Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"You don't want to pick a song everyone else is using..."

I still feel this way, 15 years later. (Well, if you translate for gender...)

Somebody, Depeche Mode

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who'll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She'll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She'll hear me out
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought
With every breath
Someone who'll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don't want to be tied
To anyone's strings
I'm carefully trying to steer clear of those things
But when I'm asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I'll get away with it
And in a place like this
I'll get away with it

Georgia on my mind

If I'd wanted to live in an area with 90 degree temps and 70% humidity I'd have moved to Georgia.

(I also didn't want to live in an area where school districts were mega-districts organized by county, but I guess I lost that battle, too.)

I guess I'll just have to think about fresh peaches and Vidalia onions...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

super defined?

Today I went to work, wrote a job recommendation, listened and advised on a medical situation, stopped in at practice to give thoughts and inspiration as I was leaving the team for my kid, got to the ms track meet in time to see all 4 of Boy's events, and got to the talent show in time to see Girly dance. When we got home, I did dishes while making dinner and started a load of laundry. We ate at 8:30. In my understanding, this is the definition of a "super woman"; the question that keeps bugging me is why don't I feel so super?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

half full, half crazy.

There's lots going on, and it's been easier to stay silent than to take the time to think about it... but not thinking about it is starting to feel like ignoring it, and I do not like that feeling.

Where to start? Vizzini told me to go back to the beginning... no, that's someone else. But I've been told the beginning is a very good place to start, so...

Sunshines are inching their way towards those caps and gowns. Right now, 20% of the seniors will be back for a 9th semester. I'm confident that, baring a major catastrophe (which we all know could happen at any time, without notice) 70% will graduate with their class, and 10% need to man up to get through the last 15 days of senior classes. Every year, we get an extra Sunshine Wannabe or two join in for the constant prodding; this year's participant is asking to get full Sunshine status... which is a bit late in the game, but we'll do what we can to help meet the June 11 deadline. Along with senior crazies, we still have issues with people hitting their proverbial walls and needing a lot of support to make it through. To say things are a bit hectic is the understatement of the month. The good news, though, is that I still can't imagine doing any other job. Let's hope I get the opportunity to relive this for 20 more years... I know, 20 years until retirement? That is an insane number in and of itself.

The real distractor, though, is personal. In short, WB's parents aren't getting any younger, and our involvement in their day to day lives is going to need to increase. I had it described to me as 'the Sandwhich Years'-- your kids still need your attention, but your parents need it too. It's not a fun time by any stretch, but I'm trying to maintain a very zen approach to it. It is what it is, and you don't get to choose everything that happens in your life. You do, however, get to choose how you react. I choose to view my role as a helpful one, to my husband and his family. While I don't see myself as a martyr, I do see this as a learning opportunity for all of us: people need different kinds of help at different times in their lives. Some kids need help graduating, and some elderly need help negotiating the medical world. If you're lucky (which I really have been) you get a chance to use your strengths to help Pay it Forward, all while maintaining a healthy sense of humor yourself. So far, so good...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sunday, May 09, 2010

there but for the grace of God...

I just finished The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls; it's her memoir of growing up poorer than poor and having survived. Resilience is a fascinating thing: how do some siblings survive, but not all? Why do some kids "make it" while others repeat history? Most importantly, what can I do to teach resiliency?

If I can answer that last question, not only would I be able to take my show on the road, but I'd also be able to help a kid or two along the way. More than conjugating verbs or solving quadratic equations, the ability to soldier on in the face of defeat is what makes someone successful. That is what I want to teach kids; to believe in themselves and to find a way to get where they're going, no matter the odds.

So as I sit here in my house with running water and heat and electricity, surrounded by creature comforts and filled with good food and unconditional love, know that I do appreciate it all. My life is incredible, and all I did to get it was to be born to people who also had it. Luckily, I'll never know if I could have survived a childhood of abject poverty or one of disheartening neglect. I do know I'll do the best I can with what I've been given, because to waste the gift would be just plain wrong.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

we're all frustrated

I've said it before and I'll say it again: giving the SAT to all juniors causes more problems that it solves. Thanks, DOE, for undoing a lot of the work I've done this year. I love being party to making my students feel stupid.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

straight from the Sunshine's mouth

I realize I've gone a bit quiet around here, and that is because we still have issues that really cannot be discussed publicly, and I'm really not very good at keeping things to myself, so it's better to say nothing at all. Given that disclaimer, however, things coming out of April break were better than in February. Which is a very good thing, indeed.

This week one Sunshine paid us a very high compliment. We were discussing the varied bits of drama impacting everyone and I said something about their experiences breaking my heart because they're just too young to have to deal with these problems. He looked at me and said "Yea, but you make it better." It took a minute for that to sink in, so he said it again: "We come to school because being here makes it better. We wouldn't come if it didn't." And since I know he has had issues with truancy (many of them have), I know he's not kidding. They've learned how to avoid the things that make their lives harder and to stick with things that make them feel better (even if these things do not really make them better). That they come to school-- want to come to school-- is huge. That they will call and say they've missed the bus and need a ride if we can find them one... sometimes I miss the message they are really sending. They want to be at school. We have created a space where they feel valued, and it has value to them. I will own all the criticism about the level of academic output, but I will not let anyone say that our program is a joke or a waste of time. I have the data to prove it.