Monthly Archives: October 2010

Public School Pest

When you think of pest, you probably think of a student, but in our case, I think it’s my son’s teacher.  He’s been complaining that she’s mean.  A few students have even cried, and these aren’t kindergarteners, they’re 5th graders —  Kiddos who are used to the school routine.  Except when your teacher is an intense 25+ year veteran teacher.  Normally I’d be grateful for an experienced teacher, but in this case, I don’t think experience weighs out.  I haven’t figured out if it’s just her personality, that she’s just abrasive, or if she’s burned out, or if it’s both of those and maybe more.

All I know is my normally happy-go-lucky little man has been stressed and anxious, and even crying at the thought of going back to school each day.  I called a meeting with the teacher and the principal, and I left having mixed emotions.  She’s definitely intense, and wanted to steer the focus of the meeting to what she wanted to talk about.  Definitely an overbearing personality.  We agreed to weekly phone calls.  Last night was the first of those.  I can’t say I feel any better about the whole situation. 

And she threw in a verbal slap in the face, saying she had heard that my son wanted to live with his dad.  I know for a fact this isn’t true, but what I don’t know is if she said that strictly as a jab, or as retribution for calling her to the principal’s office, or if she was digging for information.  Doesn’t really matter.  What I do know, is that as a mother and grandmother (as she told me she was) she knows full well the power behind her statement.  Shame on her.  I see thru her comment, but how many other parents has she wounded in her 25+ years of teaching.  Multiply that times ten and we might have a low-ball estimate of the number of students she’s traumatized over the years.

How is it that this woman still teaches?  I’ve been trying for a year and  half to get a teaching job and haven’t had any luck, but here’s this hateful woman interacting with innocent children on a daily basis.  It boggles my mind!

I’ve typed up an email to the principal outlining all of my concerns and requesting that my son be transferred out of her class.  I haven’t sent it yet, but I did send it to my ex-husband who was also in the meeting.  I want to see what he thinks about it, and I want to let it sit for a day.  I’ll look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes and see if anything needs to be added or taken out.

It’s a stressful situation.  It’s so hard to see your child in misery.  So hard to drop him off at school each day knowing I’m sending him into such agony.  I know the school has a policy of class assignments being final, but in this case I think they have to make an exception.  He’s not focused on learning, and he can’t have a year of this level of stress.  I may be in for a battle, but they’ve got this mother hen riled up.

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Filed under children, family, motherhood, parenting, Public School, rants & raves, the kiddo, working mom

Sad Sundays

I’ve always thought of Sundays as a little sad.  When I was a kid, it meant whatever cousins had come to visit for the weekend had to go home; it meant the end of the weekend and the beginning of the school week; it meant the end of fun and back to the grind.  As an adult, my perception of Sundays hasn’t changed. 

We had a fabulous weekend with friends of ours who last year moved two hours away to a college town.  They have a lovely home outside of town and there’s a creek on the backside of their property.  It’s so utterly scenic, they should charge us for staying the weekend.  I think if I lived there I would be utterly and totally at peace.

In fact, driving out there yesterday morning, I came to the conclusion that part of the stress I’ve been experiencing lately is due to not getting out of the city in so long.  I love getting out to the pastures and farm land and corn fields.  A couple of years ago when I was in NYC, I stood on the sidewalk gazing up the skyscrapers and precious few trees and wondered how far I would have to drive before I saw any farmland or a cow?  I’ve told people about that experience, and I think they thought I was crazy.  “I must say, I’ve never wondered about cattle when I’ve been in the Big Apple” or “With all there is to see, you couldn’t stop thinking about pastures??”  Yes, I confounded my friends.  I finally stopped telling people.  It was an odd experience.  I love NYC and plan to visit again and again; it really has nothing to do with the city itself.  It’s more about me, and where my spirit is.  And believe me, the revelation has surprised even me.

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to leave the country, move to the city, get where the action was.  I wasn’t going to be held back by some small-town, I was going places.  So now I’ve spent more of my life living in cities than I did living in the country, but I find myself drawn to it like a touchstone.  I need that time to help ground me, literally.  It feels like the pull of generations.  

I don’t think I could give up all the conveniences of city life, though.  Maybe one of these days, but for now I’d like the best of both worlds.  Sort of like my friends have.  Smaller but good sized community, and living on the outskirts of that.  As I listen to the sound of traffic outside my window, the wheels are turning, trying to formulate a plan of possibilities.

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Filed under family, job search, life, travel

Paranormal Preoccupation

Blame it on the cooler weather, the Halloween decorations in the stores, or just my gloomy disposition of late, but I have a slight preoccupation with TV shows dealing with paranormal activity.  Thanks to Hulu, I’ve been watching episodes of “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Hunters International.”  Those are my favorites.  I even clicked over to catch “Ghost Hunters Academy” — I would be an excellent investigator!  (At least in my mind I would.  In reality, I’d probably high-tail it outta there at the first squeaky door.  I mean, these people are in strange places.  In the dark.  Trying to communicate with the other side.  Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkk!) 

I watched one clip from “Ghost Adventurer” (or “Ghost Adventures,” one of the two) and immediately didn’t like that one.  The main guy is overly dramatic.  A bug flew toward the light and hit him on the arm and he swore it was the hand of a ghost.  Please.  It was clearly a bug.   I have no idea if this paranormal stuff is legit, but don’t do the hard sell and try to tell me a bug is some spectral hand.  With my intelligence insulted, I haven’t watched anymore clips from that show.

Instead I moved on to “Celebrity Paranormal Project.”  I’ve watched only one episode, the pilot.  I love the history behind these haunted places, and the concept of putting people in them out in the middle of nowhere, without even a crew — my, oh my it was almost more than I could bear.  And some of the celebs really got creeped out, which really creeped me out.  There’s no way in heck you could make me go into some abandoned building by myself.  Maybe I’m especially macabre, but if I were a celebrity, I would be freaked out wondering if someone wasn’t shooting a snuff film starring me!  The downside of this show was that some effects were added, darkness rolled in, a shadow ran across the screen.  Sure it’s embellished, and in my opinion it would have been stronger without that.  The embellishments cheapened it when it was scary enough as it was.  I may eventually revisit this show and catch a few more episodes, but for now I’ve moved on.

My latest fixation is “Paranormal State.”  This is a group of college kids doing the same sort of thing as “Ghost Hunters.”  It’s entertaining.  Not as much historical background as Ghost Hunters, but it’s also a shorter show.  The really scary thing is that there are some 22 full episodes on Hulu, which translates into hours of TV watching should I choose to indulge, and this weekend I have.  It’s Saturday, my son’s with his dad this weekend, I’ve cleaned house, I’ve done laundry, I bathed the dog, I ran some errands . . . and then I’ve watched 8 episodes of “Paranormal State.”  My phone just rang and I just about jumped out of my chair.  I think it’s safe to say I should call it a night.  And I might have to sleep with the light on.

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Filed under me, TV

Circle of life

Life is a funny/amazing/complex/convoluted/wonderful thing.  A gal I work with has gone on maternity leave and could very well at this very moment be laboring to deliver her baby girl.  I told her the other day that I wasn’t sure what it had been like for her, but it seems like her pregnancy has flown by.  And now baby girl is on her way.  Such exciting news and I’m so happy for her.  This is the 2nd child for her and her husband.  They have a toddler also, so once her 12 weeks maternity leave is up, she’ll be returning to work just two days a week.  I have to admit a slight pang of jealousy.  Not about the two day a week work week, but yes that would be lovely too, but I remember those days at home with my son.  Such fond memories.  I’m so thankful to have my son, but I always thought I would have more children.  It hasn’t worked out that way, and there are moments when I grieve for what could have been.

Then reality smacks me in the face with a reminder to be grateful for all I have.  I work for an insurance company and today one of the groups I handle notified us of the sudden, unexpected  death of an employee who wasn’t even 40 years old.  I started gathering the necessary paperwork for her family to file a claim on her life insurance, and the enrollment form she had signed was dated exactly one year before the day she died.  To the day.  It gave me chills. 

We have no guarantees.  Babies are born, people die.  That’s every day’s business.  When we’re born a few people rejoice; when we die a few people grieve, but in either scenario the world keeps moving.  I guess the big decision is, How do you choose to fill the in between?

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Filed under babies, birth, children, death, life, loss, memories, motherhood