Monday, March 17, 2008

Girded

I awoke this morning only a little bit later than I was supposed to.  And I managed to keep to the morning schedule almost to the point where it didn't put my timely arrival at work in dire jeopardy.  More importantly, I was careful to put on my newly knit socks.  This was the modern day equivalent of girding my loins.  The loins needed the girding.  Lots of girdagae.

For today, at 11:00 a.m., I was penciled in to meet with my director to discuss my job for next year.  Enrollment is down, budgets are being decimated and I enjoy making regular payments to the cable company.  After discussing the incoming fifth grade caseload with my counterpart at the primary school, it became apparent that I might just be experiencing a dearth of students come September.  Normally, I'm a gal who enjoys a little of the down-time.  But when it comes at taxpayer expense, I don't think that my coming in to sit around for seven or so hours per day is going to be a big hit with the administration.  I wanted a little clarification regarding just what I would be doing next year.

On the drive into work, I listened to the morning disc jockeys' usual "wacky banter" and was cheered enough by this to almost ignore the news report discussing the latest round of state budget cuts coming down on the schools.  I thought of happy dj's and new socks.  And well-girded loins.

I had it all broken down as follows:

Best case scenario, nothing would change and I'd stay in my current school with a caseload adjusted to include a more diverse population, thus accounting for the loss of the special ed. teacher whose job was cut.

A not-great, but livable scenario would involve being transferred to another school in the district and having to move all my stuff yet again.  I'm tired of moving my stuff.  I move my stuff a lot.  Usually, by choice.  But still...

Worst case scenario, I would be told that my services were no longer required given that the schools are now reduced to returning bottles for the deposit money and having the cafeteria ladies sell the leftover chili on weekends in order that they might have a working budget.  The Big, Fluffy Kitty and I could live in my truck and maybe scrounge some of the chili that didn't sell.

I suspected that the third possibility might really cut into the yarn budget.  Although that inconvenience pales in comparison to the thought of living in a truck with an old cat who is eating naught but leftover chili.

The happy news is that, at least for the time being, I remain employed.  I will, however, be packing up my stuff for another move.  I'm being reassigned to the middle school.  There is also a possibility that my position will be reduced to a 4/5ths version of the job.  That's fine.  I've done it before during budget cuts and said that I would take the reduced hours if it came to that.  Better me than someone with kids who needs the full time paycheck or who can't pick up something part time.  

Let's hear it for girded loins and the power of the socks!  They may not have given me exactly what I was hoping for, but we'll take a minor victory at this point.  

And speaking of victories, my latest dyeing experiment is dry and looking hot!  I sort of mean that literally:


Sorry about the burned retinas.  My bad...

This is 2 oz. of Corriedale that was part of the super-duper surprise goodie box that Susie sent me last spring.  I've been fiddling with all the different fibers that she sent my way and trying lots of different ways of making the pretty happen since it arrived.  This time, I wanted to try food coloring as a dye.  I know that I'm the last person in the free world to give this a shot.  What can I say?  I'm timid with the color.  But, I wanted some red and I don't have red dye so I had to work through my issues.  I love the color, although I have to say that this probably isn't the most cost-effective way to make it happen.  Still...you gotta love a nice, vivid red!  Once your rods and cones have stopped sizzling from the sensory overload, that is.  I'm adding this one to the "Victory" column.

Maybe I'll make some new socks with this fiber.  You never know when the loins will need a little extra girding in these troubling financial times...

SA

26 comments:

PICAdrienne said...

I am so glad you heard livable news. Living in a truck with a chili eating cat does NOT sound pleasant. Our cat (only 3) eats a normal diet, and still has rather nasty burps.

I think he may intentionally hold his burps until I settle down on the couch for some quiet knitting time, he climbs into my lap, and belches.

I thought cats had some elegance. I guess he took the uncouth!

brenda said...

Good news on the job front. I know it's not easy with all of the budget cuts coming our way these days, but at least you'll still be employed next year. And if you can swing the 4/5 time thing, think of all the extra knitting and spinning you could do.

Jacqui said...

I am so sorry to hear this was hanging over your head, though it is good news that things worked out this well!

if you end up going to 4/5 time, remember you have lots of friends to enable your crafting! :)

Jeanne said...

Thank God for continued employment! By "move your stuff" you mean school-wise, not home-wise, right? Liveable news is the best news.

Emma said...

That's actually kind of awesome. I would have loved a teacher like you in middle school!

Beth said...

I'm sorry you didn't get the best case scenario, but happy you didn't get the worst. It's very nice of you to think of folks who might need more income. You're a sweet sheep! :)

trek said...

You had me so worried! I was afraid that I was going to hit the end of the post and you'd be living in your truck. Not that you would really - Mommy and Daddy Sheep wouldn't let that happen - but still.

kmkat said...

Your attitude is awesomely admirable. (hee hee) Really, you took the less than perfect news with great maturity and generosity of spirit. You shall be rewarded with finely knit socks and loins girded with cashmere.

Lynne said...

Way to go sheepie!
[From someone who has had her teaching hours cut from 14 in 2007 to 6 in 2008!]

Sheila said...

Glad the worst-case scenario wasn't the case!

Kmkat is right...your attitude is admirable.

I guess the silver lining is a bit more time for working through your yarn and fiber stashes.

Kath said...

Wow, you do impress me Sheepie! I don't think I could have dealt with that situation so calmly. Kudos.

Mel said...

Well, I'd been a little worried about you with the budget cuts. But before you ended up living in the truck, I'd have probably offered you and BFK our guest room. She'd have other kitties and Tuck to hang with, and we'd be understanding about stash.

Rabbitch said...

Well, I'm sorry for the downturn in your fortunes but I'm glad it's something you can live with.

And just think of all the spinning time!

Julie said...

Whew, for a minute there, I thought you were going to tell us your job was cut. Well, I guess you did tell us it was cut, but thankfully not completely cut. You do have a great attitude about it!

p.s. If it had come down to it, you know you and BFK could have come here (who'd even notice another cat and a sheep in my house?)

Mia said...

Aw man sheepie.. moving does suck.. and be careful crossing busy streets.. but sounds like it turned out ok.

Who knew what girded loins could accomplish? And may I say, I love your new word "girdagae" ::laughing::

Donna Lee said...

I never underestimate the power of handknit socks. They make my feet feel good and that makes the rest of me feel good. I'm wearing some when I have my tests this week. They also remind me that if I can negotiate the 90 degree turn that is a sock heel, I can do anything.

Karen said...

Good news on the work front I'd say, not great, but good. Employment is always better than none. Have you told BFK that there may be a 1/5th cut in treats? I suspect not...

Niki said...

Just found your blog thru The Weaving Inn. I'm having an online secret auction on a handmade quilt of mine. You can find the recent posts about it on my blog. Glad I found u :)HUGS

Panda said...

I'm glad things aren't too bad, and hopefully things will swing around to the better soon. Living in a truck without Greenies might be a fate tempting death.

Cathy said...

I see I join the numbers who would take you in!

Always looking at the bright side - more fiber time, plenty of friends to keep you company (at least on-line) and still food on the table.

I live with a haz mat guy so I get lectures about safety with acid dyes... nuff said.

Yarnhog said...

It's almost like a death row reprieve.

Okay, maybe not quite. But our school budget situation has gotten so bad that the high school laid off 28 teachers. I didn't even know they had that many teachers. Our kindergarten classes are going from 20 kids with a teacher and an aide to 30 kids with a teacher and no aide. Obviously the people who make these decisions have never spent time with a five year old. My ten year old was so distressed by all this that he has been running a lemonade stand with signs that read, "Stop the Budget Cuts!" and "Save Our Teachers!" I don't have the heart to tell him how much lemonade he'd have to sell to save one teacher's job. Sigh.

Anne said...

Coulda been worse then. That's the good part, I suppose.

That and you used one of my mum's favoritist phrases in a blog post. :)

April said...

Come and live with me! Although teachers in California are being let go left, right and center these days. :(

Geraldine said...

I agree with Beth, you are a sweeeeeet Sheep. Sometimes turns in the road can turn out for the very best, I hope that's the case, this time.

Huggs, G

Alwen said...

Yeah, even if the truck was heavily fiber-padded, the chili-eating cat would be a drawback.

Though you'd think my sinuses would have calluses from the latest bout of dog gas.

mehitabel said...

You could come to SoCal and live in my guest room, too! There would be lots of fiber and Simon and HiHi would love to have another BFK around! (Well, Simon is a Little FK, but you know what I mean.) Our small school district just gave 51 teachers layoff notices--California is having a gigantic budget crunch. So maybe we'll go from having the worst schools in the nation to... well, where do you go from worst??