Monday, February 09, 2009

Speaking Frankly

There are two things you need to know.

The First Thing is this:  I may be teaching school this week like a good little educator but next week, I will not.  February Vacation starts on Friday.

The Second Thing is this:  No one has left me any comments of a hurtful, mean-spirited or snarky nature.  While my tale may make you think that I am need of comfort and support, rest assured, I do not.  The readers were, as always, of a kind and well-intentioned nature.

There.  You are all caught up and ready to proceed.


Maine releases all its little children from the educational system for one week in February every single year.  They've done this since before forever and I'm certain that there was some reason for it when the idea was conceived.  It was probably a very logical scheduling decision at the time, but now it is really more of a tradition.  

It can be kind of a pain given that we only just got the kids back on track after the holiday break in December/January.  Now we will have to do it all over again.  I do not look forward to that part of the schedule and there will be no further respites until April.

But I also happen to like my vacation time and will take it where I can get it.  I don't teach for the time off, but I'm not so much of a hypocrite that I'll deny myself the pleasure of a week's vacation.

I've always liked the February break.  I'm not sure just why, but it always seems to work out for me.  Last year, however, I didn't really mention it on the blog.  I'd had a few school cancellations due to snow before that and began to get the sense that people were a little tired of my crowing.  Nothing definitive...but there was a certain "tone" in the comments that led me to believe I should enjoy my vacation without rubbing it in so much.

Last year, I had a fairly easy job with a small caseload and a principal who liked to take the burden of management from the shoulder's of his hard-working staff.  Then I was transferred to The Bad Job At The Middle School That No One Else Would Take And Where I Am Expected To Perform Miracles While They Dump New Students On Me At An Ever Increasing Rate.  I don't take sick days unless it is an emergency because the amount of work it takes to fix everything that went wrong in my absence is insane.  I have a pile of paperwork dating back to September awaiting my attention and no real hope of ever getting it done.  Every time I try, some enterprising teen finds a new and exciting way to wreak havoc or inspire an easily manipulated classmate to do it for him.  

The phone rings incessantly and it is never someone telling me that I have won the Teacher Of The Year award.  It is usually somebody who wants me to come deal with someone who is doing something to someone else that no one wants to see done.  Or they've starting dumping milk off the third floor stairwell again.  

For all that, I do have a great deal of affection for my students.  They each have some quality that I find endearing.  I see hope for them.  Even when they are insisting that they are most certainly not the ones who wrote those creative "suggestions" all over the lockers and gesturing with the magic markers still clenched in their fists for emphasis, I still mostly like them.

And if I want to maintain that level of devotion, I am going to need a vacation.  It is a simple, biological fact.  A girl can only take so much and still feel the love.  This break is in the best interest of everyone concerned.

I find that I am now perfectly comfortable telling you that I have a vacation next week.  I feel that it is something you should know.  I also suspect that you guys, having had to listen to me blather on about The Bad Job At The Middle School, might also enjoy a break in the action for a week or so.

I will try to be cool about it, though.  While I am very much looking forward to having a week off to spin up more of that merino and knit some more on the current WIP, I promise I won't revel to the point of annoyance.  I'll enjoy my vacation, but still remember that the work routine is but a week away once the break starts.  I need this vacation, but know that I am lucky to have chosen a career that allows me to indulge in them.  I'm not trying to make anyone green with envy, honest.

At least not over my vacation days.  Of course, the fact that Mommy and Daddy Sheep just sent me a gi-normous Valli-time is fair game for jealousy.  Especially when you consider the fact that this card contained a fat gift certificate to Panera.  With a week off and the means to indulge in some hi-carb foodstuffs, I think I might just be the luckiest Sheepie on the planet.

One week.  That's all.  I just have to make it one week...

SA

17 comments:

Kathy said...

I'd have to be a cold heartless thing to not leave you a comment after that!

I, like many of us, enjoy reading and surfing, without stopping and commenting. I've gotten to the point where when I see a comment, I know it's from one of 3 people! But you know something, it's ok. Blogging is more for me to spew and keep a chronicle of my art/craft and life than for the cookies. But we all love cookies.

I hear you on needing a vacation. It sounds like quite the demanding position you're in. I hope the knitting and spinning helps.

Mel said...

I've got 5 days off this week, so I won't be jealous one little bit. Enjoy it however you can get it, I say.

sophanne said...

I am so not going to feel bad for you when my summer vacation starts before yours. Is that mean or snarky? good. :0)

trek said...

Our college does not have off next week. We don't even have off next Monday: Presidents Day and I have to work. Did I mention that this auspicious holiday (which I do not get but which Neatnik and Number Guy do) also falls on my b-day this year? I might have mentioned that in today's post...

Karen said...

Vacation, a Valentine and a gift card!! All very cool. N is on vacation next week too. I can't wait. He, on the other hand, wants to go to school.

Knitting Linguist said...

You can do it -- one more week, and then it's Panera and yarn for everyone! Well, OK, maybe just you, but we can enjoy it vicariously. I hear you about the not taking sick days, though; I'd have to have the plague to take a day off during the semester -- it's FAR too much trouble to get everything back on track. So scheduled vacations are worth enjoying thoroughly.

PICAdrienne said...

I think based on the freedom in your schedule next week, you should do penance by attending 'knitting socialization' lessons next Tuesday evening, weather permitting. The dishcloth, with sleeves should not go. You should take a sock, or something simple, to work on the socialization skills. Yeah, that is what you should do...I believe your socialization lessons are a bit of a drive away from your home, so only go, weather permitting.

Mia said...

yup, you're a pretty lucky sheep!

Kath said...

I firmly believe you have so totally earned that vacation week. I'm amazed that the Powers That Be set all the kidlets free for a whole week in February (why didn't this happen when I was a kid?) but I'm glad you get to reap the reward of time off also without any silly teacher in-service or training days or any of that nonsense!

Julie said...

I may give you a teeny bit of a hard time in the comments about your vacations and snow days, but I actually like it when you have vacation. After all, when you have vacation you come see us at Chicks with Sticks and a Sheep at CWS is always a fun time. Hmmm, should we change that name to Chicks and Sheep with Sticks?

Donna Lee said...

I don't remember getting a week off in Feb although we did get both Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays off (until some bureaucrat changed it to President's Day). My husband has off but I'll have to get up at the crack of dawn and trudge into work like normal. They took away our federal holidays and gave us 5 personal days which are a pain to take off because of the workload. it's much easier when everyone is off at the same time.

soxanne said...

Have a fun week at Panera ... yes, I'm jealous, but I'll try to hold back on the snarky.

Beth said...

Yum, Panera is one of my favorites! Have a great week off!

kmkat said...

Oh boy, a week off! That dishcloth might get some sleeves after all. You and I will be returning to work on the same day; we can commiserate.

Cursing Mama said...

i wanna valli-time nobody ever gets me none of those!

Teri S. said...

I am fairly green with jealously over your February vacation. After the holiday on New Year's Day, I don't get another sanctioned work holiday until Memorial Day. I am allowed, however, to use my precious three weeks of annual leave whenever I want.

Spending a full week knitting and spinning sounds like sheer luxury. I'm finding it hard to find time to knit a full round on a sock. Pitiful.

MaryK said...

Well, it's time to stop lurking, at least this once, and comment. As someone who teaches the high school-aged version of your students, I have to say that you most assuredly need, and deserve, this vacation!! This is a difficult time of year for our little darlings, and thus, for us. The winters in Ohio are far too mild to afford us a week-long break in February. Sigh. Knit and spin and sup for the rest of us next week. I'll vacation vicariously through you.