I couldn't sleep and I have a tummy ache.
Somethings never change.
I couldn't sleep and I have a tummy ache.
Somethings never change.
A family member of a friend of mine is going to undergo expensive surgery out of the country. The hope is that this surgery will improve the quality of life of the individual but there are no guarantees.
Knowing that the surgery will be very expensive, I inquired if the family was doing any fundraising. As it turns out, a few months ago they won the lottery. Just enough to cover the costs of the surgery.
How great is that? Those are exactly the people that should win the lottery.
With the passing of Amendment 1 in North Carolina two weeks ago and President Obama's declaration that he thinks same sex couples should be able to get married, I have been thinking about what it means that same sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005.
Years ago, I'm sure I would have been on the side saying marriage should be between a man and a woman. I consider this viewpoint to be naive and uninformed. At the time, did I even know anyone who was gay? Turns out yes, but I didn't know it. I am ashamed of my old way of thinking. How dare I judge others?
I remember when same sex marriage became legal in Saskatchewan and then a few months later legal, by law, everywhere in Canada. I believe my opinion at the time was somewhat indifferent, perhaps I thought it was interesting.
But I was still uneasy. I remember telling one of my friends, during a discussion of same sex marriage, "not in my church", despite the fact that my church was the first in Regina to be an affirming congregation. She responded by saying "That's awful!" and she was right. In saying that, it was like she took me by the shoulders and shook sense into me. I immediately felt the need to defend my opinion, but I had nothing to back it. I had no reason whatsoever. I realized over the days and weeks that followed that there was nothing wrong about same sex marriage.
I am ashamed of the way I used to think, but I'm glad I changed my mind. Clearly, whether or not same sex couples can marry has no bearing on my personal life. I do think it has significance in our culture. In our culture, it is not just some people that are good, everyone is good. When I was growing up, I remember that it was more or less acceptable to look down about gay people or perceived gay tendancies. I'm not going to pretend that life is easy for kids or adults that may be gay today. In fact, I know the opposite to be true. The teasing at school is awful. The difference is, adults will stand up. I will stand up. The difference is, because it is the law, I can talk to my class (8 and 9 year-olds) about what has gone on in the world recently and say that in Canada, it's legal. For us, it's legal. The voice that is heard in my class is the voice that says it's okay and that it's right. I'm sure that there are chidlren that think that it's wrong, but when I say it's right, it's the law, that becomes the message in our class. At least I hope. I am quite sure that my teachers would have been indifferent if the issue where presented, not saying much. I don't even have to state my opinion, I can just say, it's the law, it's the way it is in our country.
And let's hope it always will be.
Lately I've seen the adage "Teaching, we're not in it for the income, we're in it for the outcome" floating around the internet.
Really? Teaching is my profession for which I expect to be compensated. With money. Teaching is my job. My job allows me to pay the mortgage, eat and have fun. It is not something that I do merely out of the goodness of my heart.
I know the purpose of this saying is to state that as teachers, we are caring and altruistic, looking for more than the money. In my case, all of this is true. I do plenty of things that are not necessary because I care, because I want to improve the learning experiences, and sometimes the lives, of my students.
But let's be clear: If they stop paying me, I will stop showing up.
There are certain things that I do my in life that are volunteer tasks. Sometimes the line between professional responsibility and volunteer work is blurred, as some of what I do for my school community is volunteer. There is a difference between what I have to do and what I want to do. My job, to fulfill the obligations of my contract, is what I am paid to do. The extra things that I do, that benefit people in the community, I do because I want to. Usually it is fun or exciting or entertaining for me and that is my payoff. That is not to say I don't enjoy what I am paid to do, it's just that it doesn't matter whether or not I enjoy it. It's my job! Enjoying it is a bonus.
There has been a lot of buzz about the "worth" of teachers. If we start to claim that we are not worth being paid, how can we expect to be paid? A good teacher does a lot things so that his or her students achieve curricular outcomes, learning to be productive citizens of their future society. Teachers help students acheive outcomes that are worth a lot to society, both current and future. To suggest that we do not deserve our income is both false and insulting.
I had been looking forward to this weekend for quite some time. All the seasonal stress of my job is behind me! We had plans to go for dinner with friends we don't often see. Sadly, that's true of all of our friends.
I woke up Friday morning pannicked and disapointed because while I was so looking forward to our plans, I was exhausted. I have a hard time doing anything on Fridays because (I'm old! and) tired. So tired. This Friday more than most.
Plans were made to go to the restaurant early. I was not impressed, it was way too early. I couldn't make it. My work day just lasted longer than everyone else's. Also, I'm a snob and don't like to go out for dinner before 7:30. This way way before 7:30. So I went home, lay in bed for 10 minutes and got all the energy I could before getting ready. I arrived at the restaurant later than everyone else, my husband having being the first to arrive in order to get a table. I guess that's really nice. It's a popular restaurant that everyone likes so it's hard to get a table and they don't take reservations. The food was fairly good, but the conversation was even better. I just love being with people. I'm so lucky that I really like all of my husband's good friends.
Following dinner, I drove like a maniac to get home and straighten the living room before our friends stopped by for a drink before going to a movie. The living room looked good and they were warned not to dare step into the kitchen.
We got the kitchen together on Saturday. Also, I went to the gym to stave of guilt. It worked! More importantly, I had a long afternoon nap. In the evening, we went out for drinks with more friends. Yay for friends!
Sunday we slept in, ate some eggs and drove to Yorkton to see my grandma. It had been on my mind to go and see my grandma for quite some time, and I had procrastinated long enough. She is 95 and still lives on her own. I knew from my mom that she hadn't been doing so well in recent weeks and I wanted to see her. Jason is the best, he knows it's important as well and came with me. The two hour drive was a gift - a chance for us to hang out together and chat and be happy. We made some plans about how were are going to procede with some projects. Nothing exciting - getting taxes done, organizing fincances (sils, I'm not hiding anything!) I don't know if we are busier than most people or just really bad at getting things done because we both feel really behind. I'm going to say (to myself) that we are busier than most because it makes me feel better. Going home was even better - I didn't drive!
My grandma looked exactly the same as the last time I saw her and that made me feel good. She is back in a wheel chair but still gets around well. She has an electric chair that she refuses to use, to the chagrin of her children. They are probably right, but I'm glad she uses her body as much as she can, as I fear she will lose the ability if she doesn't. She doesn't hear as well as she used to and seemed to hear Jason's voice better than my own. We had a nice visit, but it was short. That's okay. I'm glad that despite being in a wheel chair and having difficulty hearing, she seems to be doing well.
As we usually do, we went to my parents' house for supper. My mom is working on a project for one of my friends (it's a secret!) and she wanted my opinions. To be honest, it is going to be great and I don't really have a very good eye for the project so my opinions are not worth much. I do my best to pay attention and "see", but she is much better at it than I am.
Jason is playing hockey and I am alone in the house, watching some tv and doing laundry. I say "watching tv" so casually, when truly, it's a novelty! After 7 months without, we finally bought a tv and thanks to a special introductory offer, we have more channels and features than we know what to do with! When Jason lived in Craik I think I resented Sunday night hockey a bit, because weekends were so short. Now, I see him everyday and I don't mind having time in the house to myself.
There was nothing extraordinary about the weekend. It was all average stuff but all good. I couldn't ask for anything more.
I really didn't intend to see the movie Hunger Games, or even read the books. For one, I had heard it was about adolescents fighting each other to the death. I can't handle that sort of horror. Secondly, everybody loves it and I like to think I'm unique.
No, I'm really not.
We went for supper with friends and they suggested we see the movie so I agreed. Good decision friends! I really liked it. I love a good story and the theme was meaningful.
I realize that I don't have anything new or profound to say about it, but I want to talk about it anyway.
As a "Capital" dweller, it is horrible how we abuse people in other "Districts" to fulfill our desires. I have to look no further than my left hand for a very blantant example. A few steps further to my clothes, none of which were made on this continent, I'm sure. The vacations I take, to beautiful places where people are suffering.
To say nothing of the people that are exploited in our own country and city.
Jason felt there were some discrepancies in the plot. He found some characters weren't believable and that their actions, and therefore the reactions of other characters, were phony.
Personally, I was willing to justify the minor inconsistencies for the sake of the story. The underdog triumphs - yay! I suppose that was quite predictable. On the other hand, since I knew the heroine would not perish at any given point, it was all the more enjoyable for my faint heart.
Now, it's time to decide, is it worth it to embark upon the series and read the books?
I married well.
A decade ago I used to joke about marrying well, meaning marrying someone with a lot of money, since I was going into a profession which does not allow one to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
I did not marry someone with the financial ability to make my every wish come true or buy me every fancy thing I could desire.
Good thing I'm not someone who wants a lot of stuff.
I married well because my husband loves me.
As well, he is kind and patient and hardly ever expresses his frustration in a loud way. He works hard and compromises and does the dishes and drives and says thank you for the things I do. He never leaves things lying around, he's never late and he does not steal the blankets.
I'm so lucky to have him for my partner.
I love you, baby!
As of late, there has been some huge drama going on at work. I would love to blog about it, you would love to read about it, but due to some professionalism, I cannot.
I know, no fun.
On to the next story.
This weekend I volunteered to help out as a skating coach, filling in for someone who was absent. Let's think about what it means to be a volunteer, shall we? Show up for your commitment and do what you have commited to do to the best of your ability. I did that. Do not get paid. I have not been renumerated in anyway for what I did. What did I expect in return? Maybe a thank you. Which I did receive from the other coaches. I did not expect any interaction with parents.
Today, a 5 year-old boy got on the ice. He was part of the group that is just learning to skate. Children learning to skate spend just about as much time with their butts on the ice as they do on their skates Snow pants are a very good idea (cushion the fall as well as protect the tush from the cold). Mittens are essential. One child was impatiently sent on the ice without mittens. I told his parent that he really needed mittens. They found some. Great, all is well, the lesson continues. I spent 45 minutes with a group of children smiling, being positive, cojoling, giggling, having fun and picking them up off the ice when they just couldn't bare to do it themselves, one more time. It was fun and I really enjoyed it.
When we got off the ice the parent gruffly asked me what the note they had received was about. Uh, well, I'm new and I have no idea. But you can read it, sir. Upon entering the dressing room, his son's boots were missing. He was quite upset with the situation, which is understandable. He was also upset with me, as I was not helping him out. Sir, remember me? Picking up your child off the ice for 45 minutes? I could not possibly be responsible for the whereabouts of the boots. I suggested a few places he could check, which he deemed to be illogical. I continued on my merry way, irrititated that he felt this was my responsiblity.
This is a small irritation that reflected a much, much larger problem, irritation, self doubt and true agony that my real job has provided me. But I can't write about the real job. So just read the small story and imagine a big story.
I don't know if it's the reprieve after being help prisoner by windchill last week or if the sun reflecting off the snow makes if feel warmer, but being outside on supervision today was lovely. I swear, it is far more pleasant to be outside today, in the sunshine, than on a Spring or Fall day that may very well be warmer, temperature wise, but windy and grey, and therefore quite unpleasant.
It has been a rough week for me at work. Some challenging issues and the extra time and energy it takes to resolve them have made me want to throw in the towel.
And then I heard that a girl I knew when I was young had passed away.
So the sun is shining a little brighter and I see the kids' smiles and cuteness and what's a little job related stress anyway?