Wednesday, April 03, 2013

WNBP: The Sweetest Things

Hey, what's with all the doom and gloom?  Lately, it seems as though there's just been a whole bunch of negatives going on and I can't help but think it might be time to lighten things up a bit.  After all, who am I if not the queen of the silver lining???

This week's Wednesday Night Bullet Post is dedicated to the fine art of the bright side.  Sure, I might miss a few but I'm honestly tired of focusing on school budget cuts and meetings gone horribly awry!

*I do not like changes in my routine.  I do not like them at all.

*Unless they involve things like getting to take an unexpected nap or ten dollar bills raining down from the sky.

*Which is why I was thrilled when I learned that our school district no longer had the money to send all of our Autism Leadership Team to the mandatory conferences.

*I could still be on the team.  I just didn't "get" to be one of the "lucky" participants doing this thing for college credit and required to travel.


*Until they decided that we all should go to the last statewide meeting.  On a limited budget.

*Which meant a downgrade from the hotel we used during the first conference.

*A hotel room that made me think changes in the routine might actually be kind of nice.

*It was on the plush side, at least by educational budgetary standards.

*Now I have to go on Monday and stay in a motel that isn't nearly so nice.  For all I know it's the sort of place where nefarious white slavers go to unwind after a long day of peddling human flesh.

*Or where there's no microwave in my room and the little shampoo bottles aren't worth stealing.

*I despaired.

*Until I got the email that said there was going to be a big assembly for all the kids.  It isn't at our school.  No.  It is at the high school.  First thing in the morning.

*It will require re-routed buses, an entirely new schedule and five billion phone calls to parents of students who tend to bring their kids to school late and who would arrive to an empty building if we didn't intervene.

*Staff are to drive to the high school instead of our own school and, according to the email, "park wherever you can find a spot."

*This extravaganza will require additional staff people and one of those computerized phone calls to all the parents the night before, not to mention all the follow up activities that will have to be organized.

*And it is scheduled for Monday morning.  Bright and early.

*Have I mentioned how thrilled I am to be driving five hours north to the motel favored by white slavers everywhere so I can attend a conference over content I've only half covered?

*Seriously.  I couldn't be happier about it.

*Clarification: I do not think that "white" slavery is any worse than the other kinds of slavery.  Slavery, I think we can all agree, is a horrible thing.  However, I am of the pale persuasion and when I get into one of my panicky, why-does-everything-happen-to-me states I become a little self-absorbed.

*Because, really...what white slaver wouldn't be all over the chance to put a middle aged school teacher with mild issues around routine on the block?

*It's a movie of the week waiting to happen, I tellya!

*I found myself sitting in the parking lot of the local grocery store last Sunday, all alone and confused.

*Where was everyone?  The sun was shining and there were groceries to be purchased.  Surely I am not alone in my Sunday shopping schedule...

*Oh...Easter.  Easter is a holiday.  The grocery store is closed on some holidays.

*I know this because I read it on all the signs several times during the week when I went to the grocery store to pick up odds and ends but not actually shop for things one might consider "necessary."

*I ended up at the drugstore with all the other people who forgot it was Easter Sunday.

*I know this because everyone was saying, "Gee, I went to the grocery store and no one was there."

*By my estimate, we all took approximately five minutes of parking lot time in order to reach this conclusion.

*Easter closures aside, it all worked out for me.  Candy went on sale fairly quickly and I love nothing more than clearance candy.  Egg and bunny shapes matter not to me.

*I have had candy for dinner three nights running.

*I'm not kidding.  I have LITERALLY eaten candy for dinner for three straight nights.

*I've stopped even pretending I'm going to eat a "real" dinner once I've satisfied the candy cravings.

*It's the very fantasy I had as a child.  Candy for dinner and no one to tell me I need to shape up and eat something with a greenish tinge!

*I feel a little sick to my stomach at this point, but I'm too proud to stop now.

*Did I mention how much I hate change?  I'm fine once things settle down, but the process is enough to put me off my candy.

*For five minutes...

*Mr. Principal announced his impending retirement at a staff meeting several months ago.  I've pretty much managed to stick metaphorical fingers in the ears of my subconscious and sing the "I Can't Hear You" song since then as a strategy for avoiding this professional field of land mines.

*Today we had a staff meeting.  We were instructed to close our eyes.  I don't like to close my eyes in staff meetings.

*Never ends well...

*I might fall asleep or become the victim of black market organ harvesters.

*Which isn't as bad as the slavery thing because you pretty much just wake up in a strange bathtub full of ice and with one less kidney, but it's still not something I want to experience.

*Although, I suppose it would result in weight loss.  After all that candy....

*Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Eyes closed at a staff meeting and promises of nothing bad happening.

*Which is a necessary thing to say to a roomful of people being instructed to close their eyes.

*We were told that, when we opened them, we would see our new principal.

*There was a count to three and...


*Yay!!  That is less of a change and Mr. Assistant Principal is a good guy who won't change everything all at once on me.

*Although he did accidentally mess up my name and call me "Doody" last week.

*I'm not sure exactly what went wrong there, but I think he was trying to make a joke out of how I have lunch and recess duty every day instead of the much less rigorous rotation the other teachers have.

*But it just came out, "Doody" and that isn't exactly how I want to be remembered in those hallowed halls.

*I'm still glad he is my new principal, though.

*But you have to keep it a secret, 'kay?  The board hasn't approved the nomination yet and, although that is rarely an issue, we don't want to jinx it.

*So, mum's the word for a day or so.  It'll just be between us.

*Last week, I didn't go to a meeting because I wasn't invited to go to that meeting.

*And, much like other meetings that go on around that place, decisions regarding my day were made.

*A student was placed in my classroom with little in the way care and feeding instructions.

*The New Teaching Assistant was agog at this.  The Organized Teaching Assistant and I were outraged, but not particularly agog.

*This has happened a lot.

*TNTA said yesterday, "Seriously, I can't believe you aren't completely bugging over this!"

*I've run out of "bug."  I'm down to resigned exasperation which I express in the form of lengthy emails referring the recipients to other emails I've sent on the same issue.

*On the plus side, I get whatever I want for at least a month after one of these little incidents.

*My director redefined my current job to something a little closer to what I actually do (something I've been asking her to do for a while), finally clarified my incoming caseload and offered me my choice of positions for next year.

*And she is going to drive me to the conference next week even after saying she didn't want to drive to these conferences any more.

*I wanted to get a limo, but I thought that might be pushing things a bit...

*I am more ready for spring break than you can imagine.  I have a great class this year and I'm honestly not complaining.

*I also don't want to imply that I somehow work harder than other people and that 8 straight weeks of labor is something that should be admired by all.

*But Kid Time is hard time.  You know I'm right.  If I wasn't, there wouldn't be parents dancing in the streets on the first day of school all across this great land.

*I still have a couple more weeks to go.

*And I have been informed that I've only used three sick days this year.  Three.

*I had walking pneumonia last fall.  I've had a few doctor's appointments and dentist appointments, all of which I use sick days for.  It's easier than driving forty minutes back and forth and I know I've got plenty of time saved up for this kind of thing.

*My staff have used more than three sick days.  The Organized Teaching Assistant has used all her time and more.

*I've used three.

*What is WRONG with me????????

*I have a dentist appointment scheduled for the Friday before April vacation.  That was an accident. I fully intended to fix that since one shouldn't be absent the day before a vacation.

* I had to change my dentist appointment from this Friday so the Organized Teaching Assistant could be gone for two days.

*Oldest son is on college tours.  I can't say no to that.  Her son is a good kid and I want him to go on college tours.

*I am thinking, however, that I might not be so hasty about the appointment changing.

*Three days?  I have something like 90 of the stupid things.  What am I saving them for???

*Well...sickness, I suppose.  Middle aged women should probably be mindful of their sick time what with all the creaking and snapping of stuff.

*Plus I've been eating candy for days now and I anticipate some kind of repercussions from that which might require medical intervention.

*There is no need to find the silver lining when discussing my on-line library experiences.

*Even if they've changed their formatting a bit and it's kind of confusing.

*I am loving every minute of Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4).

*Even better than Book 3.

*Which is good because my visual reading experience hasn't been quite as good as the auditory.

*Once Bitten (Alexa O'Brien Huntress Book 1) was a freebie and within my book buying budget so I gave it a shot.

*It's not bad, honestly.  But it's a little hard to follow.  It's like the author believes you already know everybody and that the back story will only confuse matters.

*But is willing to throw in a tidbit or two every now and again just to make sure you aren't completely in the dark.

*And yet it is holding my interest so it can't be all bad.  Now that I've picked up the thread of the storyline and figured out whom to like and whom to loathe, I'm kind of enjoying it.

*Plus it was free.  Did I mention the "free" part.  That is always a good thing!

Well, I feel better already!  The doom/gloom syndrome that plagued me throughout the month of March is almost lifted and I think I may one day laugh again.  Or at the very least stop growling and snapping at anyone who comes near me with the barest semblance of a smile.  That would be an improvement.  And maybe I'll even get rid of that sour twinge in my stomach that comes and goes with every stressful moment!

Of course, that could be the candy talking but I don't want to jump to conclusions...



Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine doing what you do each and every day. I worship at your feet.

Donna Lee said...

I have weeks of sick time saved because we get penalized for using it. I use every last minute of my vacation/personal time, though.

I am starting to read World War Z. I hope it lives up to its hype but that may be hard to do.

kmkat said...

If someone else drives you to the conference (5 hours each way?), that is one heck of a lot of car-knitting time. Rejoice!

Julia G said...

Hope you had a nice Easter, Ms. Sheep! We are still flirting with freezing temps overnight, but at least the crocuses and daffodils bloomed, so we can pretend it's Spring. I'm not a big candy eater, but at Easter I do love my Mounds coconut eggs and Nestle crunch eggs - mmm!