) New Principal decided that the spot I've been parking in for EIGHT YEARS is now HER new spot!
2) All but one of the little darlings showed up today. (Ok, I know this is mean, but I'm just keeping it real!)
3) I started to feel that tell-tale tickle/scratch in my throat last night, didn't sleep well at all because I kept waking up cuz I couldn't breathe, spent the day sneezing and blowing my nose!
4) Came home to find a message from one of Stud's teachers on my machine. Suffice it to say, he's in SERIOUS trouble. CSJ and I decided that, until further notice, there will be NO cell phone, IPod or computer.
Things that made me smile today:
1) My babies drew cute pictures of themselves today in their Halloween costumes.
2) Every time I take the babies anywhere (lunch, prep, etc.) most of them stop, as they walk by me, and give me a hug. There are LOTS of "Mrs. L., I love you!!"s thrown in there, too. (Why do they have to make it so damn hard to not fall in love with them!?)
3) My good friend, in the room next door, brought me some really cute Halloween pom-poms that I will use when we "cheer" out our reading words.
4) Today is my little niece's 13th birthday! WTF?! It was about a week ago that I watched her (literally!!) pop out of her mother!
5) She had her first Pon-Pom performance this afternoon. (I wasn't in a very good spot for videotaping, but it's still pretty cute!) [She's on the "white side" when the song starts, closest to the middle, second one back. She has a ponytail.]
6) We all (my sister, her girls, my daddy, Stud and I) went to dinner to celebrate the new teenager (yikes!)
7) Stud fell asleep in the car on the way home, and then went straight to bed when we got home. He hasn't gone to bed at 8 pm since he was about 6 years old! I guess when you don't have a phone, IPod or computer, there's nothing else to do, huh? Oh well, too bad, so sad!
Hmmm...whatta ya know? The good outweighed the bad. On that note, I'm gonna hit the sack. (Something else that makes me smile!) I just hope I'll be able to breathe!!
Monday, October 19, 2009
It just occurred to me that I haven't really posted about TN, have I? I think last week was the first time I mentioned him. Because I keep such long and detailed anecdotal records about him, I think I mistakenly thought I had been sharing all these things with you guys. Obviously, I haven't, but I'll have to share the details another day. I just don't have the energy tonight. Let me just reiterate, he makes last year's Twin Boy look like an angel!!
The reason I'm drained tonight is because I had to make an unexpected trip downtown this afternoon after school. I had been told that I could fax an unofficial copy of my transcripts to my new school, then send them the official (sealed) copy later through the mail. Well, for the hell of it, I called the university this afternoon from school to check on how that worked, and to let them know I'd be faxing my transcripts from school. The lovely woman I spoke to informed me that, yes, I can fax first, then mail the others, however the official transcripts had to be there TODAY by midnight. WTF?!?! Thank GOD I called this afternoon, or I would have really screwed the whole thing up. (I would have had to wait 5 weeks for the next session to start, which wouldn't be so bad, except that Nov. 1 tuition goes up by $2,000, and I certainly couldn't let THAT happen!!)
My only option was to drive the official transcripts to their office downtown. Oh, joy. Getting there wasn't so bad. I was able to get downtown in about 15 minutes from school, but then I drove around for nearly half an hour just to find somewhere to park. If you're at all interested in the latest parking meter fiasco here in ChiTown, go here. I finally found a metered spot, put my $3.50 in the machine (for the first hour!!) and started hauling ass to the building, 3 blocks away. I was trying to hurry because I was hoping to beat the rush hour traffic. Yeah...not so much... I took me about an hour to get home.
The good news is that I was in and out of the office in less than 10 minutes. The bad news is I was supposed to bring a copy of my teaching certificate with me. Crap!! The woman I talked to never told me that! Luckily, the man I spoke to in the office told me I could email a copy to them. But, of course, it had to get there BEFORE MIDNIGHT! I was so irritated be the time I got home, I just wanted to lie down. Unfortunately, I had to get right online and send in the certificate, as well as the payment agreement. After a very frustrating half hour of not being able to figure out how the freak to send a copy of my damn certificate, Stud finally came and showed my how to take a screen shot of the certificate, and then attach it to an email. I just hope they get everything in time. The one nice thing about email is that you have an automatic "receipt" of sending things in your sent file.
OK, I've finished my bitching for the night. Dancing with the Stars is starting, so I need to go!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
(The email said this performance happened at the halftime show of the Army-Navy basketball game)
Friday, October 16, 2009
One of the best things about today (oh, I'm going to burn in hell....) is that TN was out. I know I haven't really posted about him, but he has been my biggest challenge this year. I have an entire notebook filled with anecdotal records about him already, and it's only the 8th week of school. He makes last year's Twin Boy look like an absolute ANGEL! More about him later.
I think one of the reasons so many kids have been out this week is because we've been sending home medical exclusion letters since before the fall intersession. These are given to children who are out of medical compliance (e.i. Their shots/physicals aren't up to date) This Thursday, October 15, was supposed to be the deadline for getting this taken care of, and if they don't, the children can NOT come to school until it's done. Well, some of the parents must not have understood the letter, because I think they've been keeping their kids home since they received the letter.
Normally, the parents just ignore the letters, and send their kids anyway. At least they try to send them. New Principal insists that she's going to strictly enforce the exclusion policy. If that happens, I'll seriously only have less than 10 kids in my class next week! Out of the 34 children I originally had on my list, only 8 didn't get a letter!!! EIGHT!! What I want to know is, how in the HELL were these children allowed to register for kindergarten without showing proof of the required physical?! WTF!? New Principal asked me the same thing when I told her how many of mine received letters. She was NOT happy, and asked me what the hell was wrong with the office staff. I must admit, it made me giggle a little.
Next week is going to be a short week for the kids, as Friday is a staff development day. I hope it goes by as quickly as this week did!!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
another masters program!!!
Yes, I DO know I'm out of my mind. Glad you all agree. I will be starting a masters program next week in Educational Leadership. This will allow me to obtain my Type 75 certificate, which is basically an administrative certificate. Clippy Mat made me laugh with a comment she made on yesterday's post about how I should be principal. Well, when I'm finished with this, I can be!
However, that is NOT anything that I'm interested in, at least not at this moment. I have absolutely NO desire to be an administrator. I'm really hoping this will help me move out of the classroom eventually, perhaps through obtaining some sort of training/consulting position. In the meantime, it will help me change lanes (which = raise) on our pay schedule.
Brace yourself for a possible increase in the crabby-ness and bitching done here. Wait, is that even POSSIBLE?! tee hee!
I decided we would be skipping computers today, since it's just way too much work to take the whole class up there, then have to help each and every freakin' baby on their computer. They don't know how to do ANYTHING on the computer yet, and I'm just not up to teaching them right now. I've got bigger fish to fry, ya know! Like...umm...maybe getting them to write their damn names!! But, I digress... Mrs. F. was subbing today at the Hell-Hole, and was subbing in the library. As much as I would like to dedicate an entire post to ranting about the librarian's schedule (and I just may do it later) suffice it to say, she only had classes for 3 periods today. 3 PERIODS!!! That's 3 out of 8 periods for the day!!! Excuse me while I swallow down the rage bubbling up in my throat.....
Ok, back to the point. Mrs. F. did me a huge favor and took my babies for the last period of the day. God bless you, Mrs. F.! Oh, and she made me laugh this morning. Naturally, I made her take ALL the leftover cupcakes home last night after the shower. She kept saying she shouldn't because then she would eat them. Well, duh, that's why I want you to take them! Anyway, she had to go to a breastfeeding class when she left my house, and she told me that between the drive there, and the drive home after, she ate 3 cupcakes. :) Hey, the baby wanted them, shut up! The two she ate at the shower were for Mommy. ;-) Then, she had one for breakfast this morning. tee hee!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
If I may, I wanted to give you a little feedback about our new lunch schedule. I realize today was the first day, but in my opinion, things did not go smoothly. There are 5 classrooms scheduled for lunch at 11:10. Although there is enough seating to accommodate 5 classrooms, there is only ONE lunch counter to service approximately 125 children. The last classroom to enter the lunchroom would not be served and seated until nearly 11:20, which was the situation today for my babies. That leaves them less than 10 minutes to eat, because they need to dump trays and line up by 11:30 so the next group can enter the lunchroom.
Is it possible to stagger the lunch times, by say, 5 minutes, so that each class arrives at a different time, allowing the lunchroom staff to serve them one class at a time? There is also the issue of 5 rooms converging on the lunchroom at the same time, which means over 100 kids in the hall at the same time, since only one class can really fit in the lunch line at a time. Maybe Room 104 can go back to our original 11:00 time, then 101 @ 11:05, 102 @ 11:10, 115 @ 11:15, etc. Or, even if we did 2 classes at the same time (104 & 102 @ 11:00, 101 & 115 @ 11:10) it would help some. This new schedule also caused a major backlog at the restrooms this morning, as most of us like to take our class to the restroom on the way to lunch so they can wash their hands.
I figured I'd throw it out there, it's just a thought... :)
Yeah, probably a little bitchy, but believe me, I held back! I just checked my school email for the hell of it, just to see if she replied, and low and behold, this was in my inbox:
Try bringing your babies in at 11:00 along with 115, 102 and 101 come to lunch at 11:10. Remember, everyone cannot use the toilet at the same time. Bring them earlier or later. There is hand sanitizer everywhere, that should not hold up the lunches. Let's see if this plan works better, OK.
I am SO not used to actually getting a response to my suggestions/concerns. Wow. THIS is why I can't decide how I feel about her! Well, at least I know tomorrow will go a little smoother. And, hey, I even have a prep tomorrow! (Did I forget to mention that Wednesday is now my 'no prep' day? Yeah, that contributed to my crappy day, for sure!)
The other change - lunch schedules. Talk about a cluster fuck!! Our lunch was moved to 10 minutes later, which wouldn't be such a big deal if she didn't schedule FOUR OTHER CLASSES at the same friggin' time! Um, hello!! There is ONE lunch counter. Only ONE lunch tray can be made and served at a time. So, yeah, let's have 125+ kids come to lunch AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!!! Yeah, that makes total sense! Because 5 classes now go to lunch at the same time, that means a major backlog at the bathrooms. We all try to take our kids to the bathroom on the way to lunch so they can wash their hands before they eat. Yeah, well, needless to say, my class was the last one to the lunchroom, since 5 year-olds tend to move like snails. By the time my whole class was served and seated, they had about 8 minutes to actually eat. WTF?!
I immediately sent New Principal an email with my two cents regarding the whole change. Who knows what good it'll do, if any. But, at least it let me get my complaint off my chest. I'm still REALLY pissed about it, though. I'll be curious to see if she responds to the email.
The baby shower was really nice. I made pasta with broccoli and garlic, chicken sausage with spinach and asiago cheese, mini focaccia breads, tossed salad with feta, olives, cukes and red onion, fresh fruit salad, and of course, those cute little pink cupcakes. Oh, and my friends noshed on a chili-cheese dip while I cooked. Yum! Mrs. F. was really excited about the car seat/stroller thingy we got for her. What a great way to spend an afternoon. Great food, great friends, what more could you want? It exactly what I needed after a crappy day at the Hell-Hole!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The worst part of the whole thing is the teacher she's sending these babies to. She is nothing more than a waste of skin! Big Cheese tried to get rid of her a couple of times, but of course he didn't do anything the proper way, so she was able to fight it every time. It's just ridiculous that my babies are going to be subjected to this assbag! The 7 I sent her are the top of my class right now, and I guarantee that by Christmas break, they will either still be at the same level or, God forbid, they will go down! They're supposed to grow!!! Argh!! I'm sick about this.
New Principal and I talked for a while after I gave her my list, and without coming right out and saying it, this is all part of her master plan to get rid of some teachers. Teachers who shouldn't be teaching, like the one who's getting my sweet babies. Apparently, New Principal HAS been doing the proper paperwork, and following the necessary steps to get rid of her and the others. She seemed to imply that it would be happening fairly soon. She also actually said that she'd be bringing my friend, Mrs. F., back once all the dust settles. You may remember reading about the bullshit she was put through in an earlier post. I'm glad she has a plan to get rid of the worthless teachers on our staff, I just wish she didn't need to use my babies as pawns in her little game. :(
I don't want to think about this anymore tonight. I'm trying really hard to just accept the changes and make the most of them. There's a part of me that wishes she would have moved a few more, since this still leaves me with 27 kids. Oh, yeah, I got a new one this morning. Woo-freakin'-hoo.
OK, off to make cupcakes. A few of my friends from work and I are having a baby shower here tomorrow for Mrs. F. She was at school today to sub, and holy crap, she's ready to BURST! That baby should be here any day now. Yay!! Here are a few of my favorite "baby quotes."
A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.
Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
~~Eda J. Le Shan
Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.
OH MY HELL!!! How did I almost forget to share this little tidbit?! Apparently, Big Cheese stopped in at the Hell-Hole this morning, and asked New Principal if he could speak with her. She said NO!!!! WTF?! Either this woman is a crazy bitch, or she's my hero. ;-)
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
This morning, when I saw 5-freakin'-2 on the thermostat, I realized I was being a bit ridiculous. But, not nearly as ridiculous as my gas bill is going to be next month. :(
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Now that you've had a laugh, you should go check out Tiffany's blog. She's a very happy newlywed, a fellow teacher, and she's been on an incredible journey. Check it out for yourself.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anyway, as usual, I was putzing around the kitchen, doing dishes, etc., with the show on in the background. I was listening to the weather report and the 5-day forcast, when I thought I heard the lovely word - SNOW! I whipped my head around, and saw the graphic for the forecast, and sure enough, right there between Sunday and Monday --- "SNOW???"
I've been trying for 10 minutes to figure out how to just show you a screenshot of the graphic, lest you think I'm crazy, but I can't figure it out. If anyone out there knows how to do it, please share with me. In the meantime, here's the video clip from there website. (You probably don't even have to watch it since it's on the graphic already.)
Bottom line, I'm a happy girl!!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I just can't stand that smell when you turn the furnace on for the first time for the season. That "something smells like it's burning" smell, that lasts for at least an hour, sometimes longer. I did go down and put a new air filter in the furnace, hoping to alleviate some of that "smell." I think I just may wait til Monday though, since Stud will be at his dad's for the weekend. (Oo, a little side note, for my fellow mean girls- Today is CSJ and HWW's first anniversary! Ain't that just kick-me-in-the-crotch-and-spit-on-my-neck sweet!? I wonder how they're going to be celebrating....maybe he'll tell her he wants a divorce! Wouldn't that be rich? Well, if I remember correctly, the traditional 1st anniversary gift is paper, so the perfect thing would be divorce papers, no? Yeah, yeah, I'm a bitch....you still love me!) Anyway, Stud won't be around to complain about how cold it is, so maybe I'll hold off on hiking up my gas bill until Monday. (Suz, I can't believe that less than a week ago, you told me you're still running your A/C!)
Here's a little something for Auntie KBL, and all the other doggy lovers out there. Buster keeps sleeping in the adorable little pose, and it cracks me up! The little paw under his head is so stinkin' cute! He just started doing this less than a month ago.