Friday, October 08, 2010


The digital camera has shipped, but is not yet here. I am enjoying a 3-2-1 margarita on a night when it is still warm enough to have the house opened up. Cricket is hanging out on the couch with me. Red potatoes are baking in the oven and we'll have some leftover rotisserie chicken and green beans for dinner. All is peaceful.

It is a furlough day; ie, one that the school district is not paying us for. I wish I could say I have used it constructively, but I have done little but knit on a sock, investigate a Korean restaurant on the Buford Highway - from hence known as the BuHi (sounds kinda Korean, doesn't it?) and pick up around the house a bit. And make drinks for my willing spouse, who is all caught up in baseball playoffs, following the pipe dream of the Braves going to the series, since the Red Sox are only going home. One thing about the 3-2-1 margarita...I always add more than the required 2 parts citrus juice, because I think it's healthy. I generally treat tequila with the utmost respect, and this drink #2 will be my last one. Hence, it will remain my friend. Hopefully.

I still detest my job. This has been intensified by the fact that I've spent the past week (after hours, that is) keying in grades for my million students for the upcoming report cards. Process to be repeated in approximately 5 weeks. I have got to work smarter on this grading thing, instead of leaving it all til the last minute. Job hatin' aside, I am finding a certain detachment at work, these days, which I suppose is a bit of a blessing. I don't like detachment, feel like the more connected I am to people, situations, things, the happier I feel, but in this case, it all feels just a little saner and healthier to not give a damn what happens. Now I can see deadlines and not panic, sit in meetings where outrageously stupid things are said in a detailed analysis of our team's lesson planning process and not feel like I'm lost in a bizarre netherworld of administrative mental masturbation. No. I can silently send energy to my coworkers and think that I only have 7.5 more months to go before this becomes part of my past. I have never worked for administrators who didn't support my thinking, my work, my way of dealing with children. But it seems this principal cares for nothing but how we are planning to make that test score in April, and any little trip-up, flaw or blip on the horizon is seen as a fault. She's in the classrooms daily, unnanounced, and taking notes, browsing our lesson plans, and mandating this and that. Detached is good. Like a loose balloon, floating around, uncatchable, soon to be gone.

I am mentoring a student, a funny, sassy 3rd grader who was retained because she cannot read, and failed the standardized test that ensured her passage on to 4th grade. She just qualified for Special Ed. I've been her math teacher, and am enjoying spending time with her - she's a good kid. She's going to be fine, I think, she has a lot of spirit, and a strong family. It's these little things that make me think that maybe I don't want out of education, after all, that there's still good work to be done. Our school has an all time low of teachers volunteering to mentor students, in part, I think, because of all the paperwork demands on them right now. My coworker Fish was saying that the mentoring program used to be much bigger.

I have been listening to the Avett Brothers ongoing. Here's my current favorite song.
Which could sum up my feelings about my career, these days.


Acornbud said...

Ooh, a new camera. What fun! Need some updated photos of Cricket and Ms. Ella.

Mokihana said...

Iʻm glad you have some brightness in your otherwise dreary days, whether itʻs the 3rd grader or the prospect of a new camera.

Iʻm sorry the job creates such headaches for you... your detachment is not surprising.

Knit on, McDuff....

gay said...

my have summed up my job in a nutshell!