Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?

The superintendent dropped the bomb yesterday - they are looking at a 2% pay cut across the board. Of course, he couched it with we're trying to save teacher jobs, so if you complain you're getting a pay cut, you look like you'd prefer that someone would lose his job. He also said that 12% of the central office was going.

The central office is top heavy. Fifty percent of the central office could go and no one would miss them. I pulled the district website up the other day and opened up department after department and looked at the number of assistant superintendents, associate superintendents, area assistant superintendents, directors of curriculum (which are broken down by subject and grade level) and the sheer number of secretaries that each of these people have. But have you ever tried calling one of these people? You never get a real person. I don't know where their secretaries are but someone's voicemail always picks up.

In a related story, I read today that Teach for America applications are up by 42% this year. I jumped headlong into teaching without any teacher prep and it was a huge mistake for me; I don't think anyone benefitted from my first year teaching.

My gripe: TFA teachers get paid by the local school districts. I'm sure it's cheaper to pay TFA teachers than it is to pay regular teachers who have been around for years. I'm facing a pay cut and college grads with no experience are getting teaching jobs because it will look good on their resumes for grad school. And please don't start griping to me about Michelle Rhee - she doesn't have any background in education, either. Her Bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University and Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University don't impress me. She taught for three years in TFA. If you want to impress me, dig in and stay with a classroom for a while. Get your freaking credentials. I could probably go and fire a whole bunch of teachers and principals if someone appointed me chancellor or superintendent of a school district.

I've been trying to get a seat on the Professional Standards Commission but as I have found, it isn't what you've accomplished, it is who you know and how much money you've donated to the campaign.

So, imagine how much dollar Michelle dropped to get where she is today.

All this to say, I'm getting a pay cut, but college grads are getting our jobs with no credentials so they can "make a difference." What the hell have I done every day for twenty years?


Friday, March 27, 2009

Freaky Friday - Five Days Before Spring Break

So much to say and yet...
I could post an entire blog about one boy who has been nothing but a behavior problem since he got to our school when he was a 2nd grader; his parents got an ADHD diagnosis Monday along with a prescription for something and they have decided to let him wreak his special brand of havoc on us for the rest of the year while they try to fix him through behavior modification. Right. My only consolation is the fact that this little crapper is going to middle school at his mother's school (right! Mama is a special ed teacher and she didn't think there was anything wrong with the little prince. They. Never. Do.) and when her administration has to deal with him, they'll be throwing him out on his ear.

I could post an entire blog about our Art Teacher and her appointment as County Art Educator of the Year - how she lobbied for, did all the paperwork and managed to get this award all by herself and has done nothing but prance around like it means something. If this had been voted on by her peers, I might be onboard, but she has had the audacity to try to get the school secretaries to get the principal to make announcements about her and her "personal best" and she wants us to put her "achievement" out on the announcement board in front of our school. Stop the madness, I say.

I could post an entire blog about the garlic cheese grits I got ahold of this morning at our monthly Fat Friday breakfast. Oh my word, they were everything grits are supposed to be. Creamy. Cheesy. Delicious. Hallelujah. They were the only thing that saved this wretched monsoon-y Friday. I am in awe.

I could post an entire blog about the fact that Prep's Junior Prom is next Saturday (did anyone check a calendar - hello? The day before Palm Sunday? The after party is over at 3AM. Are you kidding me?) and she doesn't have a dress yet. She found one that cost more than my wedding dress but she can't find it in her size. Of course, if I could wear a 0, I'd just buy clothes to be obnoxious. But then, she is being difficult, as promised.

I could post an entire blog about a fabulous book I started last night and I will finish tonight called Sarah's Key. What a read. As a history major, I am appalled by my lack of knowledge about the French roundup of the Jews. This book is amazing. I think it is the author's first novel. I hope her future work is just as good.

Oh, yeah. One more thing. They had to come yesterday to remove a dead possum from underneath my trailer - it was stinking up pretty good, people- but the one idiot said that the smell was coming from my coffee cup. Pardon? I don't think so. You can't smell my freaking coffee cup from OUTSIDE, moron. What a show that was.

Spring break? Maybe we just need to call it a year.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Road Trip Recap

What a trip. First off, the girls and weather couldn't have cooperated more. Sunny, warm and no whining. (I know - I can't believe it, either.)

When we got to Clemson, the older girls met a friend of the male persuasion for lunch before their tour. When I caught up with them for the tour, Prep asked a telling question. "Just where is this town they keep talking about?" We were in the heart of downtown Clemson. I should have just packed them up and moved on. Where is the town? Clemson reminded me of my own university and I got claustrophobic when I went into the dorm. I should have packed them up and moved on after they saw those, too.

Next stop, University of South Carolina. As soon as they pulled into Columbia, they became different girls. Woo, woo!! Partytown!! Oh, hell. And when they saw the stadium, I knew I was lost. "I could see myself going to school here," was the comment I heard over and over again at places that had nothing to do with the school but everything to do with fraternity row and football. I should have just packed them up and moved on. But we went to the bookstore to buy college t-shirts. Of course, when your mascot is a gamecock, you've got nothing but trouble on your hands. All four of them had shirts in their hands with COCKS emblazened across the front.

Oh. Hell to the no. Not on my watch. Put them down and regroup. Even BrownBear was whooping it up and she said to me, "But you think it's funny." I might think it' s funny, but you're not strutting around with that emblazened across your chest. Trust me.

Stop three: College of Charleston. God's own college - a perfect day in a perfect city. I have never seen Charleston on a more beautiful day. All three college searchers fell in love. Beautiful city, beautiful college, beautiful dorms, beautiful cafeterias. Only drawback? No football team. Damn.

As we hurtled ourselves toward St. Augustine, we stoppped for ice cream at the truck stop on the I-26 / I-95 intersection. We were 95 miles north of Savannah and four hours away from the beach. And our car broke. We had a flat tire, a cracked rim, and something about broken calipers. Did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere? The only thing at this truck stop was a Dairy Queen/Wendys, a hotel (the Peach Tree Inn) and Billy's Tires and Towing. While we had to spend the night, the hotel was fine and Billy and his workers had us fixed and on the road by 10:30 the next morning. While it wasn't perfect, it was far from the disaster it could have been.

I had to be back at school Monday morning like the rest of the girls and I was exhausted. And the topper? I had forgotten that I had to tutor Monday afternoon.

LawyerBoy is doing the Tennessee colleges. He's in for an eye-opener.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I am old. When my mother was this age, I had been married for six years. Me? I've got a Junior in high school and a 7th grader. Times change. And so does my hair color. Prep lifted up my hair last night and said that my original color under there looked pretty good. Why not go with it?

Silly child.

Road trip starts today. All those with close contact to the higher authorities need to pray for safety and sanity.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

What Happened to the Jungle Book?

Disney is trying to kill me.

First, it was "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody." I hate those two, that stupid hotel and those imbeciles in it.

Now, it's "The Suite Life on Deck." The zoo crew on a cruise ship where Oprah has started a school. Truly, a crack induced nightmare of epic proportion. Where can I sign up for a job? I can create drivel, too. And probably at a discount.

I'm just saying, Disney Channel. And don't get me started on Hannah Montana.


Who Are These People?

Stupid Daylight Savings Time. Now that that is out of the way, I have a confession. I am a stalker. I have been googling and facebooking old boyfriends, looking for images of boys I kissed when I was younger.

Dudes, I have to tell you that I am shocked by what I am able to find. No hair. Pot bellies. Pure grey on what hair is left. (Do you have your own teeth? I can't really tell.)
I have to say that while I am unable to fit into Prep's cheerleading uniform, I don't think people would recoil from running into me - although I did put a shockingly appalling picture on facebook just to scare people. That's how I roll.

While these guys were all fine personable people, I just can't believe they let themselves fall apart. (Settle down - I know you can't help it if your scalp just lets go of your hair. I hear about it every day from LawyerBoy if some of his boys jump ship.) However, I spend three days a week on the treadmill and believe you me, my hairgirl, Megan, is the only person on earth who really knows what my true hair color is.

Let's take some personal responsibility, people. Take some laps. Really. That class reunion isn't that far off.

(Really. I'm not this shallow. Post provided by daylight savings time. And lack of sleep. And not knowing what time it really is. Really. The time stamp on the Today Show isn't even correct.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

What a Ride

The former First Lady, Barbara Bush, is expected to leave ICU today after heart surgery. I watched her husband, the former President, George Herbert Walker Bush, speak about her recovery and burst into tears. I teared up myself. I am sure that these two people, all of 19 and 20 on their wedding day, had no idea what their futures held, but even without the public adventures they shared (and the future president was already a World War II hero in this picture), the fact that they are still married and devoted to each other is a testament to all married couples today.

Best wishes, Mrs. Bush.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Snow Day Silliness

Your Preppy Name Is: Dorrance Sinclair Lochridge the Sixth

But most people know you as Tibby


Snow in Atlanta?

Bring it!!!


adopt your own virtual pet!