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saturday, june 2, 2001
family influences


since saxy has come back home we've begun a family movie night. for a bit this got all moved about as we tried to find the best night for us, first friday - then that turned out to be the bast night for the game, then saturday and something else came up, for a bit we watched 7th heaven with the older girls on monday but that has been interrupted too. so movie night has finally settled on sunday. this is the one night i try to put aside everything (right now school interferes more than i would like), get off the pc and go and be with the family to watch a movie. we take the futon couch and lay it out like a bed for saxy and i snuggle on and put a mattress at the foot of it for the kids to sit on. it's always after dinner and only one movie, but the kids love it. they get to watch the t.v. (which we are quite restrictive of), and they spend time with us.

as of tonight we have added a new family activity. tonight i began reading lord of the rings with the family gathered around me. i never did read to my kids when they were young, but i am such a voracious reader myself that the two older ones have followed suit. i may not have read to them, but i always had a book in my hands. kitten has read the trilogy twice already, but from her smiles, this is making it fresh and new and a lot more fun. i hope it has a positive impact on the younger two when it comes to books as well. i was exposed to this wonderful trilogy by an elementary school teacher who read a chapter a day to us. saxy laid down on the couch, i sat in the one comfy chair we have in the living room and the kids sat around my feet. taz had trouble sitting still, but then he is off his meds for the adhd so he would. froggy had some trouble with it too. we expect that as it becomes a habit they will settle down a bit. we're going to try to do this most nights - with friday and sunday nights being out. i can see us coming to the end of the lotr trilogy and it's such a habit that we have to find a new book! ;) i really did enjoy it even though i am the designated reader (saxy doesn't read out loud well) and i got the kids to giggle a few times with the way i read some of it. it was a very enjoyable time, and i am very glad we're finding ways to spend time together as a family before miss kitten decides she is too old for such "nonsense". one can only hope it brings us closer together as a family.

saxy and i are definitely trying to think of ways to make our experiences as a family more positive (even if he struggles with his relationships with the kids, he does want them to be better). this focus can actually put us in a bit of a dilemma at times. like when saxy was fired and we were waiting for the reconstructive knee surgery, the question was to work or not to work? when laidlaw came under new management, the question came up again only this time it was complicated by the fact that he had decided to return to school. as you can tell, most of these issues seem to revolve around saxy. what i want to do usually has no question marks attached to it.

usually.

next year, after a particularly brutal 3 quarters of 18, 17 and 16 units, i will graduate with my b.a. in english (it's taking me long enough!). this is, of course, assuming i survive and don't end up needing yet another l.o.a. this summer i am planning on taking the cbest to gain my admittance into the credential program on campus. so, with the cbest and the b.a. i will hopefully be readmitted to the college via that program for my teaching credential. prior to admittance i can do one of two things: i can get a sub permit which will allow me to be a substitute teacher or i can emergency credential which will put me in a classroom right away. if i do the emergency credential, i can take the internship track in the program and supposedly come out with my full credential earlier than if i go in the regular single subject credential.

but here's the part that really is a twist to the above scenario: recently (this year as a matter of fact) the governor has created a new grant. this grant, in the amount of $20,000, is given to students in credential programs who plan to teach in low-performance schools for at least 4 years and are on non-intern tracks. the final kicker is that i would have to get documented experience in working with children and i doubt parenting will do. this is the one thing that might kick me out of the program unless i can find a way to get involved somewhere. regardless, it does place me in a bit of a dilemma.

do i go and get the emergency credential and hopefully start working in a classroom at the tune of $30,000/year? upside: obviously money. downsides: scheduling. i am still very tied to my son's schedule, which is one reason i am going for teaching in a middle school. i will be home when he needs me home (middle schools get out earlier than elementary schools in cali), with the exception of his off track weeks. even with saxy in school, we will be able to make sure someone is home with him while i am in school, but actually working as a teacher causes a problem with that schedule. in addition, i will have to split my time between my school work and grading and such. a prospect that concerns me since i have discovered that i can do as well as i have in the past in school but need more time to do so.

second option: do i not get any credential at this time and just go to school, trying for the new fellowship in addition to the rumored loads of grants and such offered to teachers and focus on education. downsides: less money and more time in school. upsides: scheduling works for taz and gives him about 2 more years to hopefully get more controlled and be watchable by his oldest sister, plus allows me to focus solely on school work (well not solely, but you understand my meaning i am sure).

substituting has already been ruled out, we're not too hip on me going all over creation to work and our county is huge including palm springs in one direction and montclair in another. it's the biggest county in california, possibly in the u.s. and it would be a nightmare to be called to a location completely across the county.

there are of course some other issues to consider in the whole mess: saxy hates for me to be out late at night in our neighborhood. if i worked, i would be going to school at night which puts me walking home at 10 pm at night. the only ease of concern is that the bus drops off around the corner so it's not a long walk. in addition, there's the girls, kitten in particular. right now i have time to turn and listen to them and spend time with them. with school work and grading i doubt i would have much time for anything (interestingly enough, saxy was the one that brought this one up). but, if i work, kitten will not have to be told no to everything on the bases of money, something that is very important to me as she enters high school.

we are leaning in the non-internship approach direction, even if i don't get the governor's fellowship. some things are more important than money.

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