04/01 Direct Link
April Fools Day. Finally the Pre-conference Institute is over. It went well, the participants were happy at the end of the day and we are all so relieved. I canít believe how many hours went into the production. Lots of going back and forth between people - ďYour turn!Ē ďNow you!Ē I will pack it all away into a folder and wait to see if we are asked to do it again. I would know more next time because Iíll keep learning in the next months. Judy thought we might be asked to do it at the annual meeting. MaybeÖ
04/02 Direct Link
Today we left New York and headed up to D.C. Elyse and I spend hours shopping at Macyís - it was fun. We tried to buy shoes, but didnít have any luck until we hit Union Station in D.C., where we both got lucky. I bought my first pair of Dansko clogs in years. I hope they are comfortable. My feet hurt after wearing those black shoes all day. I think I might just throw those away before I go home. Elyse donated her old ones at the shoe store. Iíve never heard of doing that. Itís a good idea.
04/03 Direct Link
Painful feet are the worst thing I can think of. Last night I bought a new pair of classic Dansko clogs, and I proudly wore them this morning to meet with Feinstein and Boxerís aides on Capirol Hill. Woe was me by the time I returned to my hotel. I spent the next half hour cleaning those shoes until they are immaculate because they are going back. Not only did they just hurt on general principle Ė that will ease. They are too small, and that will NOT ease. I donít know why it is so hard to get comfortable shoes.
04/04 Direct Link
Comfortable shoes can be had if you buy the right size. I returned the clogs and am back to the beginning. I bought a cute pair of Aerosoles that I think I can wear to work, so am going to focus on getting a pair of tennies. Mine are sooo too small, and Iíve had enough. I had two pair of these, in two different sizes. If I didnít know better Iíd think I had on the small ones. but I think I got rid of them. Yep - just checked. These are the big ones. Youíd think Iíd learn.
04/05 Direct Link
Iím sitting at the Peetís counter in the San Francisco airport, waiting for the plane that will take me home. Iím relieved to be on the left coast. It surprises me how calm the Capitol Hill area is. Not much traffic, really, considering that it is the seat of government of the most powerful country in the world. (Is that still accurate? Are we richest also? I donít know anymore. What about Dubai?) At any rate, Iím going home to send in all my reimbursements and then tighten my belt and wait out the upcoming recession or whatever is coming
04/06 Direct Link
Home from my jaunt. I had a great time. I like the people I work with in the NWP so much. So many smart, thoughtful, fun people. I feel blessed by having the privilege to work with all of them. Life does indeed send us what we need - itís just difficult to remember it sometimes when it isnít what we had planned. I will be sad if I have to rotate off the team this year. It kind of feels like IĒm just getting started. And yet. You donít always get what you want, you get what you need.
04/07 Direct Link
Iím back to work today. I always feel a little sick the day before going back after a vacation. I just always feel like Iíve forgotten to do something important. Like so much went on when I was gone and Iíve missed it. Today I found that my mail had been opened, even when it was addressed to me. And bills for tutoring had been sitting on Kitís desk even though they had a post-it saying I needed to approve it. Anytime I print anything, Grace runs to take it out - it is always waiting on her desk. Sigh.
04/08 Direct Link
I got an email from Ricky ~ heís having a hard time with the WH Core class - too long spent on World War I, heís not sure what to do. I started doing a little research onilne, and came up with a whole history of the war in art and propaganda posters. So I am making a Keynote for him to use - not sure how heíll use it. But itís fun to be creating curriculum again. I could have so much impact as a curriculum coach for ELD classes. But that is neither here nor there, is it?
04/09 Direct Link
Today I met with the Supe about next year. She said I should take Cindyís offer - take a step back in order to take a step forward. I like Cindy and will be happy to work with her. The position at the Middle School sounds good, actually. So why did I feel sick to my stomach and like crying all day? It wasnít about the job to come, it was about the depradation and lack of recognition that is ubiquitous to my current position. But Iím not alone Ė it happens to others all the time. So suck it up.
04/10 Direct Link
I went to the middle school today to help with an AVID project and was again struck by the griminess of the place. Why hasnít it been cleaned up? The thought of working there is disheartening. I suppose what is really disheartening is the complete lack of power I feel over my own destiny. Itís funny that a job Iíve always loved has spun out of control as it feels like mine has done. I never wanted to be in Administration and now I remember why. My impact on kids is nil, and the jobís impact on me is huge.
04/11 Direct Link
How do you spell embarrassment? Does it start with a ďPĒ as in Politics? Yesterday the Supe announced the administrative changes in the district, and the AP job at the school I want to go I told the Supe, the Asst. Supe: complete transparency. At the end of the day I heard chisme that someone has already been chosen for the job. Itís not me. She said I was first on her list for an admin opening. Not!
04/12 Direct Link
Today Iztac got married in an event that I would call uber-traditional. I havenít ever been to a wedding that had so much going on. An altar to the ancestors, blessing of the new family by Aztec dance ritual, Baile Folklorico performers, Mariachis and a special guest singer. Oh, and a DJ also. It was fun and colorful and beautifully done, and all arranged by the groom. The bride was busy with a new job, new baby and Doctoral dissertation. The food was good, people seemed to enjoy themselves Ė it was really a nice day. I hope they will be happy.
04/13 Direct Link
I seem to be sapped of the energy to do anything but read or poke around on the computer. It reminds me of a piece I heard once on NPR about a couple who suffered from depression and they were unable to do anything in their home. It was a disaster, so bad that they lost their children. All they had to do to get them back was clean it up and they were unable to do so. I feel like that and I donít know how to break it. Doing what I used to do is beyond me now.
04/14 Direct Link
Field trip to UC Davis today. I spent the day with thirteen freshman boys, the majority of them Hmong. It was so much fun. In most of their faces I could see the faces of my former students, their older siblings. Some family connections I could guess at and others I had to ask, but I could see it. At the beginning of each school year it is like seeing ghosts walking in the halls as the siblings arrive. I try to be careful not to compare them to the nes I already know. Everyone wants to be seen differently.
04/15 Direct Link
The AVID Writeoff scoring was today at SCOE. I went, forgetting the essays I had been enrusted with. That was perfect evidence of my muddled head as I tried to figure out my job next year. At the end of the day I went to my office and made my decision. I will teach at the middle school next year and hope that they really do ask me to be administrator the following year. It could be a weird year as I try to do a good job teaching and do some other work to make up the income difference.
04/16 Direct Link
I am joining a new book club. Iím excited about it as it is a chance to meet new people and maybe talk about books in a slightly different way. Ths one has a focus on lives lived in the Middle East. The first book that I will read with them is Three Cups of Tea. Iíve read it already, but missed our club meeting so look forward to talking about it. The idea of this new club is to read books about the Middle East for a year and then choose a different region. That sounds perfect to me.
04/17 Direct Link
Today we went to SJCOE for another ELLA meeting. Early in the morning I discovered I had received an unexpected retroactive paycheck in my account. That money lifted my spirits incalculably. I suddenly felt capable, like anything is possible. I made a deposit to my savings account, paid a credit card and planned to buy some exercise shoes. The combination of deciding about my job and not being completely broke has lifted my depression incalculably. Makes me feel petty, not very trusting, that I could be so depressed over something so remediable. Itís because it felt out of my control.
04/18 Direct Link
Today as I got in my car to go home, I noticed I had missed a call on my cellphone. It came from the hospital. I called each of my children to make sure they were okay, and could not reach the youngest one. I called her a couple of times, and then called her sister, who also called her. Her car was home but she wasnít and her neighbors and friends hadnít seen her or her daughter. I called the hospital, her sister called a cop friend. Nothing. Eventually she called. Sheíd been out with a friend.. Sheís 29!
04/19 Direct Link
I think that drinking coffee may not be the best thing for me. I just feel fidgety sometimes and I donít think I used to be that way before coffee. I wonder if the caffeine contributes to my weight imbalance. My fatness. It probably cuts into my sleep a little, and apparently that can make you fat. I like it, and I donít drink it every day, so I donít know. I like the ritual of it, going into the cafe, talking to a friend or two, doctoring the coffee with a little milk and sugar, ďmaking it perfectĒ..itís soothing.
04/20 Direct Link
For the past two months Iíve made budgets in my ďNumbersĒ program. I plan carefully where any monies I expect to receive will be spent, what will be saved and what will be available for a latte or a movie. I feel like I have more than when I donít plan for its use. Iíve saved several hundred dollars and made significant payments on the American Express credit card. And as much as Iíd like to just pay off the ugly thing, I have to be judicious about it so I donít leave myself in a bind for other expenses.
04/21 Direct Link
It seems to me that my doing the budget, planning for having more, is telling the universe that Iím due for some abundance. I keep getting checks for things, and am able to work very well with my money. Make decisions about it when Iím calm, not freaked out that it wonít last until my next paycheck. Today I have to go figure out an IRS issue. I think Iíll have to fork over some money that I hate having to give them, due to an error I made in my taxes last year. I just donít get their numbers.
04/22 Direct Link
I love Tuesday and Wednesday nights when I can just sit down in front of the TV at 8:00 or 9:00 and not do any more of my life. I grab the popsicle Iíve been saving up for all day, and I just plop down and watch American Idol and even though it bores me a little, it calls me back every week. I never vote, but have lots of opinions about it all. Who should go, who should stay, who was good, who Iím getting sick of. I talk to my friends about it and even Twitter about it.
04/23 Direct Link
My favorite this go round is a young guy who has long blonde dreads. His singing is a little boring, although his voice is good. He never quite steps up to the mike and lets loose, but heís quite charismatic in his laidback way so I keep rooting for him. It seems like I root for him more than he does. If he really wanted this wouldnít he make a little more effort? Each week they send someone home, and sometimes they can actually sing after receiving the news. Sometimes they just stand there and bawl. Like itís a surprise?
04/24 Direct Link
Iím only marginally a size 16. Today I tried on some clothes. Even though Iíve lost fifteen pounds, I still feel just as fat as ever when I try on clothes. I guess a new size will require more than this. Iím going to look into joining a gym. My next big push must come from exercise. Diet alone wonít do it, and even if I walk every day, I need some resistance training to strengthen my bones and tone my muscles. I donít want to end up a big sack of skin when I have lost all the weight.
04/25 Direct Link
Iím in San Diego at an AVID Staff Developer training. So many people here, from all over the country, all being trained to deliver the same information to people. While I completely understand the need for consistency, sometimes the strictness of the compliance bugs me. What I donít like about it is the overlap between strands and sessions. They all seem to deliver the same information Ė tweaked a little, but how many times can you learn to do Cornell Notes? Iím doing Admin again, with an Assistant Supe from Kansas. I like her and expect to enjoy working with her.
04/26 Direct Link
The site team sessions in the afternoons have changed from collaborative time with your school team to another facilitated session with powerpoints every day. Someone is either barking out the information in her big voice or doing cute fun strategies to get it across (As evidenced by the cute posters left on our roomís walls). Ho hum. Just the facts, please and then let us write our plans. I would back out, but it is an extra chunk of money in the summer, and I have seen such great outcomes for students as a result of their involvement in it.
04/27 Direct Link
Well, Iím home from San Diego, and sick as can be. Shortly after I got off the plane I felt a slight sore throat beginning. I was looking forward to being home and working in my house and/or yard but all I seem to do is sleep. That and sneeze. Iím not such a good patient when Iím sick. It so rarely happens that I donít deal with it very well. Here in Chico it is suddenly summer. I had to open the skylights to let the heat out of the upstairs. Itís a little early for so much heat.
04/28 Direct Link
Well, Iím home from San Diego, and sick as can be. Shortly after I got off the plane I felt a slight sore throat beginning. I was looking forward to being home and working in my house and/or yard but all I seem to do is sleep. That and sneeze. Iím not such a good patient when Iím sick. It so rarely happens that I donít deal with it very well. Here in Chico it is suddenly summer. I had to open the skylights to let the heat out of the upstairs. Itís a little early for so much heat.
04/29 Direct Link
Iím still sick today. Not as bad as yesterday, but still long hours sleeping. Iím reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and it is a good segueway into sleep. I enjoy it, but just donít quite get it. I mean I understand the language and all that, and it is readable, but I donít understand the motivation of the characters. I hope it is revealed later on, so I donít feel so lacking. Their emotions are so controlled, their actions so surprising. They seem to always act contrary to what logic would suggest. This is my first Ayn Rand experience..
04/30 Direct Link
Today was my trainer appointment at In Motion. I met with Marie, who is about my age and who I have known peripherally for twenty-five years. She made me feel comfortable about the whole starting to work out thing. She seemed to read that I was uncomfortable moving through a rather sophisticated circuit with the jocks. She pointed out that they are not looking at or at all concerned with me. They are just looking at themselves in those mirrors. Checking their cuts. I was awestruck by a young woman with a tight, perfectly cut body with big bubble boobs.