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wednesday, november 23, 2005

so it figures. a few years ago when i was in school, i went on hiatus but ended up journaling quite a bit. this year i say i have a way to write in the journal frequently and i might as well have gone on hiatus for as often as i've been able to do it. i really want to participate in holidailies this year, but i'm almost afraid to sign up with the way work has been. i even tried to have only one assignment to grade during my 5 day holiday for thanksgiving and that didn't work out either. not that it matters much - it looks like we won't be having much of a thanksgiving today, if at all. we are putting up our tree, but i'm getting ahead of myself here.

work generally has had me busy with planning and grading. no surprise, i'm sure. i'm going to try to plan out the rest of the year for the class by the end of the weekend so i have a lot less planning to worry about. planning for my last 22 days in the classroom won't happen until january when we have the required planning meeting before we get back into school for the year. as for the classes themselves, all but one have fallen into line. the one class that seems to be refusing to do what they need to do recently had a number of kids who deliberately failed a quiz. don't get it, and, at this point, don't care. i called in an administrator and if they want to be idiots, it's their grade. a number of them finally started turning in missing work, thus the excess of grading on my plate for the holiday, but more of them are letting their unhappiness with me as a teacher interfere with their grades. so be it. they'll tank the class and be placed at a different level to make it up and it will be their own responsibility.

beyond that class, my only other frustration is a tech class. i just don't seem to do well with the kids who work below grade level for some reason. well, not so much as don't work well with them as don't get the attitudes that make it so they just try to skate through a class they obviously aren't doing well in. several of these kids are in their last ditch effort (meaning they've taken the class several times and are soon going to be booted without a diploma just because they're getting too old to be in the school). several of them just don't seem to be making much of an effort at it either, they just aren't as crazy and disruptive in the classroom. i've been told that, as far as the tech kids are concerned, the behavior and attitude is normal - all the teachers are dealing with the same thing.

beyond work, not much has been going on. i haven't had time to write. i haven't even had time to do any reading recently, and the crunch really makes me leery of getting my own classroom. yes, we need me fully employed, now more than ever, but i hate not having the time i need to write. everything has been on hold. even so, we're crossing our fingers and praying for something to open up for me in january. this is supposedly when the next great teacher shuffle happens in this county. i've already heard of a high school teacher or two who will no longer be teaching in this district come 2006. i can only hope the same thing is going on at the middle school level. as much as i seem to teach high school level better, i don't like teaching it.

the finances are a mess at the moment. checks bouncing that shouldn't be, which, of course, makes more stuff bounce because of fees. i feel like we're almost in the same place as when we first moved out here and had a hard time getting a handle on the money. apparently one of my debts finally went to a lawyer for collection. i actually broke my rule and spoke with the lawyer's rep, at least until she said we shouldn't have wracked up a credit card bill if we couldn't pay it. this has got to be the stupidest statement ever made by collections agent. i hung up, but should have told her that i hope she never ends up in the same position by losing her job and having a hell of a time finding a new one. what kind of statement is that? it means nothing to these people, but i had an excellent payment record on that card until just before our move. at any rate, i now have 2 or 3 creditors calling not once but several times a day. and at all hours. and one has even started calling my cell. as if i would answer and call back on that phone any more than i do on the regular house number. jeeze.

we also have until monday to get the yard stuff taken care of. we've been cited for having yard issues, we've tried to get mcat to bring over a lawn mower since we don't have one, but nothing has quite lined up the way it should so the yard has been generally just sitting. problem is the $1000 fine we'll get slammed with if we don't get it managed by monday. and it turns out someone didn't just come out on their own and inspect. they came out because of a complaint. such wonderful neighbors we have. the kids were out yesterday doing what they could with near broken rakes and a shovel. saxy says he'll take a saw of his and try to handle the larger issue we have on one side of the back yard. it's a work saw, but whatever works. with the amount of trees in the back, keeping the leaves up is an impossible task, but, according to the kids, we have firewood for life. the front yard looks pretty good. the backyard doesn't look quite so good, but it's better than it was. now saxy's just got to get over being sick and take care of that patch of weeds with his saw. before monday.

as if that wasn't enough, i apparently now need to be kept away from cars. i knew our car was starting to have a brake problem. brake repair costs money and since we're barely keeping up with utilities (although we did manage an extra this month, an extra we've wanted to take care of for a couple of years), the brakes just had to wait. well, they didn't. tuesday i get a message from the hubby that the brakes are really bad and that the car needs to go into the shop that day, which also meant he had no idea when he'd be able to pick froggy and me up from our respective schools. i'm not an issue, i can wait, but froggy needed to be picked up as close to on time as possible since it was the last day before the holiday and the school staff didn't need to be there waiting with her when they really wanted to get their holiday started. mcat was supposed to call his ex, who he is trying to have something of an amicable relationship with because of the kids (like linnorm and i), and have her take care of picking us up. well, he called her and failed to ask about it. i finally called her and told her to at least get froggy. she ended up getting us both and, on the way to our house, her alternator decided it was time to quit. at the same time, mcat locked himself out of his truck and was having trouble meeting up with he triple a folks to get unlocked. mcat was supposed to pick saxy up yesterday to get our car from the dealer (and pay the $1100 bill for the brake replacement or whatever it was - definitely waited way too long to make those repairs), but then he called and now he's going to do it sometime today, assuming we can even get the car today.

really, none of this is new. it's been a struggle for us since before the first day i put a whysper online. that's always how it is for us, a struggle to get through just this one day. the real shock will be when we can finally make ends meet without having to go into the hole every week. actually, the real shock will be when we can make ends meet and can start paying the creditors too. and i admit, i'm a bit envious of my brother. he wonders why we didn't take care of the brakes. at one time he struggled too, but i guess it's been so long that he's had to worry over the light bill that he's forgotten what that's like. now he can do things like afford a new truck and buy an x-box without worrying about which bill he's not going to pay in order to do that. i want to be able to do that. that's why i need this full time teaching job. i could have paid for the brakes almost immediately if i had full time instead of "just" long term. for now all i can do is wait for it.

in the meantime, our thanksgiving plans (and we did have thanksgiving plans) have generally been put on hold. the only thing it looks like we'll be able to do is our traditional tree trimming. we actually haven't been able to do the tree thing for awhile. our old tree became infested with spiders and we weren't able to afford a new one. this year we decided to pick one up, particularly since it was on sale and under $100. we've missed being able to do our thanksgiving/christmas traditions. this will be the first year in a few that we've had a tree. turkey or no, we'll be decorating the tree tonight. struggling with the rest of our lives as we are, we still have things to be thankful for - each other, our lord and savior, the jobs that keeps us almost a float, and so much more.

later tonight i'll write that thankful entry. but, for now, there's more than enough piled into this entry. i know it sounds miserable, but, really, i'm not. yes, there's frustration there, but i'm generally content despite that. whether we actually have a thanksgiving dinner or not, we get to celebrate our thankfulness and our joy.

and now to do some grading. talk about piled.

word of the moment: phlegmatic

stolidly calm, unexcitable; unemotional; having or showing a slow and stolid temperament

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