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Archive for May, 2009

We began by talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. and how it appeared as if he knew he was going to die on the day that he actually did. We had an in-depth conversation about slavery, Washington DC, and President Lincoln. We talked about President Washington and even Obama. We talked about death and how it is ultimately inevitable that we all die. 

Somewhere in the midst of our deep conversation, my daughter paused to state, “You know, we don’t have your normal dinner conversations. We don’t talk about ‘how was your day’ and ‘did you stay out of trouble?’ We talk about this deep, random stuff.”

I’d never thought about it before, but she’s right. We aren’t your typical family by many standards. We don’t tend to piddle in the small talk which is somewhat ironic because I consider myself very involved in my children’s lives and my teen daughter is pretty open with me.

I have my children 24/7, for better or worst and as such we really are a close family. A typical day consists of the three of us sharing our one bathroom to get ready for school and work. All three of us then pile into the car and head off to begin our day. My son attends my school and spends the morning in my classroom with me until the bell rings and he leaves to begin his day. My daughter catches the bus at my school and takes it to her school. 

During the day, my daughter and I will text each other messages during recesses and lunch. I usually check in with her to see how her day is going. She often asks me to bring her a coffee knowing full well that not only is it not possible, but I wouldn’t anyways. We have segmented conversations in which I get a glimpse as to how things are going for her.

Having spent roughly half an hour with me before school, my son and I generally see each other once again at lunch time. Although he pretends horror at my appearance, I have been told on good authority that his face actually lights up when he sees me and that what we have is a little game. We have finally agreed that I will not kiss him and in exchange he will give me a side hug. At 8 years old and in second grade, he is too embarrassed to be seen with his mother. 🙂

After school, my son and I spend another approximately two hours together before we pick up sister. During this time, he and I have had our small talk. Once I pick up sister/daughter, she and I have some more small talk as we drive home. Once home (or out to eat), the dinner conversation begins. We have great conversations. I love how deep our conversations go, how anything is fair game, how both my 15 year old and my 8 year old are comfortable and capable in having these conversations. 

Life is good.

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We walked into one of our favorite little hole in the wall diners and there he sat, in the corner, alone. Whether he wanted to be noticed or not, one could not help but be drawn to him. His hair was jet black except for the bright pink mohawk that ran down the center. His jet black hair somehow weaved into the pink mohawk making the mohawk take on an even more angular appearance. He had multiple face piercings and bulging biceps that any man would envy and any woman would fantasize over for days to come. The man was buff. 

We watched him leave. As he climbed into his sleek, black Mercedes, I watched the muscles in his leg ripple. This man obviously works out. We live in a small city which is still hickville by many standards and I am left wondering what type of employment this man has. Although he may be a resident in our town, something tells me that he is not. He is not a young teenager or a 20 something year old. He was well into his 30s and appeared to be very confident in who he was. So I ask you, dear reader, who was this stranger? 

LOL

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I have never, ever regretted my education, but I do love this song. 

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I grabbed my phone to check for messages. There was a text message waiting for me from someone that I seldom hear from. 

“J’s having a girl.”

First reaction: “Oh. I didn’t even know that she’s pregnant.” 

Almost immediately afterwards, “What the hell is she doing pregnant!?!?! She is a case for sterilization!” 

Let’s look at the facts. She’s maybe 24. Had her first some some 10 years ago. Yeah, that’s right. Do the math. He was put in custody once it was established that she was an unfit mother. If she agreed to get her GED (she had dropped out of school), go through rehab (uh huh), establish routine visitations, etc. etc., she could earn her right to motherhood back. This lasted for several years before the courts finally decided enough was enough and her son was adopted by the foster family that was caring for him. 

A few years later, she meets a new “man.” They are both in and out of prison for domestic violence which includes acts of attempted homicide against each other. Neither have a GED or any other kind of education. They can’t hold down jobs. They are obviously a mess, yet she gets pregnant. She has baby number two for less than two years before she loses him (seriously, why was she able to keep him so long??)

Now, she’s pregnant again. How am I supposed to respond to this text? I sure as heck am not happy about it. I’m appalled and I WILL NOT pretend to be excited. She is not capable of being a loving mother. She simply can not be. She has a long list of short term imprisonment, has lost custody to her two previous children, etc., etc. 

I contacted someone that works with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate – it’s nice to have some connections) and asked HOW it is that these people can keep having children. WHY is it that each child is looked at separately?  This simply isn’t right. I’m all about being given a chance to prove yourself, but when you can’t prove yourself and you refuse to take the necessary steps to raise your child, you do not deserve any more chances until you are will to jump through those hoops. I would do anything to prove myself a fit mother. Anything. She was not willing to take basic steps and yet she is given a second chance. My CASA connection informed me that if someone contacts Children Services, they do have reasonable cause now and will confiscate the baby upon birth. Please let me find out when the baby is due and where she’ll be having that child! That child does not deserve to be put through what she will put it through before it is placed into custody.

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I can not stand this company and would not use them again. Their connection speeds are lower than promised, you are locked into a 1 to 2 year contract, trying to find out billing information is a joke (I think they try to make it so you can’t cancel your account because you can’t find out if you are still locked into your contract or not!), they call all the time trying to get you to upgrade or sign up for more services, the connection resets and you have to restart the internet on a regular basis…

I”m sure I could come up with more reasons why I don’t like Clearwire, but that’s enough. I really can’t stand them and I don’t know of anyone in my area that is happy with them. Actually, I don’t know of anyone that is happy with them, period. Stay away from this company if at all possible.

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Tonight the new neighbors were outside yelling their heads off. He likes the f word an awful lot. They were yelling about “shit” and which of it is hers and which of it is his. It ended when she said that she was going to go and get hers and get out of there. He, of course, agreed. 

Eventually, the voices were back outside. They have like 6 kids. The youngest is a newborn, the oldest, I’m guessing, is middle school. When they came back, it sounded like they were all outside. This was at about 10:15 p.m. I can’t help but feel sorry for those kids. They should have been in bed, instead they were able to be a part of a major family drama. At least it was only words and nothing physical, at least not that I could tell and I’m pretty good at recognizing when there is physical abuse. 

They are all back inside now and no one left. I’m really confused, though. They all came outside as if someone was leaving, but no one did. What were they doing outside? Why did the whole family come out? They weren’t all out earlier. 

Whatever the reasons, I’m proud to live in such a classy neighborhood. I’m also happy that my window happened to have been open this evening so that I could be a nosy neighbor – although is it really nosy when I can’t help but hear?  I’m so happy I’m not in one of those ugly relationships. Sorry, neighbors, but I’m happy that I’m not you. Have fun with your million children crammed into that home and your fights and whatever else it is that you do. Yep, you have fun over there.

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In the midst of our budget crises and schools having to let teachers go, other teachers are being paid to not work. Yes, you read that right, people are being paid to NOT work. This is so wrong. Ironically, I was talking to my principal just today about the unions and how hard it is to let go of an employee. My focus is typically on the teachers since I am one, but it’s not just teachers. School employees all have their own unions. In my district, we have the “certificated” union and the “classified” union. Two separate unions, but same general idea. One is for teachers (certificated) and the other is for the other staff members who do not have a teaching certification (classified). 

My administrator (principal) was explaining how the union typically finds loop holes which makes it difficult for the district to get rid of the teacher (teacher also means any staff member!). In extreme instances such as sexual misconduct, child endangerment, etc., the staff member is let go fairly quickly and without a whole lot of fuss. However, simply being a “bad” employee is a whole other ball game. For instance, the staff member first has to be put on a “Plan of Success” in which the school has a special plan of action to help that staff member become successful at their job. Actually, let’s simplify it. There is a whole lot of red tape and bullshit that goes along with getting rid of a bad employee. If the administrator happens to miss a deadline or any one of the other bazillion little details that s/he is required to meet in regards to the employee, this means that the union has found their loop hole. If an employee claims, “I didn’t know,” it becomes the administrators job to PROVE that the employee did know. This all sounds fine and dandy, but it is taken out of extreme by the unions. What is meant to protect the innocent becomes loop holes to keep the guilty. Wrong, wrong, wrong!!

So, my blogger friend at Stiletto’s in the Sand alerted me to the fact that there has been recent news about just this. I wasn’t able to read much before my blood was boiling. Following are some key excerpts from the LA Times:

About 160 instructors and others get salaries for doing nothing while their job fitness is reviewed. They collect roughly $10 million a year, even as layoffs are considered because of a budget gap. [What is wrong with this picture?!?!?! Someone call in the budget police NOW! Taxpayers, scream and throw a fit! Something needs to be done NOW about this!!!]

For seven years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits…His job is to do nothing… At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school…

Most cases take months to adjudicate, but some take years. Kim, 41, has persisted the longest..the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs. [The only thing that I can say is that I don’t even make anywhere near $68k a year and I work my ASS off to make what I make!]

As far as I know, there are no employees getting paid to do nothing in our district. I sure hope not. As an employee, dead beat being paid to do nothing employee, these people should be completely ashamed. I can not comprehend what type of person is ok with sitting at home doing nothing and getting paid for it. Do they have no shame? How can they even hold their head up? This is wrong. However, the employees aren’t completely to blame here. Why does the district allow this to go on for so long? Is it because of the legal issues such as all of the mediations and working within the time frame of the court system or is because the district simply hasn’t made it a priority? Again, all I can say is that if I were a taxpayer in these areas I would be having a fit. Heck, I am having a fit and I don’t even live there! I do not understand how this can go on. 

Quick!!! Someone do something!

 

This isn’t a very well written piece and I know it. Deal with it. This makes me too mad to spend too much time one it. 🙂 

 

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