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.
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.
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?
I haven’t written. I’ve been licking my wounds in an attempt to recover from what I thought was my ticket out of this job, a new opportunity, the answer to my prayers. . . the interview went well, I got the job offer, I was excited. And then the salary. Are you kidding me? It was lateral, at best. What’s my incentive to move? I countered, they came back with an additional $1k tacked on. I was soooooooo upset. I cried and cried. I toyed with the idea of accepting, just so I could move on to something else, but that night I woke up twice in a panic, sitting bolt upright in bed, thinking What have I done? So when I really got up in the morning, I knew no one was forcing me to take this position, that as much as I want out and want to move on, I don’t have to take whatever presents itself. I can choose.
It was with much disappointment that I declined the offer, but not without beating myself up about it first. Am I not “worth” a decent salary? Did I somehow come off as a loser in my interview? What did I do to rate such an offer? I keep telling myself it’s not me, it’s this economy. Employers know a lot of people are without jobs and will take whatever they can get to get by. Heck, I’m in that situation myself. I’m grateful to have a job, but this isn’t what I want to be doing a year from now. Knowing that, employers can offer lower salaries and see who bites. That’s what I think anyway. And someone will take that position and be glad to have it. I’m happy for that person. Now if I could just get my own little ray of sunshine in the job search. 🙂
It hasn’t escaped me that I didn’t make it back here yesterday after getting all fired up a couple of days ago and reassuring you that the blog was back. One thing I should know, though, is that posting every day is quite a stretch. I love to write, but my blog isn’t my only writing project, so I’ve got to divide my time. Posting 2 to 3 times a week is my realistic goal, and I think it’s do-able. I can do this!!
On a side note, while I was away, I got a spike is visitors on Sept. 11. That strikes me as odd, since of course the first things I think of when I think of that date are the 9/11 attacks in NYC, DC, and PA. Were more people just out looking for things in general on that day? Maybe it’s just an odd coincidence. At any rate, welcome. I’m just getting back to my blog and haven’t quite focused things yet. Sometimes I think I’m a child with ADHD and it takes me a little longer to focus. Maybe I’m an adult with ADHD. What was I saying?
Oh yes, that I’m back, but not on a daily basis. Probably an every other day basis or a couple times a week. Don’t want to wear out my welcome. It’s Friday night, and I’m overjoyed. I have a day job that I tolerate, and I relish in my own time with my son. Total bliss. I think I’ll have a glass of wine and call it a night. Happy weekend!!
Testing. Is this thing on? I’ve neglected my poor blog. We went on vacation, and once we got back, I got carried away by the minutia of life. I didn’t forget my blog; I just haven’t made time for it. And it shows in my everyday frustration. Writing keeps me sane, whether anyone reads it or not, and having been away, I’ve been losing out on all those feel-good endorphins I get from clicking away on my keyboard. Granted, I click away on my keyboard all day at work, but it’s just not the same.
So, I’m reprioritizing. The blog is back. Or more accurately, I’m back at the blog. I’ve got a million things I could cover. I’m still on the job hunt, but recent offers have me questioning if all this effort is worth a lateral move. It’s so frustrating. I feel like upward mobility has completely stalled out. Are other people having this experience or is it just me? I have more education than I had 10 years ago, lots more, but looking at my salary, you’d never guess that.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have a job that keeps a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, food on the table, and gas in the car. But I want more. I’m not extravagant, either; I’m just looking for more comfort and security. Writing has always brought me comfort, so I’ve got to find my way back. Have to find those precious few minutes when I can do what I love. So, with the blog as a priority once again, I’ll plan on seeing you tomorrow. Hope you’ve been well!
You know the interview I mentioned here? It turned out to be the strangest interview I’ve been on, by far. It’s a small company and the lady whose 3rd in charge is looking for her replacement as she moves on to different areas of responsibility in the company. This is who interviewed me. Several times she said, “Tell me everything you know about _____.” I started by stating the highpoints, sort of putting things in a nutshell but not knowing what she was looking for, I asked her what aspect of this topic she was interested in, because frankly there are volumes written about these topics and the regulations change, etc. She listened to me for a few minutes, but then she told me how she was around “in the beginning” so she knew these things inside and out. Great. But then she proceeded to question me this way on multiple topics. “Tell me everything you know about ____.” She also threw in some questions asking about what I’d done before. I seriously wanted to ask the woman if she’d read my resume. It clearly states what I’ve done and haven’t done. But like I said, this was the strangest interview I’ve ever been on.
She grilled me like this for an hour and fifteen minutes, and after I left and had time to mull things over, I started thinking this probably wasn’t a position I would want anyway. I think the interview said a lot about her personality and her very high opinion of herself. Granted, she’s probably very good at what she does and if I could tolerate the self-importance I could probably learn a lot from her, but I don’t think it would be an environment I would be happy in. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
Filed under me, working mom